Some people who collected unemployment during the pandemic now have to provide proof that they were employed prior to that period.

I actually first heard of this yesterday as I was getting my hair cut. My stylist told me that the federal government was requiring her to prove that she was open before the pandemic guidelines forced her to close her doors. She wasn't sure how she was going to do that, since she owns the salon. It's not like she gets weekly paychecks, that she can provide for labor officials.

When I got home, I did a little research and found out what she was talking about. The Maine Department of Labor reports that it's the federal government that's asking for the information from some people who collected benefits from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds. Basically, they need to know that you were actually employed prior to becoming unemployed by the pandemic. According to the AP, the rule applies to anyone who received benefits beginning with the week that ended on January 2 and that information will need to be submitted by August 4.

The Maine Department of Labor lists several types of verification of employment that would be acceptable: including paycheck stubs; earnings and leave statements showing the employer's name and address; or W-2 forms. Anyone who is self-employed could submit their business license; state or federal employer identification numbers; tax returns; business receipts; or signed affidavits verifying the person's self-employment.

A failure to report this information could result in a denial of benefits for the week ending on January 2nd. This may result in an "overpayment of benefits" received since that time, which the Department of Labor could require that you pay back. Find more information on the Maine Department of Labor website.

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