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Division of Unemployment Insurance

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Important Update to Weekly Claim Certification Question

Due to guidance that the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance has received from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the claim certification that you complete to request benefits each week will be updated. Claimants will be asked to provide the COVID-19 related reason for their inability or unavailability for work beginning December 4, 2020. When you complete your weekly claim certification, you may be asked to indicate which of the eleven (11) COVID-19 related eligibility criteria you satisfy. Please read or listen to the additional options carefully. Attached is a picture of how the additional options will appear in the claim certification in BEACON. You will be able to select all of the applicable reasons from those listed below:

  • I was diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and sought a medical diagnosis.
  • A member of my household was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • I was providing care for a family member or a member of my household who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • A child or other person in the household for which I have primary caregiving responsibility was unable to attend school or another facility that was closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care was required for me to work.
  • I was unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • I was unable to reach the place of employment because I was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • I was scheduled to commence employment and did not have a job or was unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • I became the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • I had to quit my job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • My place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • I worked as an independent contractor with reportable income and the COVID-19 public health emergency severely limited my ability to continue performing my customary work activities, and thereby forced me to suspend such activities.

Please rest assured that the reason you select will NOT delay or deny your benefit payments. This change is necessary to conform with the requirements provided by USDOL.

Unemployment Insurance weekly certification questions

BEACON 2.0 System


The fully modernized BEACON 2.0 unemployment insurance system launched for claimants and for employers.

BEACON 2.0 is a multi-year project dating back to 2015 that integrates all benefits, appeals, tax, and reemployment functions of the unemployment insurance system. BEACON 2.0 is replacing a legacy mainframe IT system that is several decades old.

In addition to all that claimants can already accomplish in the current BEACON One-Stop application, launched to accommodate the unprecedented surge of new claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BEACON 2.0 system will offer claimants and employers dozens of new online features.

Claimant Portal User Guide and Glossary

The Claimant Portal User Guide and Glossary are available to help unemployment insurance claimants navigate their BEACON accounts, and learn more about the information and features available.

Download the Claimant Mobile App

The BEACON mobile app called “MD Unemployment for Claimants” is available to download for free from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. The mobile app allows claimants to easily file their weekly claim certifications, view and update claimant information, and more directly from their mobile device. To download the app in the iOS App Store, please visit To download the app in the Google Play Store, please visit

The BEACON mobile app is available on the App Store

Get the BEACON mobile app on Google Play

Need Help?

For questions regarding BEACON 2.0, please e-mail, file an inquiry using our new Inquiry Form or call an agent at 667-207-6520. Please include your full legal name, complete address, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of your Social Security number, claimant ID number, and/or a brief description of the issue you are experiencing.


The new BEACON 2.0 system offers dozens of new features and will greatly improve the user experience for both claimants and employers. Check out the new functionalities and upgraded features below:

New Features for Claimants

Claimants will now be able to:

  • Receive immediate updates regarding their claim status, including up-to-date information about their eligibility
  • Retrieve correspondence and other claimant information
  • Review benefit payment history
  • Respond to fact-finding requests (as required) for additional information
  • Submit supporting documents for Adjudication or Appeals
  • File appeals
  • Track and pay overpayments
  • Use reemployment services
  • Maintain their portal account

Existing Features for Claimants

Claimants will still be able to:

  • Access their unemployment insurance claim 24 hours / 7 days per week
  • File initial claims for all program types:
    • Regular UI
    • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
    • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)
    • Combined Wage Claim (CWC) - Maryland and Out-of-State Claim
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Extended Benefits (EB)
    • Workshare Claimants
    • Trade Claimants
  • File weekly claim certifications
  • Update Account details
    • Name
    • Address
    • E-mail
  • Update requests for Tax withholding
  • Mobile App
  • Review benefit payment history

New Features for Employers

Employers will now be able to:

