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Claimant Most Frequently Asked Questions - Unemployment Insurance

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BEACON One-Stop Application

1. What is BEACON One-Stop?
The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) launched BEACON One-Stop on Friday, April 24, 2020. BEACON One-Stop allows claimants to file claims for ALL unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs through a single application, including the most recent federally-enacted unemployment programs, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). BEACON One-Stop is an application that allows claimants to file claim certifications each, upload supporting documentation, review their benefit payment history.

In efforts to provide the best user experience, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will be taking the application down nightly between the hours of 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. to perform maintenance and resolve any ongoing technical issues. While the website will be unavailable to customers during those early morning hours, this time was selected to impact the fewest number of claimants possible.

In order to prevent the overload of the system that users have experienced, we have introduced a virtual waiting line. By entering this system, you will be able to see how many individuals are waiting for site access, receive an estimated wait time that is constantly updated, and sign-up to receive an e-mail when the system is ready for you to access the platform. This will provide more certainty about when you will receive assistance, but, more importantly, it will help ensure the capacity problems the platform experienced in the past do not reoccur.

2. How is the BEACON One-Stop Application different from the current application?
This new application process makes the filing process more user friendly and efficient. Claimants can use the application to file ALL claims for regular UI benefit programs, including those who were previously required to file their claim by phone. Individuals will be able to use this application to file for:

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits, including for claimants who:
    • earned wages in multiple states
    • had more than 3 employers over the last 18 month
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for those who are:
    • self-employed;
    • sole-proprietors;
    • independent contractors;
    • gig workers; and,
    • lacking sufficient work history to be eligible for regular UI benefits.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • those who have recently exhausted their benefits

The BEACON One-Stop application will:

  • guide the claimant through the application process and present a dynamic set of questions based on the claimant’s individual circumstances, input, and responses;
  • intelligently review a claimant’s situation and determine if they meet the requirements of an alternative unemployment insurance program;
  • provide claimants with a single location to receive up-to-date information about their claim and benefit payments;
  • allow the claimant to upload required supporting documents, forms or other information;
  • collect the claimant’s preferred payment method and choice of tax withholding; and,
  • allow the claimant to track their steps in the claim process

When you login to the BEACON One-Stop application, you will be in your user portal. In your user portal you are able to receive notices and alerts about your account, including notifications regarding any missing documentation. Additionally, you will be able to select your preferred method of communication: e-mail, text message, or postal mail. All communications will be available in your portal immediately, which will cut down on wait times for you to receive updates about your claim.

3. Why did the Division of Unemployment Insurance make such a major upgrade now?
In order to implement the federal CARES Act programs in a timely manner, we recently partnered with an outside vendor (Sagitec) to create BEACON One-Stop. If we had attempted to update our older system to accept applications for the CARES Act, it would have taken weeks, if not months. This was not an option. We want to make sure that all eligible Marylanders receive the benefits they need and deserve as soon as possible.

4. What documents or information do I need in order to apply for UI benefits using the BEACON One-Stop application?
Please make sure you have the following documents or information available before beginning your application:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration number (if you are not a citizen)
  • Employer Information: Business/Company name, complete payroll address, telephone number, first day of work, last day of work, and reason for separation for each employer you worked for in the last 18 months
  • If you were in the military within the last 18 months, your DD214 - Member 4 document
  • If you are a former Federal Government Employee Form 50 or SF-8, if available
  • Name, Date of Birth, and Social Security number for each dependent.

NOTE: A dependent is defined as a son, daughter, stepchild or legally adopted child under the age of 16 whom you support. At the time you file your initial claim, only one parent may claim a dependent(s), up to a maximum of five (5), during any one-year benefit period.

Employment History for the Last 18 Months:

  • Name, Address and Telephone Number of all employers (i.e., Business/Company name, complete payroll address)
  • Employment Start and End Date, Return-to-Work Date
  • Reason for separation from each employer you worked for in the past18 months
  • Union name and local number (if you are a union member)
  • DD214 - Member 4 Document (if you were in the military)
  • Former Military Status, if applicable: If you were in the military within the past 18 months, your Form 50 or SF-8 (if you were a federal employee)

Income and Self-employment Documentation that may be needed:

  • Pay Stubs
  • Form W-2
  • Form 1099
  • Income Tax K-1 Schedule
  • Summary of Quarterly Reports
  • Accounts Receivable Statement
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Business Formation papers
  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Tax Return - Schedule C

5. I am self-employed, an independent contractor, or a gig worker. What documentation do I need to apply for UI benefits?
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor or a gig worker you may be eligible to receive UI benefits under the PUA program. Acceptable documentation for proof of income from self-employment can include, but is not limited to:

  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Summary of Quarterly Payments
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Accounts Receivable Statement
  • Evidence of your 2019 Income (e.g. 1099, Schedule K-1 , Schedule C)

6. Am I eligible for any of the new unemployment benefits offered in response to the national health emergency?
You may be eligible for UI benefits through the new CARES Act benefit programs:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)- Individuals who are not eligible for regular benefits and cannot work due to COVID-19 related reasons may now be eligible to receive UI benefits.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)- Claimants who have exhausted their regular UI benefits may receive 13 additional weeks of UI benefits.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)- Eligible claimants may receive $600 in addition to their determined weekly benefit amount.

The only way to determine your eligibility is to apply. Claimants are strongly encouraged to file claims online through the BEACON One-Stop Application. However, you may file by phone by calling 1-877-293-4125. If you have difficulty operating a standard phone, please use Maryland Relay by dialing 711.

7. How long can I receive benefits under these programs?
The different UI programs have different durations:

  • You may receive UI benefits for a total of 39 weeks under PUA, which is effective beginning January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  • You may receive PEUC benefits from March 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  • You may receive FPUC benefits from March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020 (last payment in week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020).

All benefits will be applied retroactively to your earliest date of eligibility within the program range.

8. I received a notice that I may be eligible for PUA/PEUC. What do I need to do to apply?
If you have received a notice that you may be eligible for these additional benefits, you will need to complete and submit an application at BEACON One-Stop. Follow the instructions to activate your account and login to begin your application.

