Division of Unemployment Insurance
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Overview of Programs
On December 27, the federal COVID-19 relief package, called the “Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act” that extends the CARES Act programs and provides additional federal unemployment benefits, was signed into law.
Read the details of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act and CARES Act Benefit Program scenarios that may impact you.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Provides benefits to claimants that are not eligible for traditional UI benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those without sufficient work history.
- Federal government has renewed the PUA program by providing an additional 11 weeks of benefits to claimants, for a total of 50 weeks.
- PUA program extension is available from the week ending January 2, 2021, through week ending April 10, 2021.
- No new PUA claims may be filed after March 13, 2021.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- Provides an additional $300 per week for those who receive unemployment benefits during the weeks ending January 2, 2021, to March 13, 2021.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Provides benefits to claimants after they have exhausted their regular UI benefits.
- Regular UI benefits must have been exhausted on or after July 1, 2019.
- Federal government has renewed the PEUC program by providing an additional 11 weeks of benefits to claimants, for a total of 24 weeks.
- PEUC program extension is available from the week ending January 2, 2021, through week ending April 10, 2021.
- No new PEUC claims may be filed after March 13, 2021.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC)
- Payable for weeks ending Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, to Saturday, March 13, 2021.
- Provides an additional $100 weekly benefit payment to claimants that are receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or Work Sharing benefits. It is NOT available to PUA claimants.
- To be eligible, claimants must provide documentation that they earned at least $5,000 (net) in SELF-EMPLOYMENT Income in the prior taxable year.
- Applications for the MEUC program are not available yet. Labor will notify potentially eligible claimants.
Next Steps for Claimants
The Maryland Department of Labor is excited to announce that we have begun taking claims and issuing payments for the three extended Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act unemployment programs. All claimants will receive a detailed email outlining the next steps they should take.
If you are a PUA, PEUC or former EB claimant, please take the appropriate action below in order to receive benefits, if eligible:
- If you have an Action Item to file a weekly claim certification, please complete it.
- If you have a Reopen Claim link in the left hand margin, please select it to reopen your claim. Once you have completed the additional questions, you will be able to file a claim certification, if eligible.
- There is a certain population of claimants who will need to reapply for regular unemployment insurance benefits per federal requirements because W-2 wages have been detected in their base period due to the quarter change. If you have an Apply for Benefits link in the left hand margin of your portal, please select it to apply for benefits. This population of claimants will receive communication clarifying this process through email or their BEACON portal.
If you are a regular unemployment insurance claimant, please continue to file your weekly claim certifications like normal.
$300 FPUC Benefit Payment
All claimants who are eligible to receive benefits will automatically receive the new FPUC amount of $300 on top of their regular benefit amount beginning the week ending January 2, 2021 through the week ending March 13, 2021 as long as they remain eligible for benefits and file their weekly claim certification.
Triggered Off Extended Benefit Unemployment Insurance Program
The U.S. Department of Labor has informed the Maryland Department of Labor that Maryland has officially “triggered off” of the federally funded unemployment insurance program known as “Extended Benefits” or “EB”. According to the notification from the U.S. Department of Labor, the final benefit week of the Extended Benefits program was the week ending Saturday, December 12, 2020.
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
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 https://bit.ly/AppleMDBEACON. To download the app in the Google Play Store, please visit https://bit.ly/GoogleMDBEACON.
For questions regarding BEACON 2.0, please e-mail UI.Inquiry@maryland.gov, 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
- 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)
Introducing the BEACON claimant application
Account Activation and Login
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
Employers and Third Party Agents, take a look at BEACON tutorial videos for you.
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
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.
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.
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.
- COVID-19 FAQs for Claimants and Employers
- Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) FAQs
- BEACON FAQs
- CARES Act FAQs
- Work Search Exemption FAQs
- Weekly Claim Certification FAQs
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) FAQs
- Benefit Payment and Bank of America Debit Card FAQs
- Work Sharing Program FAQs
- Employer Bulk Claims FAQs
- Employer 1st Quarter Report FAQs
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Additional State Resources
If you are in need of additional financial assistance, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has created a Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders. The guide summarizes some of the many COVID-19 financial relief programs and consumer protections that are available for Maryland residents and their families.
You may be eligible for additional supportive benefits and services through the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). In addition to cash and food purchasing support, you may qualify for counseling and other services. Find out what services may be available for you by completing an initial application online or you may contact DHS' 24-hour helpline at 1-800-332-6347.
For additional state resources from the state departments of Labor, Human Resources, and Housing and Community Development, please visit the State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services.
- Important Information about Maryland's Unemployment Insurance 2021 Tax Rates
- New Employer Account Registration
- File and Pay Quarterly Contribution Report
- Submit a Request for Separation Information
- State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES)
- Owe Taxes? No Driver's License or Vehicle Registration Renewal
- Control Your Unemployment Insurance Costs
- Forms and Publications
- Employment Related Posters and Notices
- Online Applications
- Contact Information
Live Agent - 667-207-6520
IVR Number – 410-949-0022
For Hearing Impaired Only:
Maryland Relay dial 711
Baltimore area - 410-949-0033
Toll free within the US - 1-800-492-5524
MD Unemployment Insurance Tax MVA License Renewal - 410-767-2699
- Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claim Review Data
- UI Weekly Claims by County
- Avoiding Debit Card Fraud
- New Procedures for Employer Contribution Reports
- Governor Larry Hogan Announces Cuts in Unemployment Insurance Taxes
- Unemployment Insurance Payment Plan Information
- Division of Unemployment Insurance Warns Claimants Against Fraudulent Websites
- Resource Guide for the Unemployed
- Find a Job in Maryland
- Maryland New Hire Registry
- Assistance from the MD Dept. of Human Resources
- Official Payments
- Job Dislocation, Making Smart Financial Choices after a Job Loss
El desempleo y sus finanzas: Cómo tomar decisiones inteligentes al perder su empleo
- Info about tax benefits and FREE tax preparation
- Financial help with the cost of health coverage