State has paid out on 80% of unemployment claims since March, Labor Dept. says

The Maryland Department of Labor has reported that of the 796,276 complete unemployment claims filed from March 9 to October 31, 754,954 (94.8%) have been processed with 637,596 (80.1%) receiving benefit payments and 117,358 (14.7%) being denied for not meeting state or federal program requirements.

“Of the claims that have already been denied, the large majority were denied because claimants had issues related to the separation from their most recent employer or were determined to be monetarily ineligible,” Labor Department officials said in a press release late last week.

According to their data, 41,322 (5.2%) of claims are pending. Of those, 40,627 (98.3%) are disputed and pending further investigation.

“Under the law, these claims cannot be processed until they are investigated due to conflicting information provided by the claimant and the claimant’s previous employer.” Labor officials said.

According to their report, 1,419 claims (0.2%) are being evaluated for other issues.

Maryland has, during the period from March 9 to October 31, paid a total of $7,846,328,268 in state and federal unemployment insurance benefits to claimants.

“This total amount includes $3,704,090,545 in regular benefits, $3,889,611,412 in PUA benefits, $228,596,907 in PEUC benefits, and $24,029,404 in Extended Benefits,” said state labor officials.

On guard against fraud

“With fraudsters continuing to target unemployment insurance programs across the country, Maryland must maintain the heightened security measures in place to protect taxpayers and the integrity of the state’s program,” labor officials said.

Maryland’s updated online unemployment management system detected “illegitimate traffic and blocked fraudsters attempting to file tens of thousands of new claims.” Officials said those fraud attempts included real Social Security numbers and addresses.

Of the 107,125 out-of-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 98,184 (91.6%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.

Of the 80,035 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 59,005 (73.7%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.

There are currently 4,969 (2.6% of all claims marked as potentially fraudulent) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending manual review and verification by a team of specialists, said Maryland Department of Labor officials.

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