Unemployment Insurance Benefits
COVID-19 Information Update
The Federal stimulus bill, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), greatly expands unemployment insurance benefits. Some of the changes include:
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If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Labor's (DOL) Division of Unemployment Insurance handles the Unemployment Insurance program.
Eligibility - Unemployment benefits may be available if you:
- are unemployed through no fault of their own;
- earned a certain minimum amount in wages before you were unemployed; AND
- are able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work.
There are no income or asset eligibility requirements to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Benefit Amount - The weekly benefit amount is the amount of money you may receive and ranges from $50 to $430. The weekly benefit amount is based upon the amount of money you earned from your previous employers during a specific time period as well as other factors (e.g., number of dependents). Learn more about the weekly benefit amount from the DOL's website.
Duration of Benefits - Unemployment benefits are available for up to 26 weeks. Benefits may exceed 26 weeks if a federal extension program is available. If this is the case, then the DOL will notify you that there is an extension in effect.
Read the Regulations: Code of Md. Regulation, Title 9, Subtitle 32
You will need:
- your social security number, address, and phone number;
- if you are claiming dependents, their names, dates of birth, and social security numbers; and
- the name(s), complete payroll address, telephone number, and the reason you are no longer working for each employer you worked for during the 18 month time period prior to the date you are applying for benefits.
After an individual applies for benefits, a claims examiner determines whether that person will be awarded benefits.
- You might receive a letter advising you that a claims examiner will be calling you to conduct a telephone interview to discuss your claim.
- After the interview process is concluded, you will receive a written decision advising you whether or not you are entitled to receive benefits.
Also, after you file your initial application for benefits, you must continue to file claims for benefits every week to continue to be paid your weekly benefits.
If your unemployment insurance benefits claim is denied, you can file an appeal. An employer can also appeal a decision to grant benefits to a former employee. The DOL's Appeals Division handles these appeals.
You will receive a written decision advising you of whether or not you are entitled to receive benefits. This letter will include detailed information about the date your appeal is due and where to mail, fax, or hand-deliver your written appeal.
- The appeal must be in writing.
- Submit the appeal by mail, fax, or in person.
- File the appeal within 15 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed. It is very important that you file your appeal on time.
If an appeal has been filed, you will receive a notice advising you of the date, time, and location of your hearing before a Hearing Examiner or a notice with instructions if your hearing is scheduled as a telephone hearing.
- It is very important that you appear for or participate in your hearing.
- If you fail to appear for your hearing, even if you are not the one who filed the appeal, you risk having your benefits denied.
After your hearing, the Hearing Examiner will issue a written decision after your hearing.
- You or your former employer can appeal that decision to the Board of Appeals.
- The Hearing Examiner’s decision will advise you of the deadline date for filing your appeal and provides the address and fax number to which you must file your written appeal. It is very important that you file your appeal by the deadline.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Labor and Employment Title 8, Subtitle 5, § 8-806
Read the Regulations: Code of Md. Regulations, Title 9, Subtitle 32, Chapter 11
If you disagree with the Hearing Examiner's decision, you can appeal the decision to the Board of Appeals.
- The appeal must be in writing.
- Include your name, current address, and either your appeal number or your Social Security number.
- Submit the appeal by mail, fax, or in-person.
- The written decision of the Hearing Examiner will have the deadline for filing an appeal at the very end of the decision. You must appeal within 15 days after the notice of the hearing examiner's decision was mailed to you or otherwise delivered to you. Under certain circumstances, an employer may have 30 days to file an appeal. It is very important that you file your appeal by the deadline.
The Board of Appeals can:
- review the Hearing Examiner’s decision and issue its own written decision;
- can hold another hearing; OR
- deny review of your appeal.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Labor and Employment Title 8, Subtitle 5a
Read the Regulations: Code of Md. Regulations Title 9, Subtitle 32, Chapter 6
You can appeal the Board's written decision (even if it denies review of your appeal) to the Circuit Court in any county in Maryland. The Court's review is limited to the record, and you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence or new testimony. Learn more about appealing an administrative decision.
Read the Rules: Md. Rules, Title 7, Chapter 200
More information about appeals is available on DOL's website.
The Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest contains summaries of the Board of Appeals’ decisions and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals’ decisions on the sections of the law most used by hearing examiners. The digest is a valuable tool for those building an unemployment insurance case.