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Maryland Unemployment Benefits

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Maryland unemployment insurance (UI) is a statewide program that provides unemployed workers with financial support while they are in between jobs. As a result, claimants who meet the program’s eligibility for unemployment requirements may use these funds to support themselves and their families. UI, which is also referred to as unemployment compensation (UC), is funded through employers’ tax dollars. Furthermore, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR) is responsible for maintaining the state’s UI program.

Claimants may be wondering how to apply for unemployment online or where else they may submit their petitions. These questions, along with information regarding what happens when an applicant is denied unemployment and how a petitioner may claim unemployment benefits is outlined below.

What is unemployment in Maryland?

The Maryland unemployment benefits program is available to local employees who have recently lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These individuals may use their UC stipends to cover living costs for themselves and their families as they search for new work opportunities. Throughout the state, candidates may enroll in unemployment for a maximum of 26 weeks. Furthermore, the maximum weekly benefits amount (WBA) that petitioners may receive throughout their unemployment claim is $430. Candidates should be aware that this total is the absolute most that they may receive. In many cases, petitioners with dependents may be eligible to receive additional funds in their unemployment insurance benefits package. In general, applicants with dependents may be eligible to receive up to $8 for up to five children. However, claimants who qualify to receive the $430 are ineligible to receive additional funds, regardless whether or not they have children. On the other hand, the minimum WBA enrollees may receive is $50.

UI coverage in Maryland is intended to serve as a temporary support system for enrollees. Therefore, the program puts various stipulations in place that are intended to aid beneficiaries in the reemployment process. In order to ensure applicants are employed by the end of their UC claim, the program requires candidates to actively search for work each week they collect benefits.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Maryland?

There are specific eligibility for unemployment qualifications in Maryland that applicants must meet in order to enroll in the program. These requirements are divided into two categories: monetary and non-monetary. The DLLR determines monetary eligibility by examining how much income applicants earned during their base periods. For UI purposes, the base period refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. In total, the base period equals 12 months. In order for the DLLR to determine if petitioners meet the MD unemployment benefit eligibility requirements, applicants must submit record of all income they received during their base periods. Afterward, the DLLR will mail applicants their Determinations of Monetary Eligibility. However, if applicants do not meet the monetary qualifications for unemployment using a standard base period, the DLLR may use the alternate base period to calculate eligibility.

In order for the DLLR to determine unemployment insurance eligibility, petitioners must report any wages they received since losing their jobs. In addition to earned income, this figure must include any of the following: severance pay, pension, holiday pay, vacation pay or back pay. If these total sums equal more than what the claimants would be eligible to receive through UC, they may be disqualified from the program.

When determining who qualifies for unemployment, the DLLR also examines non-monetary aspects of the petitioners’ applications. Furthermore, the department usually looks for these qualifications after it has determined whether or not claimants are financially eligible to receive UI. Regardless, the eligibility for UC requirements that the DLLR will examine include:

  • Work availability In order to qualify for UC, applicants must be able to work a full-time job, should an employer extend a suitable offer to them. This means that claimants may not have scheduling conflicts that would prevent them from accepting an opportunity. Examples of scenarios that would disqualify petitioners from receiving UC would be having unreliable transportation, not having adequate child care or taking classes that would interfere with a full-time work schedule.
  • Work search – Beyond being able to accept full-time employment, applicants must prove they are actively searching for work opportunities. This is a major requirement throughout the UI enrollment process, as well. However, petitioners may prove their dedication to the reemployment process by demonstration any job search tasks they have completed since losing their positions.
  • Job loss – The DLLR must know why petitioners are currently unemployed. This means that claimants must accurately explain the circumstances that led to their job losses. In order to qualify for UC, candidates must be out of work due to circumstances that were out of their control. Situations that could disqualify applicants from receiving UC would be if they quit their previous jobs without good reason or were fired due to misconduct.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Maryland?

Most claimants wonder how to apply for unemployment online in Maryland because this is the quickest way to file a UI petition. An online application for unemployment is available on the state’s website. However, candidates without reliable internet access may choose to submit their materials to a DLLR representative over the phone. Regardless how petitioners choose to apply for unemployment benefits, they must include the following information in their materials:

  • Identifying information – Claimants must report their Social Security Numbers, addresses and telephone numbers.
  • Dependents’ information – Petitioners who will be claiming dependents must include their children’s names, birth dates and Social Security Numbers.
  • Employment history – Applicants need to list all employers they worked for in the 18 months prior to when they filed their claims. Among this information, claimants must include the names, payroll addresses, phone numbers and reasons for separation for each of these employers.
  • Additional information – Candidates who fall into specific categories must disclose additional information to the DLLR. For example, non-citizens must report their Alien Registration numbers. Similarly, military personnel must submit their DD214, Member 4, and federal employees should include their Form-50 or SF-8, if possible.

