Unemployment applicants wondering, “What can I do if unemployment denied me benefits?” should know that they can appeal the decision.
- Common Reasons for Denied Unemployment in Maine
- Wrongful Termination Laws in Maine
- Denied Unemployment Benefits and Job Refusals
- Filing an Unemployment Denial Appeal in Maine
Workers are denied unemployment in ME for a variety of reasons, but there are ways to challenge a denial and win.
All unemployed workers in Maine have the right to file an appeal if they disagree with the state’s decision to deny them benefits.
Maine Unemployment Resources
Common Reasons for Denied Unemployment in Maine
The state sets forth numerous eligibility standards in regards to unemployment benefits. In general, if you were terminated for conduct or performance-related issues at your previous job, your claim will be denied. A state representative will verify the reason for your termination with your previous employer, and if you were fired for legitimate reasons, you would be denied unemployment benefits in Maine.
If you were separated from your employment for the following reasons, you will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits:
- Voluntary leave of absence
- Fired for crime or drug related reasons
- Temporary suspension
You will be denied unemployment if you are fired for misconduct until you earn eight times your predicted weekly benefit amount, or you complete at least five consecutive weeks of full-time employment.
Wrongful Termination Laws in Maine
If you have had your unemployment benefits denied in Maine, you will need to notify the Department of Labor if you were fired for any the following reasons:
- Were wrongfully terminated by your employer
- Quit because of verbal, sexual, or physical harassment or abuse
- Are the victim of domestic violence and had to move and quit your job
- Experienced an acute illness or injury
- Are being forced to relocate
The situations above could have a major impact on your claim, and many of them are considered grounds for wrongful termination in ME.
Denied Unemployment Benefits and Job Refusals
You can still have your Maine unemployment compensation benefits denied, even if your initial claim is approved. If you fail to look for work or accept a reasonable job offer, the state will more than likely have your unemployment benefits denied. The unemployment benefits program is meant to be temporary, and ideally, the state will want to you find work as soon as possible.
A state claims adjuster will use the following criteria to decide whether or not a job is “suitable” for you:
- Physical condition and health
- Formal training
- Work experience
- Past earnings
- Length of unemployment
- Number of available positions in your local area
If you refuse a job that the adjuster finds suitable, you must provide a compelling reason for your refusal. If you refused a job for any of the acceptable reasons below, then you might not be denied unemployment benefits:
- The position is vacant due to a labor dispute or strike.
- The salary, benefits, or hours are significantly less than what you would earn in a similar position.
- The company requires you to join a union or organization whose views differ from your own.
- The position requires you to work a shift that interferes with you caring for an injured or ill family member. To meet this requirement, the shift offered must take place between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
As always, you will need to keep detailed notes regarding your reasons for refusing a job. The state also has the right to verify your details with the employer who offered you the position.
Filing an Unemployment Denial Appeal in Maine
You can file an unemployment denial appeal in Maine if you are denied unemployment benefits. You also have the right to appeal the monetary determination if you do not believe the aid amount is accurate. Your past employers can also file an appeal to stop your benefits if they do not believe that you deserve them.
You can file an appeal by logging onto the official Maine unemployment website, or by mailing or faxing in a paper appeal. Please address all appeals to the Division of Administrative Hearings in Augusta. In order for your unemployment denial appeal to be valid, it must be submitted no more than 15 days after you receive the denial.
The state will send you a booklet about preparing for your unemployment denial appeal. Most appeal hearings are held over the phone, but if you must appear in person, the state will tell you when and where your hearing will be. When the appeal is over, a hearing officer will issue a decision.
If you do not agree with the appeal decision, you can file a second appeal with the state Unemployment Insurance Commission. If you do not agree with the decision a second time, you can file a final appeal with the State Superior Court, which will issue a final ruling within 30 days of reviewing your appeal. During the ME unemployment denial appeal process, you should continue to file for unemployment each week.