Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits Program Takes Effect Sunday


Division of Unemployment Insurance to accept claims online

BALTIMORE, MD (September 30, 2011) - Effective October 2, 2011, certain individuals will be eligible to receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. During this year's legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor Martin O'Malley signed "Extended Benefits" (EB) legislation amending the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law to provide an additional 13 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who have exhausted their 26 weeks of Maryland unemployment insurance benefits and 47 weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.

"While Maryland's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, far too many Marylanders lost their jobs during this national recession and far too many have been out of work for far too long," said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. "The Extended Benefits program allows us to strengthen a safety net for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. As we move forward on the road to recovery, we must continue to arm all workers, and especially those looking for work, with the skills to compete in the New Economy. This program is one of many tools to keep us better positioned to recover quickly, sustainably and more permanently than other states."

To be eligible for the extended benefits, individuals must still be unemployed, be ineligible for any other type of unemployment insurance benefits and meet all of the requirements of the Extended Benefits law. The EB Program requires more intensive work search efforts and expands the type of jobs that are considered suitable for a long-term unemployed individual.

The Division of Unemployment Insurance, which is administered by the Maryland Labor Department, will send letters on September 30th and October 1st to approximately 58,000 individuals who may be eligible to file for Extended Benefits. Each letter contains a unique key code for individuals to file via the Internet. An online application will be made available on the Division of Unemployment Insurance website at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 3. Paper applications will also be included with a return envelope for those who choose to use that option. Claims are not being taken by telephone due to the anticipated large volume.

The Extended Benefits program will be in effect until December 31, 2011. Individuals who are receiving Extended Benefits at the end of the year may continue to receive all 13 weeks of benefits; however, no new claims may be accepted.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.