If your unemployment claim has been cancelled or is in review for fraud (9/9/999) you need to submit information verifying who you are
“The Department of Labor has received reports of potential fraudulent or imposter claims. In response, all weekly claims filed are receiving an additional review before releasing payment. If you see the Processed date as 09/09/9999, then you are part of this review. We are releasing the payments as claims are cleared, but due to the large volume of weekly claims, this is causing payment delays. Please continue to monitor your online account. Once your claim has been reviewed and payment released, information will be posted there. We apologize for the delay, but it is a necessary step to ensure payments are being paid accurately.”
If your unemployment claim is legitimate and has been cancelled or is in review status (showing a date of 9/9/9999 means it is being reviewed), email the Maine Department of Labor IDVerification.UC@maine.gov and provide scans or photos of TWO forms of identification, one of which must be a government issued photo ID, along with a photo of yourself taken at the time of submission. Photo ID’s could include Driver’s license, Passport, or Military ID. Non-Photo documentation could include a Social Security Card, a recent utility bill that shows your name and residential address or a Birth Certificate. Experienced law enforcement will be reviewing the documents.
Press Releases: https://www.maine.gov/labor/news_events/article.shtml?id=2584216
FMI: The MDOL fraud page https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/fraud/
For individuals & employers reporting fraud, they should be directed to www.maine.gov/unemployment/idtheft to enter information and you can lock and note their account
If you think someone is using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes or make purchases, visit https://ww.identitytheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft. Additional identity theft resources can be found at https://www.maine.gov/ag/privacy/identity_theft.shtml or https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/report-identity-theft.
National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form or (866) 720-5721.
You will also want to contact all the Credit Agencies (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) to put a freeze on your accounts. You should also call your bank and put a limit on the amount that can be withdrawn any one day. Call all your creditors. If you own a company, you should let your vendors know as well.
Funding Programs for Portland and Bangor Businesses
- The second round of the City of Portland’s loan and grant programs is open now, and applications are due July 8th at 4:00PM. More info: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/2627/COVID19-Loan-and-Grant-Programs
- The City of Bangor has announced two new grant programs for Bangor businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will assist eligible, for-profit businesses with a grant of up to $10,000. Funding for the grants is provided through the City of Bangor’s Community Development Block Grant Program with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant funds can be used to pay for up to two months of normal business operating expenses, such as utilities, supplies, business taxes, employee wages, and rent. For more information and to apply, visit https://bangormaine.gov/covidrelief Applications are due by Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
CLARIFICATION: You will need a Vendor Code to receive payment of the CARES Act Grant.
If you have received any remittance payment (examples: the one-time stipend or Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) provider) from OFCS you have a vendor code (VC). You can find it on the information stud of the payment. Look for VC and the following number.
If you have never received any reimbursement from the state during your years of providing child care you will need to APPLY for VENDOR CODE. Complete the vendor form and email to Timothy.Dickey@maine.gov.
The grants will be open to all eligible licensed child care providers currently providing child care, as well as those that will be open providing direct child care services by June 30, 2020. Here are details on the grants:
• The application period will be open from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Sunday, June 21,
• Facility Child Care Providers will receive a one-time grant of $3,000.
• Family Child Care Providers will receive a one-time grant of $750.
• Providers must have an accurate State of Maine Vendor Code on file.
• Providers with multiple facilities must complete separate applications for each site.
• Recovery Grant awards will be issued as soon as possible and no later than mid-July and are subject to all applicable taxes.
• For audit purposes, receipts and records related to how CARES Act Grant funds are
used must be retained by providers for a minimum of three (3) years and provided to OCFS
Note: Final grant amounts are subject to change based on availability of funds after the full
implementation of the first two strategies.
Complete this survey as your Grant Application.
Employe Retention Tax Credit ~We are sharing this 9 minute recording by Cynthia Murphy of CEI for child care providers to provide them information that many might find helpful in sustaining their businesses.
Here is written information provided to FCCAM:
Earn up to $5,000 in tax credits per employee on your payroll. Child care providers who have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts in 2020 and are paying workers may be eligible for a tax credit for up to $5,000 per employee – payable immediately at the end of each quarter in 2020. Excluded: Providers who have a Paycheck Protection Program loan are not eligible. Self-employed wages are eligible. Listen to this brief summary for more information and then talk to your accountant or bookkeeper to file for the employee retention tax credit using IRS Form 941.
Scenario 1: Child care provider with 5 employees closed in mid-March and reopened on June 1st, hiring back 1 employee. If the gross receipts for Q2 (April – June) 2020 are less than 50% of gross receipts for Q2 2019 (and the child care provider does not have a Paycheck Protection Program loan), they are eligible for a tax credit for 50% of the employee’s wages. The child care provider remains eligible until 12/31/2020 or until their gross receipts for a quarter achieve 80% of the same quarter in 2019. If the child care provider hires back 2 additional workers in August and their gross receipts for Q3 2020 are less than 80% of Q3 2019, they continue to receive tax credits – now for 50% of wages paid all 3 workers. The same calculations apply for Q4. The maximum credit per worker is $5,000 from 3/13/2020 – 12/31/2020.