  • Submit required reports and information
  • Update their account information such as address, contact, and ownership
  • Access their tax rate and other UI-related information
  • Submit wage reports and pay contributions
  • Submit adjustments to previously filed wage reports
  • Respond to Requests for Separation information
  • File an Appeal
  • Submit supporting documents for Appeals or Adjudication
  • View all correspondence generated by the system
  • Set up an agent to manage their account
  • Get assistance by contacting the new employer/agent call center at 410-949-0033 (starting Monday, September 21, 2020)
  • Mobile App coming soon

New Features for Third Party Agents

Agents will now be able to:

  • Submit a power of attorney online and access their customer’s account based on their privileges granted by the power of attorney
  • File wage reports on behalf of their clients
  • Make contribution payments on behalf of their clients
  • File Appeals on behalf of their clients
  • Obtain rate information for their clients
  • Get assistance by contacting the new employer/agent call center at 410-949-0033 (starting Monday, September 21, 2020)

BEACON Claimant Tutorial Videos

Introducing the BEACON claimant application

Account Activation and Login

Account Registration

Account Maintenance

Account Navigation

Updating Benefit Payment Information and Income Tax Withholding

Filing Your Weekly Certification

Filing An Appeal

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) application

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly claim request

Overview of Claimant Portal

View and Complete an Action Item

Viewing Correspondence

Viewing Messages

Employers and Third Party Agents, take a look at BEACON tutorial videos for you.

Claimant and Employer Contact Information

The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s website and call centers are currently experiencing an unprecedented volume of users due to COVID-19. This may result in longer than usual wait times. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience during these uncertain times.

Please be assured that Maryland does not have a waiting week like many other states do. No matter when or how they file, Marylanders become eligible for benefits starting the day after they separated from employment. Your payment will be backdated to the date you became unemployed, not when your claim was processed. If you are determined to be eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.

Important Contact Information and Links

Online Applications

We strongly encourage you to utilize our online BEACON application to file your claim, which is available online 24/7.

Claimant Phone Number

  • To contact a live agent to file a new claim or inquire about an existing claim, please call 667-207-6520, toll free.
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have more than doubled our Claims Center staffing and have further extended hours. Live claims agents are available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Claimants now have the option to call us seven days a week.
  • If you call during business hours, you may provide a callback number. When an agent becomes available, the system will call the number and connect you with an agent. You may also be offered the opportunity to connect with a virtual agent to have questions answered by smartphone.

Employer and Agent Phone Number

  • The Employer Call Center will be available beginning September 21, 2020 and can be reached at 410-949-0033.
  • If you need activating your employer or agent account in BEACON, please contact the Account Activation Hotline at 410-767-8997.

Connect with IVR System to File Telecerts and More

  • To connect with the new IVR system available 24/7, call 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839, toll free. Please listen carefully as the voice and many prompts have changed.
  • Using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, claimants can file weekly claim certifications for both regular and pandemic unemployment insurance claims by phone. Claimants can also file a telecert for multiple weeks, reset their PIN number, check their payment status, receive filing instructions, and more without having to connect with a claims agent.

Inquiry Form

You may file an inquiry with our Inquiry Form. Simply complete the requested information and enter a brief description of your question. You will receive a tracking number to follow-up on the response to your question.

Virtual Agent

You may also chat with our Virtual Assistant on our Division of Unemployment Insurance homepage. Simply click on the blue “Chat with us” bar in the lower right hand corner of the screen. An area to type in your question will appear.

$300 Lost Wages Assistance Program Available September 11

The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which provides an additional $300 per week to Marylanders who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, launched ahead of schedule on Friday, September 11. After being initially approved for three weeks of LWA funding, Maryland has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for three additional weeks, for a total of six weeks of $300 federal payments.

To qualify for the $300 in federal benefits retroactive to the weeks ending August 1, 2020 through September 5, 2020, the federal program requires that claimants be eligible for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100. Claimants will not need to file a separate application and will be notified of their eligibility for the LWA program in their BEACON portal and by e-mail. Upon logging into their BEACON portal, eligible claimants will be prompted to self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Claimants may also use the mobile app to complete the self-certification.

