Some people calling Maine unemployment claims centers may see a delay in getting their questions answered this afternoon, Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said in a news release.

Systems that are used to help unemployment representatives answer questions will be unavailable after 1 p.m., Fortman said.

The system will be unavailable because software changes required as a result of the ending of federal unemployment programs must be made. Normally, these changes can be processed during nonbusiness hours. However, doing so would have meant a delay in processing unemployment benefits to approximately 6,000 people. Deposits may not happen until Wednesday afternoon.

All efforts have been directed toward getting benefits to people who are expecting the payment before the Thanksgiving holiday. In order to do so, portions of the claims system must be shut down.

People who need to file for benefits will still be able to do so through the website,, or through the automated telephone system, 1-800-593-7660. Callers who need to speak with a representative are asked to wait until Wednesday when all systems will be available.

Claims staff from the Maine Department of Labor staff will report early on Wednesday– at 7 a.m. — to handle unemployment claims questions.