9. I recently exhausted my regular UI benefits. Can I get an extension? What do I need to do to get an extension?
If you have recently exhausted your UI benefits after July 1, 2019, you may be eligible for PEUC benefits. If you meet the eligibility requirements you can receive 13 additional weeks of UI benefits. Please visit the BEACON One-Stop Application. Follow the prompts to “Get Started with BEACON One-Stop” to activate your account and log in to begin your PEUC application.

10. How do I provide the Division with additional documentation that may be needed to determine my eligibility? Can I take a picture with my phone?
There are several ways to provide Labor with additional documentation. ALL documents, including photos, must be legible. Illegible documents will be rejected possibly delaying the determination of eligibility. You can provide the documents by uploading them in the BEACON One-Stop Application. If you use your smartphone to take photos of your documents, please ensure that the information is clear and readable.

11. What documentation do I need to provide to show COVID-19 is the reason I cannot work?
When you file your initial claim application, you will be able to select the reason that you cannot work. If you select a reason related to COVID-19, then you will also be required to affirm through a self-certification that you are unable to work due to COVID-19.

Additional documentation may be required if you have left you employment due to a heightened risk of a severe health outcome if you are exposed to or infected by COVID-19. This additional documentation may include proof that you, a family member, or household member is in a vulnerable population or has an underlying disease or health issue with a co-morbidity with COVID-19.

12. What if I cannot return any requested forms by the deadline on the notice/correspondence?
Due to the unprecedented high volume of claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Labor has temporarily removed ALL deadlines for claimants to provide additional information or deliver supporting documentation. Your claim will NOT be negatively impacted by your inability to meet any deadline date printed on a correspondence that you receive.

13. How can I apply for the federally extended benefits?
You can apply for all UI benefit programs, including federally extended benefits, online by visiting the BEACON One-Stop Application or by calling a live claims agent at 1-877-293-4125.

14. How much money am I eligible to receive, if I qualify for PUA or PEUC?
If you meet the eligibility requirements for PUA or PEUC, the Division will calculate your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) based on the income that you earned in the past. PUA and PEUC will generally replace approximately 50% of your previous income. If you are eligible for either program, you will also automatically receive an additional $600 per week for the weeks ending Saturday, April 4th to Saturday, July 25th.

15. Once I file my claim for PUA/PEUC benefits, what happens next?
The Division will review your application. If additional information or documentation is necessary, the Division will request it from you. You will receive notice of the request through your preferred method of contact (e-mail, text message, or postal mail). Your BEACON One-Stop portal will also contain the notice. Once the Division adjudicates your claim, you will be notified of the decision through your preferred method and your portal.

16. I filed a claim in the old system (NetClaims/WebCert/TeleCert). Do I need to file a new claim in BEACON One-Stop? Is there a way to bring my information over?
If you filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits prior to April 24, 2020, you will need to activate your new BEACON account. When you activate your account, all of your claimant account information will be available in the new application. To activate your account, you will need to verify your identity with your social security number and PIN. If you cannot remember your PIN, you will be able to authenticate your identity with other information. If you have any technical questions, please contact BEACON.support@maryland.gov. For other assistance, please contact a live claims agent at 1-877-293-4125.

Once you have completed the account activation process, you will be able to access your claimant portal, which will have all of the details and information about your UI account in one place. Account Activation and Login Tutorial Video.

17. I received an e-mail from BEACON One-Stop that is supposed to have a link, but there is no link in the e-mail, just regular text. How do I follow the link?
The Division may send an e-mail to you with an embedded link to BEACON One-Stop. Some e-mail servers protect end users from “phishing” attacks and other malicious behavior by converting embedded links to secure links. If you receive an e-mail from BEACON One-Stop and the embedded link is displayed only as text, please activate the links using the instructions given by your e-mail provider.

18. I tried to logon to BEACON One-Stop, but I received an error in my browser. What should I do?
If you are receiving an error in your browser (such as a 404 – File or directory not found), please try closing the browser and retrying BEACON One-Stop, or try another supported browser.

19. I am unable to login because I keep getting a message that my username/password are ____ (not in the system; not recognized; invalid).
Please note that when creating your account, usernames CANNOT have any special characters; however, passwords MUST INCLUDE at least one special character. If your username and password follow these directives and you are still unable to login, please review the following login guides: BEACON One-Stop User handbook and BEACON One-Stop Login Guide. If you are still experiencing issues, please e-mail the BEACON support team at BEACON.support@maryland.gov and include a detailed description of the problem(s) that you are encountering, including username, claimant ID, screenshots, the type of browser and device that you are using, specific error messages, and whether you already have an existing unemployment claim.

20. How do I file a claim if this is my first time filing for unemployment benefits in Maryland?
Please go to BEACON One-Stop and then select “Get Started with BEACON One-Stop.” Answer the prompts to be able to create a user account and begin the claim filing process. After your account has been activated, select “Login to my Account” when returning to BEACON to manage your account. This tutorial video provides instructions for activating and logging into your account. We have created a Login Quick Start to help troubleshoot common claimant scenarios.

21. How do I file a claim if I started an application in BEACON, but have not completed it?
Please go to BEACON One-Stop and then select “Get Started with BEACON One-Stop.” Answer the prompts to be able to complete an unfinished claim application.

22. How do I file a claim if I have previously filed for unemployment benefits in Maryland using the NetClaims system or by calling a claim center?
If you filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits prior to April 24, 2020, you will need to activate your new BEACON account. Please go to BEACON One-Stop and select “Get Started with BEACON One-Stop.” Answer the prompts to activate your account. When you activate your account, all of your claimant account information will be available in the new application. To activate your account, you will need to verify your identity with your social security number and PIN. If you cannot remember your PIN, you will be able to authenticate your identity with other information. After your account has been activated, select “Login to my Account” when returning to BEACON to manage your account. This tutorial video provides instructions for activating and logging into your account

23. I activated my account but can’t login and keep seeing the message “User ID is not defined”?
Please note that when creating your account, usernames CANNOT have any special characters; however, passwords MUST INCLUDE at least one special character. If your username and password follow these directives and you are still unable to login, please return to BEACON One-Stop and then select “Account Activation” to try to activate your account again. If you are still experiencing issues, please e-mail the BEACON support team at BEACON.support@maryland.gov and include a detailed description of the problem(s) that you are encountering, including username, claimant ID, screenshots, the type of browser and device that you are using, specific error messages, and whether you already have an existing unemployment claim.

