Amend the Laws Governing Unemployment Compensation

Last updated: Jul 13, 2021

Details about this bill
Category: Wage and Labor
Status: Passed
Sponsor: Senator Eloise Vitelli, Senate 19 - Oxford County
Session: 130
Bill #: LD 1564



UPDATE: The Committee moved in a number of pieces from LD 1571 to combine the bills. Maine DOL estimates that the cost to employers is $2.6 to $9.8 million.


This bill makes the following changes to the laws governing unemployment compensation.

1. It increases the amount of wages a person may receive and still be considered partially unemployed.

2. It provides the Commissioner of Labor or the commissioner's designee discretion to deduct the amount of unemployment benefits erroneously paid to a person from any future benefits payable to that person. Current law vests this discretion in the Unemployment Insurance Commission. It also provides that unemployment benefits erroneously paid may not be recovered from a person who, in the judgment of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, is without fault and when, in the judgment of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, such recovery would defeat the purpose of benefits or would be against equity and good conscience. Current law vests this judgment in the commission.

3. It transfers rule-making authority pertaining to unemployment insurance from the Unemployment Insurance Commission to the Commissioner of Labor.

4. It increases the allowance for dependents and the cap on the allowance for dependents.

5. It removes an exemption from the requirement to show good cause for participation in reemployment services and eligibility assessment.

6. It provides eligibility for unemployment compensation for a person who leaves employment due to the unexpected loss of child or elder care under certain circumstances.

7. It provides that evidence presented at a fact-finding interview by interested parties who personally participate in the interview by telephone or email or other electronic means is permitted for a determination of eligibility for unemployment compensation.

8. It specifies additional conditions that trigger an extended benefit period.

9. It increases the total extended benefit amount in a high unemployment period.