AUGUSTA — Big changes are coming to Maine’s unemployment benefits system.

The Maine Department of Labor says that its telephone and website claims systems will be unavailable while they’re being upgraded between Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday.

The department says the new system will include more internet-based self-service features and allow claimants to create personal accounts. It will also allow claimants to receive messages, like alerts about job fairs or training opportunities.

Officials are asking for patience once the new system goes live. The department is asking residents who usually file on Sunday or Monday to consider holding off until later in the week.