24. How do I file a claim if I am self-employed, an independent contractor, sole proprietors, gig economy worker, or have insufficient work history?
This tutorial video will walk you through applying for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) CARES Act program using the new BEACON One-Stop. Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or believe they are eligible for the PUA program, will be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility.

25. I am self-employed and I accidentally filed before the new application opened. What do I do?
You will need to first activate your account under the new One-Stop BEACON application. Please go to BEACON One-Stop and select “Get Started with BEACON One-Stop.” Answer the prompts to activate your account. When you activate your account, all of your claimant account information will be available in the new application. To activate your account, you will need to verify your identity with your social security number and PIN. If you cannot remember your PIN, you will be able to authenticate your identity with other information. After your account has been activated, select “Login to my Account” when returning to BEACON to manage your account. This tutorial video provides instructions for activating and logging into your account.

26. On my statement of “Reported Wages and Monetary Eligibility” there is an error, but I can’t get through the phone lines to fix it. Is there anything else that I can do?
To dispute your determination, you must follow the instructions on your form and call to speak with a live claims agent at 1-877-293-4125. We have extended our call center hours, so that you may contact us from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Labor has partnered with a vendor to bring in over 200 live agents to provide additional support as we handle the unprecedented volume of claims and calls. Labor has also reassigned over 150 current state employees and is hiring over 100 new unemployment insurance employees. These actions have more than doubled the staffing at our Claim Centers. We share your frustration and are committed to increasing our Claim Centers capacity.

27. Technical Support
If you require technical assistance with BEACON One-Stop, please contact BEACON.support@Maryland.gov.

Benefit Payment and Bank of America Debit Card Information

1. What is the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card?
The Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card is a Visa® debit card issued through Bank of America. This card is not a credit card. It carries no credit line and you are not subject to a credit check or approval process to receive the card. If you are approved for Unemployment Insurance benefits, payments are applied to this debit card issued to you through the Bank of America. Purchases and withdrawals are limited to the balance on your card. The Debit Card is valid for three (3) years.

2. Must I receive all unemployment benefit payments on the Maryland Unemployment Insurance issued debit card?
No, you do not have to receive your payments on a debit card. You have the option to choose to receive your UI payments through a paper check that will be mailed to your address on file via the United States Postal Service. If you choose to receive your benefit payments by paper check, please call one of the following numbers:

  • 1-877-293-4125, or
  • 711 ( Maryland Relay for hearing impaired)

3. When will I receive a debit card?
If your UI payments are approved you will first receive a notice entitled "Notice of First Benefit Payment Approval and Mailing of Your Bank of America Debit Card." Under normal circumstances, you should receive your debit card within 10 days business days after that. Your Debit Card will:

  • Arrive in a white envelope with the State of Maryland logo and a Tennessee return address in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Be mailed to the address you provided to this agency. It will not be forwarded.
  • Need to be activated as soon as you receive it.

4. If I receive a debit card, does that mean that I have met the eligibility criteria to receive Maryland unemployment insurance benefits and have been paid?
Receipt of the card means that your initial payments are available, but it does not mean that you will automatically be eligible to continue to receive UI benefits. However, if you continue to file timely weekly claims certifications and continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements per Maryland UI Law, all future benefits will be paid through the same debit card that you originally received.

5. How can I access my unemployment insurance benefit payments using my debit card?
To access your funds with your debit card, free of charge, you can:

  • Withdraw cash from the bank teller window at any bank that accepts Visa.
  • Withdraw cash from a Bank of America ATM fee-free (You are allowed 6 fee-free withdrawals per month at NON-Bank of America ATMs. Owners of these ATMs may still charge a fee.)
  • Transfer your unemployment insurance payments to your personal bank account (similar to direct deposit). You must have an email address for direct transfer.
  • Make purchases through signature or pin-based transactions.
  • Get cash back at select retail point-of-sale locations.

6. This is the first time I am receiving unemployment insurance benefits. When and how will I receive my debit card?
If you have applied for unemployment insurance benefits and have been approved, you will receive a notice from the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance entitled "Notice of First Benefit Payment Approval and Mailing of Your Bank of America Debit Card." You will then receive a Bank of America debit card in the mail within 7-10 business days.

7. Once I receive my debit card, how do I use it and keep track of funds?
Once you receive your debit card, you must activate the card and create a PIN before it can be used. You can access your account by visiting the bank's website. You can also download the Bank of America Prepaid Card app from any app store. Using the website or the app, you can keep track of recent transactions, deposits, and balance amounts. We also recommend that you sign up for text or email alerts.

8. What funds will be available on my debit card once I receive it?
All benefit payments made prior to receipt of your debit card will be immediately available when you receive your debit card. To receive subsequent payments, you must file your weekly claim certifications in a timely manner by visiting MDunemployment.com.

9. I have received unemployment insurance benefits from the State of Maryland within the past three years. Will I get a new card in the mail?
If you have received unemployment insurance benefits in Maryland within the past three years, your new unemployment insurance benefit payments will be loaded onto your old card. Debit cards issued by Bank of America for benefit payments are valid for three years.

10. I have received unemployment insurance benefits from the State of Maryland, but it was more than three years ago and my debit card has expired. What happens then?
If your previous card has expired, a replacement card with a new expiration date will typically be sent once the Division of Unemployment Insurance posts a new payment to your account. You can also proactively request a new card online through the new Replace My Card tab on the bank’s website. The replacement card will be sent to the address on file with the Division of Unemployment Insurance, so it is imperative that it be accurate and up-to-date.

11. I have received notification that funds are available, but I have not received my debit card. What should I do?
If this is your first time receiving unemployment insurance benefits, please allow 7-10 business days from the benefit notification date for the debit card to arrive in the mail. If you have received benefits within the past three years, benefits will be loaded onto your old card.

12. I can’t find my old debit card. How do I order a replacement?
You will need to request a replacement card online through the new Replace My Card tab on the bank’s website. Please allow 7-10 business days after the order date for the card to arrive in the mail. If you make another request for a new card while the first card is still in transit, the second request will permanently block the first card.

13. I can’t remember my PIN number. How do I reset it?
You can reset your PIN by logging into your Bank of America card account. Choose “My Settings” and then “My PIN”.

