Traditional work search requirement for unemployment insurance being reinstated May 23

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What is this notice for?

This is to notify you the Maine Department of Labor will be reinstating the traditional work search requirement for unemployment insurance as of May 23, 2021. The first week impacted by this change is the week ending May 29, 2021. Unemployment insurance has served as a crucial economic stabilizer during the pandemic. The increase in both vaccine availability and in businesses reopening and seeking workers has allowed individuals to now shift their focus to reconnecting with Maine’s workforce. 

Why are you receiving this?

Our records show you filed a weekly certification within the last few weeks and may be affected by this change.

What you need to know:

Beginning on May 23, 2021, acceptable weekly work search activities are:

  • Interviewing for a job for which you are reasonably qualified
  • Applying for a job for which you are reasonably qualified and willing to accept
  • Participating in a job fair hosted by a CareerCenter
  • Participating in CareerCenter virtual or in-person reemployment services
  • Participating in a CareerCenter workshop related to seeking employment
  • Working part-time, building up to your normal weekly hours
  • Contacting an employer to inquire if they are hiring and applying for a job with the employer

The following work search activities will no longer fulfill the work search requirements:

  • Working on work search materials or participating in professional job-related education or skills development
  • Participating in networking events related to a job or occupation for which you are reasonably qualified
  • Volunteering for an organization or company for networking purposes that might reasonably lead to a paid opportunity

Current work search activities in place for those who are self-employed are not changing.

What are the next steps?

Starting on May 23, 2021, conduct a work search activity from the list of acceptable activities listed in this email and report them on your weekly claim(s) starting with the week ending May 29, 2021.

Additional available resources:

More information on the requirement updates will be posted on the Department’s website in the coming days:

It is possible to accept temporary part-time work without losing all unemployment benefits. As long as someone continues to meet their responsibilities for receiving benefits, they may be able to earn wages from part-time work and still collect a partial benefit while building up to their normal weekly hours. The Department has a new tool on our website that can help calculate how many hours a week a person could work and still collect partial benefits based on their weekly earnings. The calculator can be found on this webpage, under “Looking for work?”:

There is also a video on our website that explains how a partial benefit works:

Those looking for work should visit the Maine JobLink, where there are thousands of jobs posted, including for remote work. The CareerCenters also host a variety of job fairs, which can be found here:

One-on-one meetings with a CareerCenter consultant can also be scheduled, to discuss employment or training plans. The CareerCenter can be reached by email at, by phone at 207-623-7981, or by live-chat on at