The state is predicting long wait times for people calling about their unemployment claims when the Department of Labor reopens Wednesday.

The Unemployment Customer Service Claims Center will be open for calls during its regular schedule, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., but the agency is predicting high call volumes and long wait times on the phone, so it is advising people to use its online services to check on the status of their claims beginning July 6, which is when all pending claims filed after June 29 will be processed, to avoid calling the department.

Initial claims for benefits, or when someone has never filed for unemployment benefits in Maine or hasn’t filed for unemployment in the last 12 months, can be filed through the website. Claimants filing a weekly unemployment benefit can use the automated telephone service at 1-800-593-7660 or the website to file a continued claim.

Anyone who had a meeting, counselor appointment, hearing, recruitment or other event that was canceled by the department in anticipation of the shutdown should expect a call from a department representative to affirm the original time or reschedule.

All Department of Labor online services remain available at

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