14. What if I chose to receive benefits by check?
If you chose to receive your unemployment insurance benefit payments through paper checks, then you will not receive a debit card. The checks are issued by the Division of Unemployment Insurance, not Bank of America.

15. Why would I not receive a Bank of America debit card in the mail?
You will not receive a Bank of America debit card in the mail if you are determined to be ineligible for benefits, have requested to receive benefit payments through paper checks, or have already received a debit card from the State of Maryland that is less than three years old.

16. Can Bank of America change my address?
No. Your address cannot be changed via the Bank of America website nor by Bank of America customer service. Please contact the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance to update your address.

17. I need additional assistance from Bank of America. How do I contact them via phone?
You can call the Bank of America Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-855- 847-2029, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For additional information regarding the Division of Unemployment Insurance, please read our Guide to Getting Started with Your Maryland Unemployment Benefits Debit Card.

For additional information regarding the Bank of America card program, visit their website and FAQs.

Claims Filing - Initial Claims

1. When should I file my initial claim to begin the unemployment insurance benefit process?
You should file your initial claim immediately following your last physical day of work. Monetarily eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits cannot be determined until your initial claim is filed.
You may be required to complete an initial claim application again if you are receiving benefits under a federal program, such as PUA or PEUC. Federal law requires the Division of Unemployment Insurance to check if a claimant is eligible for a regular UI claim when the quarter changes (July 1 and October 1) and when the Claimant's benefit year expires. If the claimant has earned wages in Maryland or in another state during the base period, the claimant will be required to complete an initial claim application again.

2. What information do I need to file my initial claim?
To file your initial claim you will need the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Employer Information: Business/Company name, complete payroll address, telephone number, first day of work, last day of work and reason for separation for each employer you worked for in the last 18 months prior to filing your claim
  • Citizenship Status: If you are not a citizen, proof of your alien status
  • Former Military Status, if applicable: If you were in the military within the last 18 months, your DD214 - Member 4 document is needed
  • Former Federal Government Employee Status, if applicable: If available, Form 50 or SF-8
  • Name, Date of Birth, and Social Security number for each dependent:
    NOTE: A dependent is defined as a son, daughter, stepchild or legally adopted child under the age of 16 whom you support. At the time you file your initial claim, only one parent may claim a dependent(s), up to a maximum of five (5), during any one year benefit period.

3. What income payments must I report; when should they be reported; and how will it affect my unemployment insurance benefits?
When you file your claim certification each week, you must report full or part-time wages earned during that week from regular employment, self-employment, odd jobs, etc. regardless of whether you were paid during the week.

You must also report pensions, annuities, holiday pay, vacation pay, severance pay, bonuses and special payments that you have received or will receive. Commission payment are reported differently. Commission payments must be reported during the week in which you receive the commission. In addition, DUI must be notified if you receive back pay or if your monthly pension amount changes.

The first $50 in earnings will not be deducted from unemployment insurance benefits. However, you must report all earnings, even if under $50. Any earnings over $50 per week will be deducted from your benefit payment on a dollar for dollar basis. Earnings are considered payment, in any form, for any work or service performed, including self-employment, tips and odd jobs.

NOTE:

  • While filing your weekly claim certifications, you must also report any gross earnings for the designated week you are requesting payment of benefits.
  • When you return to work, you must report the wages earned during the week you first work, regardless of whether you have been paid.

4. What if I worked in a state other than Maryland or more than one state?
If all of your work in the last 18 months has been in a state other than Maryland, your claim should be filed against that state where the laws of that state govern your claim.

If you have worked in Maryland and other states, you may have the option to file your claim against any one of the states in which you worked and have monetary eligibility. You may choose to combine wages from the states in which you worked to establish a combined wage claim. A combined wage claim may result in a higher weekly benefit amount. Combined wage claims can be filed online via BEACON One-Stop or by calling 1-877-293-4125.

5. What if I work in another state but reside in Maryland?
If you work in another state but reside in Maryland, you should file your claim in the state you work in. An unemployment insurance claim is filed against the state where you worked, not where you reside.

6. Are unemployment insurance payments taxable?
Yes. Any UI benefits that you receive must be reported as part of your gross income for both Federal and State tax purposes. You can choose to have either Federal taxes (10%), Maryland State taxes (7%), both (17%), or neither deducted from your weekly UI benefits during the initial claim process.

NOTE: If you choose to have any taxes deducted, you will be sent a W-4 form that you must complete, sign, and return to the address provided before any taxes can be withheld from your UI benefits.

7. What is the Standard Base Period?
The standard base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before your date of employment. You must have earnings in at least two of the four quarters during the base period used as of the date you file your claim. See the diagram below.

Month of New Claim Your Standard Base Period the 12-Month Period Ending the Previous:
January, February or March   September 30
April, May or June   December 31
July, August or September   March 31
October, November or December   June 30

Graphic of Unemployment Insurance standard base period

8. What is the Alternate Base Period?
If you are not monetarily eligible for any unemployment insurance benefits using the
Standard base period, you may be eligible using the alternate base period (ABP). The ABP is the most recently completed four calendar quarters of wages to determine eligibility. Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) will be approximately one half of your gross weekly wage up to the maximum weekly benefit amount. You must have earnings in at least two of the four quarters during the ABP used as of the date you file your claim.

Month of New Claim Your Alternate Base Period the 12-Month Period Ending the Previous:
January, February or March   December 31
April, May or June   March 31
July, August or September   June 30
October, November or December   September 30

Graphic of Unemployment Insurance alternate base period


9. What is the benefit year? How long does it last?
Your benefit year is a one-year period (52 weeks) beginning the Sunday of the first week in which you file your initial claim.

For example, if you filed your initial claim on Friday, March 6, 2020, your benefit year would start on Sunday, March 1, 2020. This would be your “Benefit Year Beginning” or “Effective Date.” Your benefit year would last through February 28, 2021.

Under normal circumstances, you may not start another benefit year until the first one is completed. For any questions, please call a live claims agent at 1-877-293-4125.

10. How do I know if I am monetarily or non-monetarily eligible?
You will receive a form called a “Determination of Monetary Eligibility.” It will show your base period employer(s), wages earned from each employer, and your weekly benefit amount (WBA), if you are monetarily eligible. This form will also inform you if you are not monetarily eligible.