The self-certification can only be completed once, so please review and answer carefully. If a claimant completes the self-certification incorrectly, they will not be able to correct it without the assistance of an agent. If claimants are NOT monetarily eligible for the LWA program, then they will not be presented with the self-certification and cannot apply for LWA benefits because they are ineligible.

After certifying that they have been unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions due to COVID-19, claimants will receive a lump sum payment retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility within the LWA program within 1-2 days. This payment may be on a different day than a claimant regularly receives benefits. FEMA has stated that no additional funding will be available for states past the sixth week.

Per guidance from USDOL, FEMA will fund the $300 per week benefit and Maryland will fulfill the 25% state match through funding that is already paid to claimants in regular unemployment insurance benefits.

A claimant filing a new application for unemployment insurance benefits will have the opportunity to complete the self-certification form during the initial application process. However, the claimant must still meet the eligibility requirements in order to receive the LWA federal benefits.

For more information about the Lost Wages Assistance program, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Extended Benefit Unemployment Insurance Program

Under federal and state law, the Extended Benefits program is now available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance. The extended benefit period began on May 31, 2020, but was not payable until recently due to the requirement that claimants exhaust PEUC before receiving extended benefits.

Upon exhausting regular and PEUC benefits, Labor will issue written notification to all potentially eligible claimants informing them they can apply for the Extended Benefits program in their BEACON portal. If a claimant is determined to be eligible, the weekly benefit amount will be the same as the claimant received under the regular and PEUC programs.

CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Programs

The federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which included an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits for Marylanders. Please read our CARES Act FAQs for more information about benefit eligibility, duration, and amounts.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • Individuals who are not usually eligible for regular UI and who cannot work due to COVID-19 are eligible for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits, which includes $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
  • These individuals include those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, have insufficient work history, and more.
  • Effective January 27, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) - EXPIRED

  • $600 per week on top of current regular UI benefits.
  • Effective March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020 (last paid week ends Saturday, July 25, 2020).
  • If you have questions specifically about the $600 weekly payment, please visit our Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation FAQs.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • 13 additional weeks of UI benefits.
  • Effective from March 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  • Covers individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular UC under state or federal law; have no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law; are not receiving compensation under the UC laws of Canada; and are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.

COVID-19 Work Search Exemption

Due to the state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor of Maryland, and the labor conditions across the state of Maryland, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) has ordered a temporary exemption from the work search requirement for individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Labor will exempt all current and new unemployment insurance benefit recipients from the requirement to actively seek work while Maryland is in a declared State of Emergency and for thirty (30) days after. However, recipients MUST CONTINUE TO FILE WEEKLY CLAIM CERTIFICATIONS, either through the online Weekly Claim Certification or by calling 410-949-0022.

When you file your certification, you will be asked whether you have searched for work. Please respond accurately. Because of the exemption, even if you answer “No,” you will still receive your benefits. If you have questions about the exemption, please visit our Work Search Exemption FAQs. If you have questions about filing your weekly claim, please visit our Weekly Claim Certification FAQs.

Claimants who are selected to participate in a federally-required reemployment workshop during this period will be required to complete a one-on-one telephone session with a reemployment facilitator. However, claimants will not be required to complete the activities detailed in their Individual Reemployment Plan (IRP) until the state of emergency has been lifted.

Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Activity

Report Fraud

If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Benefit Payment Control Unit by completing a “Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud” form and e-mailing it to

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please read the Maryland State Police's Identity Theft Protection Quick Guide. For more information about identity theft, please visit the Commissioner of Financial Regulation identity theft page.

Claimant Information:
Live Agent - 667-207-6520
IVR Number – 410-949-0022
For Hearing Impaired Only:
Maryland Relay dial 711

Employer Information:
Baltimore area - 410-949-0033
Toll free within the US - 1-800-492-5524
MD Unemployment Insurance Tax MVA License Renewal - 410-767-2699

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Dayne Freeman, Assistant Secretary
Dayne Freeman,
Assistant Secretary