No matter where your beliefs fall on the political spectrum, there is no way you can deny that the last 18 months have been hard for many people.

In March of 2020, hundreds (if not thousands) of Maine businesses were required to close their doors.  We had been told that it was for "two weeks to flatten the curve".  Sadly, that was not the case.  For many types of businesses, they remained closed for months.  In other cases, businesses were allowed to open, but on a limited basis with a limited staff.

As a result, thousands of Mainers found themselves laid off (or terminated) by businesses they had worked for for years.

Most of those Mainers immediately filed for unemployment benefits.  As a result, the system was over-taxed.  The people who created the infrastructure never intended it to be slammed by thousands of new claims a week.  Thanks to the addition of new employees, the backlog was eventually worked through and those who needed benefits began receiving them.

Now, it seems like thousands of those claimers could end up needing to pay their benefits back.

According to WMTW, over 7,000 Maine residents who receive benefits did not file the proper paperwork by the August 4th deadline.

The issue has to deal with the federal government requiring people who are still receiving benefits to provide proof that they were either employed or self-employed when they became unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The issue only affects those who were still getting benefits as of the week ending January 2nd, 2021.

The deadline for getting the paperwork into the federal government was August 4th.  Affected people had been notified around May 5th.  A second notice reportedly also went out prior to the deadline.

Officials from the State of Maine are notifying those who did not submit the documentation to let them know that they are no longer eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. They will also be warned they may have to repay benefits already received.

The good news is that, if you are one of the affected people, you have can appeal the decision and you have 15 days to upload the needed documentation through your ReEmployMe account.

Get more details HERE

Maine's 16 Counties Ranked By How Much Money People Make

Here's the list of every county in Maine ranked by median household income from lowest to highest.