The “Determination of Monetary Eligibility” is mailed to you within 3 days after you file your initial claim. This form is for your records and it contains a listing of your base period employers and earnings, including your name and social security number. It will list all employers who reported quarterly wages that you earned while working.

If you think a correction should be made, you must contact a live claims agent immediately at 1-877-293-4125 and ask for a correction immediately. You may be asked to submit copies of your pay stubs, W-2 forms, and any other proof of wages that you have.

11. How much money can I receive and how is my weekly benefit amount (WBA) determined for regular unemployment insurance benefits?
The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount of money you may receive and, for regular UI, is based on the amount that you were paid by all employers in the last 18 months. The higher your earnings, the higher your WBA will be up to the maximum amount allowed by law. The current WBA in Maryland ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $430.

NOTE:

  • You will be paid a dependents’ allowances of $8 per dependent which will not exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount allowed of $430. No more than 26 weeks of dependents’ allowance can be paid in a regular UI benefit year.
  • If you earn and report gross wages less than your weekly benefit amount, you will receive partial benefits. You may continue to file your weekly claim certification until you have exhausted your maximum benefit amount allowed.
  • The only time that benefits can exceed an amount in excess of 26 weeks times your weekly benefit amount is if a federal extension program is available. You will be notified if an extension program is in effect.

Claims Filing - Weekly Claims Certifications

1. What is a weekly claim certification and when should I file my weekly claim certification?
A weekly claim certification is your request to be paid unemployment insurance benefits for a particular week you are unemployed. After you file your initial claim for benefits, you must file a weekly claim certification for each week of unemployment in which you are requesting benefits. You may file your weekly claim certifications (request for payment) through your portal or by phone (1-877-293-4125). Your weekly claim certification must be filed between 12:01 a.m. Sunday and by 5:00 p.m. Friday ET immediately following the week for which you are requesting benefits.

Failure to file your weekly claim certifications timely may result in a delay or denial of benefits. If your weekly claim certifications are filed properly, you will receive a processing number. If you do not receive a processing number you must contact a live claims agent immediately at 1-877-293-4125 in order to ensure continued payment of benefits.

2. Why do I need to file a claim certification every week?
If you have been approved to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must certify that you remain unemployed and are otherwise eligible in order to receive benefit payments. If you do not complete a weekly claim certification, you will not receive unemployment benefits.

3. How do I request payment of benefits?
To request benefit payment, you must file a “claim certification.” You may file your weekly claim certification through your portal or by calling 1-877-293-4125. The questions are identical no matter which method you use to file.

When you visit BEACON One-Stop, you will arrive at the landing page. You must login using the username and password that you previously created to file your Claim Certification. When you call, you will choose your preferred language, and then press 1 to reach the Claim Certification. You will need to enter your social security number and PIN to access the questions.

In order to administer the unemployment insurance (UI) program during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of Unemployment Insurance needed to update the questions asked on the claim certification that is filed each week that a claimant requests payment of benefits. In order to familiarize claimants with these new questions, we have produced this document which lists them, in the order that they are asked, with additional explanations. We hope that this document will reduce any frustration and confusion that our claimants face when answering these questions.

To file your Weekly Certification, you can select "Weekly Certification" from the left hand side of your portal screen.

To file your Weekly Certification, you can select

Then review the "Guidelines for Requesting a Claim Week". Once you read through the Guidelines, select "Next" at the bottom of the screen.

You will then have to affirm that you have read and understood the "PUA disclaimer" by selecting the checkbox. Once you have selected the checkbox, select next.

You will now be able to answer the weekly claim certification questions for the oldest week that you have available to certify. Please ensure that you answer the questions correctly for the week displayed.
There is an acknowledgment that you certify the information in your weekly certification is correct. Select the checkbox to acknowledge. You will then be able to submit your certification for that week.

You may continue the same process for other certification weeks available. Continue to complete and file claim certifications for every week that you are out of work.

4. Can you explain the Claim Certification Questions?

Question 1. Did you work or earn wages during the week?
This question asks whether you worked or earned any wages during the week. This includes wages earned from any telework or remote work that you performed. This DOES NOT include income that you earn from self-employment, gig work, or as an independent contractor. That income is reported in question #5. Wages earned as an employee must be reported in the week that you performed the work. If you have not been paid yet, you still must report your earnings. If you answer YES, then you will be asked to report your Gross Earnings. Gross earnings is the amount that you receive for work before taxes or deductions (such as for medical insurance premiums) are taken out.

FRAUD WARNING: Making of a false statement or representation or knowingly failing to disclose a fact to obtain or increase a benefit or other payment may disqualify an individual for these and additional benefit payments, trigger the imposition of interest and fees and the recovery of benefits paid.

Question 2. Did you receive any commission pay during the week?
This question asks you to report any commission pay that you received in the week. Commission payments are reported the week they are received, not when the job was done. If you answer YES, then you will be asked to report your Gross Earnings. Gross earnings is the amount that you receive for work before taxes or deductions (such as for medical insurance premiums) are taken out.

Question 3. Did you telework with pay during the week?
This question asks whether you performed any work “remotely” or “virtually” in the week. If you did work remotely, then answer YES.

Question 4. Did you refuse an offer of work or paid telework during the week?
This question asks whether you were offered the opportunity or choice to work, including “remote” or “virtual” work, and you declined the offer. If you refused an offer of work or paid telework, including an offer of part-time or remote part-time work, during the week, answer YES. If you were NOT offered work or paid telework during the week, then answer NO.

Question 5. Did you engage in any self-employment during this week?
This question asks if you performed work for pay outside of an employer-employee relationship. For example, if you performed work as a consultant, independent contractor, or gig worker, then you would answer this question YES. If you engaged in any self-employment during the week, answer YES, and the application will then ask you to report your net income in the “Report Your Net Income” field. If you earned income from self-employment, please report what you will actually take home in earnings by deducting your expenses. If you had a net loss, please report $0. If you did not engage in any self- employment during the week, answer NO.

