Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is warning the public about websites advertising help with filing unemployment insurance claims. These websites are not affiliated with the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation.

Claims should only be filed by claimants themselves by visiting Maine Department of Labor’s website: unemployment or by calling the claims center at (800) 593-7660, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“There is no fee to file an unemployment claim or receive assistance with a claim,” Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said in a news release. The Department of Labor does not contract with any company to file claims.

Everyone has the right to file an unemployment claim. To receive benefits, a person must have worked in a job that is covered by unemployment insurance, have lost their job through no fault of their own, be able and available to accept work and be actively seeking work each week during which a claim is filed. Those who think they may be eligible should file a claim.

For those who do not have a computer and want to file a claim online, Career Centers, located throughout the state, offer free access to computers, as do libraries.

During the winter, unemployment claims and questions increase and call center phones are very busy. MDOL recommends filing initial and weekly claims and work-search efforts online and using the online customer messaging portal for claim questions and concerns. Online inquiries are responded to in the order received, generally within 24 hours.