DLLR Getting Out New Federal Jobless Benefits Before Holidays


BALTIMORE (12/11/09)-- The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's Division of Unemployment Insurance announced today that it received more than 10,000 online applications in the first week of availability of the new federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which provides up to 14 weeks of additional benefits for people who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits.

"I want to thank Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Congressman Ruppersberger and Maryland's entire federal delegation for fighting on behalf of those Marylanders who find themselves out of work through no fault of their own. I also want to commend the dedicated state employees at the Division of Unemployment Insurance for going beyond the call to make sure that unemployed Marylanders who are struggling to find new jobs have the assistance they need to support their families through the holiday season and beyond," Governor Martin O'Malley said.

Maryland is one of the first states to implement the new benefits program and to begin taking and processing applications. Eligible benefits recipients may receive EUC payments retroactive to the week ending November 14.

All recipients who are eligible for the new EUC benefits may apply for them online, which has not been the case with federal benefits previously.

"The Division of Unemployment Insurance has done tremendous work in preparing for the huge task of implementing this new program, mailing out 83,000 letters to people eligible for the new benefits, writing its own Internet applications and working overtime and over weekends to be ready to get these benefits out before the holidays," DLLR Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said.

"We want to strongly urge benefits recipients to apply for their benefits as soon as they can, and to file over the Internet if at all possible."

Individuals who have exhausted the maximum 33 weeks of EUC benefits previously authorized by Congress should have received a letter, dated December 2, notifying them of the additional weeks and providing instructions for filing a claim online at mdunemployment.com. Individuals who are currently receiving EUC benefits were notified by mail that they may now be eligible for up to 47 weeks of benefits, that they should keep filing continued claims and that they do not need to contact a claim center
While recipients may file by telephone, there may be delays in reaching claim center operators due to an extraordinarily high volume of calls. Call volume is highest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

While these new federal benefits are administered by the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance, the benefits are paid for entirely by federal funds and have no impact on the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The trust fund pays up to 26 weeks of benefits to people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Federal benefits begin after state benefits have been exhausted.