Unemployed residents will see a delay of at least a week in their federal benefits, according to the Department of Labor.

The good news is that President Trump signed the bipartisan COVID-19 relief legislation, which will allow for those federal unemployment benefits to continue. However, because of the timing of that signing, those benefits will be delayed for at least a week.

The Maine Department of Labor says Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) ended on December 26th and the legislation was signed by the President on December 27th. The interruption will cause at least a week's delay in people receiving their federal unemployment benefits.

Anyone who is still unemployed and receiving benefits under these federal programs should continue to file weekly certifications, according to the MDOL. Commissioner Laura Fortman says her department is working as quickly as possible to ensure that residents can continue to receive the basic necessities.

The extension of the PUA will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 50 weeks. The extension of the PEUC will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 24 weeks. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program will provide up to 11 weeks of additional $300 weekly benefits to eligible claimants. Find more details on these benefits on the Maine Department of Labor's website.

In anticipation of the federal programs ending and leaving thousands of Mainers without unemployment benefits, Governor Janet Mills' administration distributed a one-time $600 payment on December 21st to over 40,000 residents who were unemployed due to COVID-19.  .

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