Benefits - Unemployment
Are University employees eligible for Unemployment Compensation?
The Maine Department of Labor determines eligibility for Unemployment, and there are some situations where an employee is not eligible to collect unemployment.
What are some situations where an employee is not eligible to collect?
Employees who are between academic years and during holiday recesses are not eligible. If an employee has written reasonable assurance to return to the job such as someone who works 19 pay periods in Dining Services would not be eligible.
What about resignation?
Generally an employee who resigns is not eligible to collect unemployment; however, it may be appropriate to submit a claim to the Department of Labor for an individualized decision.
What about Student employees and Graduate Assistants?
Such employees are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance through the University. Earnings under these categories are not reportable earnings for unemployment purposes.
Are employees who are laid off or have their work hours reduced eligible?
The Maine Department of Labor would make these decisions. Generally an employee who is laid off or whose fixed-length position ends would be eligible. An involuntary change in compensation due to a reduction in work hours may also be eligible so it is important to submit a claim.
How much unemployment compensation would I collect?
The Maine Department of Labor calculates that payments as well as the eligible duration of any claim. The weekly benefit would likely be significantly less than what had been earned during a work week.
What should I know about the University’s Workers Compensation policies?
The University is self- insured for Workers Compensation but uses CCMSI to administer claims under the laws of the state of Maine. Employees in other states and out of the country are also covered by Workers Compensation benefits. It is important that illnesses and injuries are reported to the supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor must document the incident in the Supervisor’s First Report of Injury. The form is available on the Human Resources web site. Completed forms can be faxed to 581-1615 for input into the claims reporting database. Some supervisors have direct access into this reporting database. Workers Compensation involves both the payments for medical services and lost time benefits. Sometimes you may want to report an incident that doesn’t involves a specific injury at the time, and this is encouraged. Such a report only can be changed into a claim if future medical treatment is needed.
What about medical treatment?
The University has designated Cutler Health Center on the campus as the ten day provider. A supervisor should call 581-4179 to make an appointment during office hours for the injured employee. For emergencies, an ambulance should be called at 911 for transport to EMMC or St. Joseph Hospital. For injuries occurring at sites away from Orono, appropriate medical treatment should be sought locally.
Who is covered for Workers Compensation?
Employees who are injured in the course of work are covered. Student employees as well as salaried, hourly, and faculty are covered. Reporting injuries and illnesses in a timely way is crucial for correct administration.
What about follow-up medical treatment?
Necessary follow-up treatments such as physical therapy and surgeries can be authorized by the third part administrator in CCMSI. Once a claim is received the employee and supervisor are contacted for any clarifications.
What about on-going pay?
Lost time benefits can be paid based on the duration of the absence and the “average weekly wage.” The third party administrator will clarify the policies. Employees who are absent will use their sick leave to continue payment during the first week. Hourly employees have a special code for medical appointments during the work day. The WCA code is used for such appointments. For extended absences Workers Compensation will make weekly payments and such payments are separate from the normal paycheck. An employee can supplement such payments using 20% sick leave. When an employee is not receiving payments through the University payroll system, continuation of benefits requires on-going premium payments through the “Benefits Billing” process.
What about returning to work?
Your department will make an effort to find modified work for you within any limitation that your medical provider indicates. Refusing modified work may mean that Workers Compensation benefits will be discontinued.
What if I am unable to return to work?
Although unusual for an employee to be unable to return to work, eligible employees who are unable to work due to a work-related injury may be covered under the University’s Long Term Disability policy as well as on-going benefits through the Workers Compensation program. The Long Term Disability policy provides certain additional benefits other than income replacement.