AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Labor has announced a new alphabetical-by-last-name call-in schedule for Maine people filing for unemployment benefits this week. The new schedule will help reduce phone line congestion.

People with last names beginning with A-H should call on Monday.

People with last names beginning with I-Q should call on Tuesday.

People with last names beginning with R-Z should call on Wednesday.

Thursdays and Fridays will be left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day or need to call at that time.

“While we hope to have 100 more people answering the phone lines by the end of next week, implementing this new system will ease congestion on our phone lines in the meantime,” said Commissioner Laura Fortman. “This is an easy way for individuals to take action to improve access for everyone. We are all in this together and we appreciate your help as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

Please note that due to the enormous volume of applications, the system crashed early in the week, which could result in delays of up to 72 hours.

Unemployment insurance: Online (available 24/7) at

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

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.