When petitioners file for an unemployment claim, they must remember to submit their applications in the states they worked in. If candidates do not live in the state where they work, they still must file for unemployment where they worked and not the state they live in.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Maryland?

Claimants and employers may need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, should the DLLR request additional information regarding the applicants’ petitions. While not always necessary, the DLLR may require either or both parties to participate in an unemployment phone interview. These conversations are more common in situations when applicants lost their jobs for reasons besides labor shortages, such as layoffs. The questions asked during unemployment insurance interview will directly relate to the areas of concern the DLLR has regarding the petitioners’ applications. Therefore, each interview is unique.

An unemployment interview with employer is common when the DLLR has questions relating to why petitioners lost their jobs. In these instances, the employers’ answers will be fact-checked against what the claimants declared in their applications. Afterward, the DLLR will typically conduct an unemployment interview with claimant to gain additional information about the issue at hand. These conversations vary in length. In order to prepare for these conversations, employers and petitioners should bring the following documents, if they are applicable to their cases:

  • The employee manual.
  • Email correspondence relating to workplace performance with either the human resources department or the claimants’ supervisors.
  • Exit interview notes the human resources department representatives took when the petitioners left their positions.
  • Written warnings the petitioners’ supervisors issued during the claimants’ time with the company.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Maryland?

In order to claim unemployment benefits in Maryland, enrollees must complete various steps each week they receive payment. Every seven days, beneficiaries must file a report that details how they spent their week and how much income they earned. Program participants must submit this weekly unemployment benefits claim certification over the phone or online. Regardless how they recertify, enrollees must provide the following information in their reports:

  • Income – Enrollees must report all monetary compensation they earned throughout the week. This includes wages, pension and unpaid vacation or personal time.
  • Work availability – Each week, beneficiaries must certify that they have no scheduling conflicts that would deter them from accepting full-time employment opportunities.
  • Enrollment – To receive UC, aceptees must enroll with the Maryland Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL). Once applicants register, they must use this division’s services to access work search guidance.

Furthermore, recipients who are claiming benefits for unemployment need to complete the state’s job search requirements. Each week they receive UC benefits, enrollees must be sure to make at least three legitimate work contacts each week. Approved forms of contact include reaching out to prospective employers:

  • Via email.
  • In-person.
  • Over the phone.
  • Through fax.

When recipients claim UC benefits, they must be sure to include their contacts’ names, addresses and how the enrollees contacted these potential employers. It is imperative that beneficiaries are diligent in their work search efforts because the DLLR may periodically audit these claims.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Maryland?

Applicants who are denied unemployment benefits in MD have the legal right to file an appeal. Likewise, employers who disagree with the DLLR’s rulings also may submit an appeal. Regardless, either party has 15 days from the determination’s mailing date to file these petitions. A denied unemployment benefits appeal must be submitted in writing, and the state does not accept requests sent via email. Therefore, petitioners must mail or fax their requests to the state’s Lower Appeals Division.

In order to prepare for the unemployment benefits denied hearing, claimants must consult the Notice of Benefit Determination the DLLR mailed them. These documents provide a summary of why the department denied their cases. In order to prepare for the trials with the hearing examiners, applicants must understand this reasoning. Similarly, petitioners should focus on providing supporting documentation or witnesses that prove their cases. Throughout the unemployment denial appeal hearing, claimants or their former employers also may have legal representation present. However, this is not a requirement for these trials.

After the denied UI appeals hearing ends, the examiners will mail their determinations to participants. If either party agrees with these decisions, they may appeal again. However, this time, they must direct their petitions to the Board of Appeals.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Maryland?  

Unless a Maryland unemployment benefits extension is in place, petitioners are unable to enroll in UI benefits beyond the state’s 26-week maximum. Congress must authorize the federal unemployment extension, which is available on either a statewide or national basis. While not common, this unemployment extension provides enrollees who have exhausted their UC benefits for the year with additional funds. The DLLR will notify eligible candidates when the program becomes available.

How do I contact the Maryland unemployment office?

The Maryland unemployment office has outposts in major cities throughout the state. In addition to calling the unemployment office, employers and claimants may visit these locations and ask their questions in person. The Baltimore UI office is located at:

500 N Calvert Street #401

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


When should I apply for unemployment insurance?

Right away. You shouldn’t wait to file an unemployment claim in the state of Maryland. As in most states, Maryland doesn’t consider the date that you were fired when providing benefits. Rather, the day you file your claim is when your unemployment benefits go into effect.

How much will I get paid from unemployment?

The amount you will be paid depends on your past earnings. However, the current maximum benefit amount in the state of Maryland is $430 per week.What is the Maryland UI Benefits Debit Card?The Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card is issued to every individual who qualifies for unemployment insurance in the state of Maryland. The card act just like debit card and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

How will I receive my benefits?

All individuals who receive unemployment benefits in the state of Maryland get their benefits through the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card. This is the only method the state uses to pay out benefits as they stopped issuing checks back in 2009.

Maryland Unemployment Office Locations