Question 6. During the week listed above, did you receive any of the following:

  1. Unemployment compensation from: 1) Any State other than Maryland, or 2) Under Canadian law?
    This question is asking whether you received unemployment insurance benefits from another state, other than Maryland. The question also asks if you received UI benefits under the laws of Canada. For example, if you received UI benefits in other state or Canada, then you would answer this question YES. If you did not receive UI benefits from another state or Canada, then you should answer this question NO.
  2. Any paid sick leave or other paid benefits?
    This question is asking whether you received any paid leave benefits from while you are unemployed. This includes payments such as sick or FMLA leave or paid vacation. If you are receiving such paid leave benefits, then answer this question YES and provide the amount of the payment that you received. If you are not receiving such paid leave benefits, then answer this question NO.

Question 7. During the week listed above, were you able and available for work without restrictions?
This question is asking whether you were able to work and available for work without any restrictions. To be able to work without restriction means that there are no physical limitations on your ability to perform the work that you customarily perform. To be available for work without any restrictions means that there are no limitations on your time which would make you unavailable for work during the hours that your work is customarily performed. If there were restrictions on your ability to work and/or availability to work during the week, including restrictions due to lack of childcare or transportation, then answer this question NO. If there were no restrictions on your ability to work and availability for work, then answer this question YES. If you answer this question NO, then you will be required to answer the follow up questions.

  1. If NOT, was it due to COVID-19 because of illness, quarantine, or movement restriction?
    This question is asking whether the restrictions on your ability and availability for work were due to COVID-19. Specifically, whether the restrictions were the due to you or a family- or household-member being ill with COVID-19 or quarantined due to COVID-19, or a general restriction on movement imposed due to COVID-19. This question helps the Division determine if the restriction on your ability and availability is for a permissible reason. Additional documentation may be required.
  2. Have you maintained contacted with your last employer or customers to determine if work was available during the week listed above?
    This question is asking whether you have maintained contact with your previous employer to see if and when you are able to return to work. Maintaining contact includes an offer by your previous employer to contact you . If you are self-employed, then this question is asking whether you maintained contact with recent customers to determine if and when they will have more work for you to perform. If you have communicated with your previous employer or customers, then answer this question YES. Select NO, if you have not maintained contact with your previous employer or customers to determine if work was available during the week listed.

Question 8. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency in Maryland, you are exempt from the requirement to actively search for work until thirty (30) days after the state of emergency is lifted. Your benefits will not be denied if you did not actively search for work during the week. However, please answer the following question honestly:

Did you actively look for work during the week?
Note: Your benefits will not be denied if you did not actively search for work during the week.
This question is asking if you performed any activities towards the goal of becoming reemployed. Due to the current labor market conditions, the Maryland Department of Labor Secretary has exempted all claimants from this requirement of eligibility for UI benefits while the Governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency is in effect. Note: The State of Emergency is distinct from the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. However, the Division would like to maintain records for those who do take steps towards reemployment. As the prompt states, no claimants will be denied UI benefits for answering this question NO. Please answer the question honestly, as it will not impact your eligibility for benefits.

Question 9. Did you attend school or training during the week?
This question is asking if you attended school or any training that has been approved by the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL) during the week. This includes any classroom or training session that occurs online or “virtually”. Select YES if you have taken a DWDAL-approved class or training. Select NO if you DID NOT attend school or training.

5. Do I have to report ALL of my wages and income?
Yes. Please report ALL gross wages in the week that you earn them, even if you have not received any payment. “Gross wages” means the total amount of wages that you earned before any taxes or deductions, such as for medical insurance premiums, were taken out. If you engaged in self-employment, then you must report “net income” from the work you performed. Net income is the amount that you take home after expenses, including interest payments and taxes, are deducted. Net income is the income that you would report on your self-employment taxes.

6. Where do I locate my weekly claims certification in the BEACON One-Stop application?
Log into your BEACON One-Stop Claimant Portal and you will have an Action Item to complete your claim certification when one is available to be filed. Select the Action Item to answer the claim certification questions and select submit when you have answered each prompt. You will be able to file claim certifications for all available weeks in BEACON without needing to wait between filings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Issues

1. There is a federal law, the CARES Act, which was enacted to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Who is covered by the new law?
The CARES Act creates three new unemployment insurance (UI) programs. These are detailed individually below:

  1. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020. The PUA program provides benefits to those who are not eligible for traditional UI benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those without sufficient work history. To be eligible for PUA, you must be unemployed or underemployed for one of the following COVID-19 related reasons to be eligible:
    1. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    2. A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    3. You are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    4. You are the primary caregiver for a child or other person in your household who is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work;
    5. You are unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    6. You are unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
    7. You were scheduled to commence employment and do not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    8. You have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
    9. You have to quit you job as a direct result of COVID-19; or,
    10. Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  2. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): provides an additional $600 per week for those who receive unemployment benefits during the weeks ending April 4, 2020 to July 25, 2020; and,
  3. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

2. How much will I be eligible for under the CARES Act?
The amount of benefits paid out under PUA are calculated based on your earnings in Calendar Year 2019. The amount of benefits paid out under PEUC are the same as you received when you were previously receiving regular Maryland UI benefits. Under the CARES Act, the amount of benefits will be supplemented by the additional $600 per week of unemployment assistance provided under FPUC. The additional benefits are available from the week ending April 4, 2020 to the week ending July 25, 2020.

3. Are gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors covered by the law?
Yes. PUA is a special program which provides benefits to those who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance, which includes gig workers (Uber, Lyft, AirBnB hosts, etc.), freelancers, and independent contractors. The PUA program expires on December 31, 2020.

4. I am Self-Employed, but my business is no longer providing me with any income. Am I eligible for benefits? If so, when should I apply?
Yes, self-employed people are eligible under the new law. Self-employed workers are also eligible for the additional $600 weekly amount. The additional benefits are available from the week ending April 2, 2020 to the week ending July 25, 2020.

You may apply right now by creating or activating your account in the BEACON One-Stop.

5. What if I am a part-time worker who lost my job because of a coronavirus reason? Am I still eligible?
Yes. Part-time workers are eligible for partial benefits, which are calculated by taking into consideration your recent wages. You will also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit. The additional benefits are available from the week ending April 2, 2020 to the week ending July 25, 2020.

6. What if I have Covid-19 or need to care for a family member who has Covid-19?
If you have received a diagnosis, are experiencing symptoms or are seeking a diagnosis and you are unemployed, partly unemployed or cannot work as a result of COVID-19, you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. If you need to care for a member of your family or household who has received a diagnosis, you may still be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

7. What if my child’s school or daycare shut down?
If you rely on a school, day care, or another facility to care for a child so that you can work — and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

8. What if I have been advised by a health care provider to quarantine myself because of exposure to coronavirus? And what about broader orders to stay home?
If you must self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, the CARES Act allows you to receive unemployment insurance benefits that you would not traditionally receive.