Scenario 2: Family-based child care provider with 1 worker did not close during COVID-19 pandemic, however laid off their 1 worker when the number of children attending declined. In July, the worker is re-hired. The self-employed owner is not eligible for any tax credits in Q2. When the worker is hired in July, wages paid to her are eligible for the tax credit if the gross receipts for the business in Q3 2020 are less than 50% of the gross receipts for Q3 2019. The child care provider remains eligible in Q4 if the gross receipts are less than 80% of the Q4 2019 gross receipts.
5/1/2020 UPDATE from Maine Department of Labor: Many self-employed filers received an estimated weekly benefit of $0 today. This is the estimated benefit for state unemployment. The department is required to make sure filers are not eligible for state benefits before paying Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Within seven days, the eligibility for and actual weekly benefit under PUA will be determined. Any eligible weeks will automatically be paid. Be sure to file your weekly certification going forward.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) / The Maine Department of Labor will begin accepting applications for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) at 8 a.m. Friday, May 1. People whose claim does not require further review should begin receiving benefits within seven days of filing.
ReEmployMe New User Sign Up – Start here on May 1, 2020 / A-H 8am – 10 am / I-Q 10am – 12 pm / R-Z noon to 2pm
Direct link to recorded 4/8 webinar COVID-19 Business Relief Resources for Maine Child Care Providers / Powerpoint of webinar with resource links. See some of the primary resources links following:
Calculate your “regular” unemployment benefit (before the additional $600 / week from 3/29/20 – 7/25/20)
Maine Dept of Labor page on unemployment
CEI landing page on COVID-19 Resources for businesses loans in general
Calculate your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan amount
Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ-PDN) has a new Business Relief Resources section on their website.
Maine Small Business Development Centers / University of Southern Maine, School of Business /
- Sign up to receive SBCD COVID-related resources and updates (notifications about future webinars)
- If you would like one-on-one guidance from an SBDC business advisor, please fill out this form and you will be contacted. A business advisor will be able to help you understand which programs are right for your business or situation.
Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and there is no question that the coronavirus is impacting them. To protect small businesses, Governor Mills requested that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. To protect Maine workers, Governor Mills submitted emergency legislation that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
Maine Department of Labor / For guidelines and general information to help businesses, employers, and the public plan and respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 check out Guidance on Coronavirus (update 3/11/2020). For information on resources available to help your business recover from losses as well as best practices to protect the safety and health of your employees, Maine’s labor laws, and other work-related issues, visit the Maine Department of Labor’s Guidance on Coronavirus Response and Updates.
Work-Related Illness – If the illness is work related, the employee and employer should consult with the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.
FAME Financal Authority of Maine COVID-19 relief loan programs
On March 28, Congress enacted and the President signed new unemployment programs to provide relief to people affected by COVID-19. These new programs are complex, and The Maine Department of Labor is working to implement them as quickly as possible. Those who have exhausted all available benefits already or are self-employed should wait to file a claim for benefits. Since these programs have not been implemented yet, filing at this point will only result in a denial. Once implemented, benefits will be paid retroactively. There are things you can be doing to get yourself in a position to act as soon as the new programs become active. See the information below for some directive regarding that ~
Maine Small Business Development Centers information and resources are continually being updated regarding COVID-19 Impact on your business. Systems are overwhelmed, new bills are being passed and how it all works needs to be figured out. When applying for any potential relief (SBA/Fame/Banks….) know this is going to take time and require patience. Maine SBDC is committed to doing everything they can to help navigate the challenges small businesses will face in the days and weeks ahead as a result of COVID-19. To request individual advising, click here.
Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Loan information: a program should first gather the documentation they will need to complete the application. Here is a list of things to do and pull together to help you in the application process:
- 3 years of past taxes, current profit & loss -2019 statement
- Current cash flow
- Current liabilities, personal financial statements
- Talk to your bank, lenders, mortgage companies, vendors and see if can get deferments for their payments
- Track all business activities (loss of income, expenses) due to Covid19. Write a short narrative on how the Covid19 is affecting their business. Suggestion to start daily journal of impact.
- Assess if programs can keep some revenue coming in during this time
Programs should download the applications that is specific for their business and work to fill out as much as they can. There is one application for “LLC/ Corporation” and another for “Home/Sole proprietor.” Go to the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance website to download the application relevant to your program. Complete as much as you can. If you need assistance the SBA can help. After you have gathered all the information mentioned above and worked to fill out as much information as possible you can submit a request for assistance with a small business advisor from the SBA. Here is the link to submit a request. Each advisor will respond ASAP. Know they are responding as quickly as they can.