Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday said self-employed people or those who plan to return to their employer must meet a work-search requirement by Oct. 4 to continue getting state unemployment benefits.
The announcement came more than a month after workers who lost jobs permanently were required to seek work starting Aug. 9.
Mainers have filed more than 276,200 new jobless claims since March 15 and have received $1.5 billion in jobless benefits, according to the state Department of Labor. It paid out nearly $74 million in all of 2019.
The only exception to Thursday’s executive order is for individuals in medical quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure.
The Democratic governor said the work search requirement is being reinstated now that Maine has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the country and businesses are reopening, actively seeking workers and demonstrating that work can be performed safely.
Self-employed individuals will need to show they engaged in activities designed to fully reopen their business.
Work search activities include attending a job fair or virtual job fair hosted by a Maine CareerCenter, participating in professional job-related education or skills development and applying or interviewing for a job for which a person is reasonably qualified.