9. I was about to start a new job and now cannot get there because of an outbreak.
Under the CARES Act, you are now eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You are also eligible if you were immediately laid off from a new job and do not have a sufficient work history to qualify for benefits under traditional circumstances.

10. I had to quit my job as a direct result of coronavirus. Will I be eligible to apply for benefits?
It depends on why you had to quit your job. If you had to quit because of a quarantine recommended by a government agent or healthcare provider, or because your child’s daycare closed and you are the primary caregiver, then that reason for quitting is covered.

But if you quit (or want to quit) because of your fear that continuing to work puts you at risk of contracting coronavirus, then your fear must be reasonable and based on the circumstances of your personal health or the health of someone you live with.

11. My employer shut down my workplace because of coronavirus. Would I be eligible?
If you are unemployed, partly unemployed, or unable to work because your employer closed down, you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits under the CARES Act.

12. Is anyone explicitly excluded from receiving assistance under the law?
Workers who are able to perform their job through paid telework, and those receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits for their customary work week are not eligible.

13. How long will my benefit payments last?
Maryland provides 26 weeks of regular UI benefits. The CARES Act provides all eligible workers with an additional 13 weeks under PEUC. Eligible claimants in Maryland may receive a maximum of 39 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. The PUA program is also available for a maximum of 39 weeks.

14. I have not earned enough to be eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Is there anything under the CARES Act that will provide me with assistance?
Those who do not have sufficient work history and are unable to work for a reason related to COVID-19 are covered by the PUA program. Someone who lacks sufficient work history is someone with a recent attachment to the labor force and who does not have enough wages to be eligible for regular UI.

15. I am already receiving unemployment benefits. Will I receive any assistance under this law?
Even if you are already receiving unemployment benefits for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, you will be able to apply for PEUC to receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

16. I exhausted my benefits some weeks/months ago. Can I get the 13 weeks of extended benefits? If yes, will I also get the extra $600/week?
If you exhausted your regular UI benefits, the PEUC program provides you with an additional 13 weeks of benefits. You will also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit amount payable for weeks ending April 4 to July 25, 2020 if you are eligible for PEUC benefits.

17. Will these benefits disqualify me from any other programs?
It is possible that benefits provided under this new program could affect your eligibility for other programs. For example, the additional $600 benefit counts as income when determining eligibility for means-tested programs, except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.

18. How long will I need to wait to receive benefits?
Maryland does not have a waiting week, unlike many other states, so you are eligible to file the day after you are separated from employment. Due to the current and expected claim load, the Division of Unemployment Insurance cannot provide a definite timeline on benefit delivery, but the majority of claimants have received their benefits in less than 21 days. Your patience is greatly appreciated during this pandemic.

19. If my employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing me from coming to work, am I eligible for benefits?
If you are laid off temporarily due to a business shutdown as a result of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. After you file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., at 1-877-293-4125.

20. If I am quarantined due to COVID-19 with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over, am I eligible for benefits?
The first and best option for employees who need to miss work due to illness is to use their employer-paid time off. The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave for certain employees. Maryland employers who employ 14 or fewer employees are required to provide unpaid sick and safe leave for certain employees. See this page for more information about the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.

“Unemployment” includes a reduction of both work hours and earnings. An individual receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave is still receiving pay and would generally not be considered “unemployed” for purposes of collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

If you are currently quarantined by a medical professional or under government direction, and your employer has instructed you not to return to work until the quarantine is over and has not provided the option to telework, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. After you file a claim, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.at 1-877-293-4125.

21. If I decide to leave my employment due to a reasonable risk of exposure or infection of COVID-19 or to care for a family member due to COVID-19, am I eligible for benefits?
If you are not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19, and you decide to leave your employment, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. You may be determined to be eligible for benefits if the circumstances of your job separation are allowable under Maryland’s provisions for good cause and/or just circumstances for voluntarily leaving work, Section 8-1001 of Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law.

After you file a claim, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

22. If I need to take time off work because I am sick, but I have not been quarantined by a medical professional or under government direction, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
The first and best option for employees who need to miss work due to illness is to use their employer-paid time off. The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave for certain employees. Maryland employers who employ 14 or fewer employees are required to provide unpaid sick and safe leave for certain employees. See this page for more information about the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.

If you are not eligible for employer paid time off or your paid time off has been exhausted, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. You may be determined to be eligible for benefits if you have taken time off of work and expect to return work with the same employer in the future.

After you file a claim, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

23. If an employer lays off employees due to the loss of production caused by COVID-19, will the employees be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
Maryland unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer lays off employees due to a loss of production as a direct result of COVID-19, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet certain criteria. It is recommended that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

24. If my employer reduces my hours as a result of COVID-19, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
If your employer has reduced your normal work hours as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for partial benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. , Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

25. What if my employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19?
If your employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance, as you are considered to be unemployed through no fault of your own. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits here or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. , Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

26. Can I still collect unemployment benefits if I am able to work remotely from home?
If you continue to work your normal hours remotely, you do not meet the definition of an individual considered to be unemployed. However, if you work less than your normal hours remotely, it is recommended that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits here or by phone between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 1-877-293-4125.

27. Am I required to search for work during this state of emergency?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency in Maryland, you are exempt from the requirement to actively search for work until thirty (30) days after the state of emergency is lifted.

You may still be selected for a federally-required reemployment workshop with a workforce professional which will take place one-on-one over the phone. The professional will work with you to develop an individualized reemployment plan to be implemented after the state of emergency is lifted.

We strongly encourage you to complete any of the reemployment activities which can be done online with Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE).

If you are in a union with a hiring hall, you must make regular contact in the manner prescribed by your union.

28. I get tips from customers on top of my regular hourly wage. Will my tips be used to determine how much I will receive in benefits?
Employers regularly report (quarterly) the wages of their employees to the Division. These wages, including reported tips, are used as the basis for the calculation of the amount of benefits that a claimant is eligible for. If a tipped employee files a claim and receives a determination about their weekly benefit amount that they disagree with, they can request a review of the determination within 30 days. Along with the request for a review, the claimant can provide evidence of other wages that they have received, including unreported tips.

