Many people are suffering financially because of reduction of hours, temporary closures, and other impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department of Labor has announced that those working before the crisis hit, and whose hours have now been cut or reduced because of the virus, should apply for unemployment insurance, which provides a partial wage replacement, with a maximum benefit of $445.00 per week. In addition, those on medical quarantine, or who are caring for a family member sick with Covid-19, should apply. The Department of Labor is waiving the one-week waiting period for submitting applications. The quickest way to file is online. If you need assistance please contact Maine Equal Justice. Normally it takes 10 days or 2 weeks to get the first check. For a question and answer page about unemployment insurance, see this link: