Maine Department of Labor announces new alphabet system for unemployment claims

Maine Department of Labor

After receiving an unprecedented number of unemployment claims due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) announced a new alphabetical-by-last-name call-in schedule for Maine people filing for unemployment benefits. The new schedule will help reduce phone line congestion as the Department ramps up its capacity to receive and process claims.

Starting Monday, April 6, Maine people seeking to file for unemployment by calling the 800 number with last names beginning with A-H should call on Monday; I-Q on Tuesday; R-Z on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will be left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day or need to call at that time.

Unemployment insurance: Online (available 24/7) at

By phone: 1-800-593-7660 (8 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

TTY users call Maine Relay 711

For password resets and basic questions, contact a Career Center:

For more information and resources, visit the Department’s COVID-19 page:, and follow the Maine Department of Labor on Facebook @MElabor and Twitter @maine_labor.

Federal Family First Leave Policies: On Wednesday, April 1, the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act went into effect. This federal Act requires some employers in Maine to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for implementation and enforcement of the Act. For more information:, including answers to a wide range of anticipated questions from both employees and employers. The website also includes posters that employers will be required to display at their worksites.

As always, our frequently updated FAQs on unemployment insurance and COVID-19 measures—we update them several times a week — can be found:


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