The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) last week provided important updates about the implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Eligible Marylanders began seeing their additional $600 per week payments on Friday, April 17. This Friday, April 24, the department will be launching a new one-stop unemployment insurance application to allow all newly eligible Marylanders to file all types of claims entirely online.
This includes those who are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, such as those who are self-employed, and individuals who were previously required to file by phone.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 300,000 individuals have applied for unemployment insurance benefits and are facing economic hardships. These Marylanders are family, friends, neighbors, and business owners in our communities. We know how important it is to get them the benefits they need and deserve,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program launched on April 17. This program provides unemployment insurance benefit recipients with an additional $600 per week payment on top of their current regular benefits.
Current and future claimants who are eligible for benefits the week ending April 4 will see this additional $600 per week payment on the day of their next regularly scheduled payment by 5 p.m.
Marylanders will receive benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility, so many individuals may see $1,200 deposited on their debit card to cover this payment for the past two weeks.
The new one-stop unemployment insurance application being released this Friday will implement the two remaining CARES Act programs.
Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or who have exhausted their benefits since July 1, 2019 and are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will now be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility.
These individuals should visit MDunemployment.com and enter their email address to receive important information and instructions about filing their new claim.
The new application will also allow individuals who were previously required to file by phone, like those who are federal employees, members of the military, have worked in multiple states, and have worked for more than three employers in the last 18 months to now file online.
The new online application will also implement the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. New claimants and those who are already receiving benefits will automatically receive an additional 13 weeks of benefits under the CARES Act. Current eligible claimants do not need to take any additional steps to receive these extended benefits. The Maryland Department of Labor will be directly contacting Marylanders who have recently exhausted their benefits, so they can also use this new online application to reapply and receive the additional 13 weeks they are entitled to.
The state agency has partnered with a vendor to bring in 200 additional call and claim takers to provide additional support to our claim centers. They are also in the process of reassigning over 150 current state employees and hiring over 100 new unemployment insurance employees. These actions will more than double the staffing at claim centers located throughout the state.
Individuals can apply for Labor’s 100 new unemployment insurance positions online. The recruitment process has been streamlined to ensure that new employees are hired and trained as fast as possible.
Claim center hours
Claim center hours have been further extended to be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The agency will continue to expand hours and increase accessibility as necessary, so all Marylanders receive the assistance they need.
For more information about unemployment insurance in Maryland during COVID-19, visit MDunemployment.com.