29. What is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation?
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC) provides additional unemployment assistance of $600 per week on top of other unemployment benefits that you are eligible to receive. FPUC will be automatically paid to you if you receive regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

30. When will I receive FPUC payments?
From the week ending April 4th, 2020 to the week ending July 25th, 2020, you will receive FPUC payments for each week that you are eligible for unemployment benefits. You will receive your FPUC payments at the same time as you receive your other unemployment compensation payments. The first FPUC payment that you receive will include any prior week of FPUC that you did not previously receive. For example, if you were eligible for regular UI benefits beginning the week ending April 4th, and you normally receive your benefits on Tuesday, then on Tuesday, April 21st, you will receive FPUC payments for April 4th, 11th, and 18th.

31. What unemployment programs are eligible for FPUC?
If you are eligible for any of the following programs, you will also automatically receive FPUC:

  • Regular unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX);
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE);
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  • Extended Benefits (EB);
  • Work Sharing Benefits; and
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

32. I believe that I will be eligible for an unemployment benefit program such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for the self-employed and independent contractors, but I have not been able to apply because the Division is not yet able to accept my application. Will I receive FPUC as well?
If you are eligible for an unemployment benefit program and have not been able to apply yet, your claim will be effective from the earliest date that you are eligible. For the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA), the earliest date is January 27, 2020. For Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their other benefits, the earliest date in March 29, 2020. Additionally, if you are determined to be eligible for an unemployment benefit program, such as PUA or PEUC, you will receive all FPUC payments that you are eligible as well.

33. Is the $600 weekly payment taxable?
Yes, the $600 FPUC is taxable. If you request to have State and/or Federal taxes deducted from your benefits, those taxes will also be deducted from the $600 FPUC payments.

34. How many hours can I work and still receive the FPUC $600 payments?
If you are eligible for $1 or more in benefits under any of the above listed unemployment insurance programs, you are also eligible to receive the FPUC payments. You must report all money your earn each week on your claim certification when you request payment of benefits. You will need to report your gross wages and your net income. If you earn money in a week that you receive benefits, the amount that you earn will be deducted from you benefit payment. Example, if you are eligible for the maximum weekly benefit amount, $430, and you earn $400 in a week, you would be eligible for $30 in benefits that week. You would then also receive the FPUC $600 amount in addition, so your total benefit payment that week would be $630.

35. What is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation?
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC) provides additional unemployment assistance of $600 per week on top of other unemployment benefits that you are eligible to receive. FPUC will be automatically paid to you if you receive regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

36. When will I receive FPUC payments?
From the week ending April 4th, 2020 to the week ending July 25th, 2020, you will receive FPUC payments for each week that you are eligible for unemployment benefits. You will receive your FPUC payments at the same time as you receive your other unemployment compensation payments. The first FPUC payment that you receive will include any prior week of FPUC that you did not previously receive. For example, if you were eligible for regular UI benefits beginning the week ending April 4th, and you normally receive your benefits on Tuesday, then on Tuesday, April 21st, you will receive FPUC payments for April 4th, 11th, and 18th.

37. What unemployment programs are eligible for FPUC?
If you are eligible for any of the following programs, you will also automatically receive FPUC:

  • Regular unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX);
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE);
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  • Extended Benefits (EB);
  • Work Sharing Benefits; and
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

38. I believe that I will be eligible for an unemployment benefit program such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for the self-employed and independent contractors, but I have not been able to apply because the Division is not yet able to accept my application. Will I receive FPUC as well?
If you are eligible for an unemployment benefit program and have not been able to apply yet, your claim will be effective from the earliest date that you are eligible. For the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA), the earliest date is January 27, 2020. For Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their other benefits, the earliest date in March 29, 2020. Additionally, if you are determined to be eligible for an unemployment benefit program, such as PUA or PEUC, you will receive all FPUC payments that you are eligible as well.

39. Is the $600 weekly payment taxable?
Yes, the $600 FPUC is taxable. If you request to have State and/or Federal taxes deducted from your benefits, those taxes will also be deducted from the $600 FPUC payments.

40. How many hours can I work and still receive the FPUC $600 payments?
If you are eligible for $1 or more in benefits under any of the above listed unemployment insurance programs, you are also eligible to receive the FPUC payments. You must report all money you earn each week on your claim certification when you request payment of benefits. You will need to report your gross wages and your net income. If you earn money in a week that you receive benefits, the amount that you earn will be deducted from you benefit payment. Example, if you are eligible for the maximum weekly benefit amount, $430, and you earn $400 in a week, you would be eligible for $30 in benefits that week. You would then also receive the FPUC $600 amount in addition, so your total benefit payment that week would be $630.

Denials and Payments

1. What does it mean to be disqualified or penalized? What can cause a disqualification?
Being disqualified (penalized) means that a determination was made to deny benefit payments and was placed on your claim. A denial of benefits is when a claimant fails to meet a UI requirement(s) in accordance with the Maryland Unemployment Insurance law. When a claimant is denied benefits, payments are stopped until the requirements are met or the penalty is satisfied.

2. What do I do if I receive a Notice of Benefit Determination denying my unemployment insurance benefits and I wish to appeal the denial?
The Notice of Benefit Determination you receive will explain why you were allowed or denied UI benefits, including the annotated section of the MD UI Law that applies to the issue.

  • When there is a denial, the determination will explain what type of penalty was imposed.
  • If the penalty is a weekly penalty then it will provide the denial time period.
  • The Notice of Benefit Determination will also explain your appeal rights and the last date to file a timely appeal.
  • Under normal circumstances, if an appeal is untimely, the appeal may not be granted.

The appeal must be filed in writing and mailed to the address or faxed to the number provided on the determination form. Your signature must be included on the request for appeal.

Appeal request can be mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand delivered.

Appeals Division
1100 N. Eutaw Street, Room 505 (Note: May be hand-delivered to room 511)
Baltimore, MD 21201
FAX: 410-225-9781

NOTE: If a Notice of Benefit Determination involves an employer you worked for, that employer also has the right to appeal the decision.. If your employer does file an appeal it is very important for you to be available for that appeal hearing since any decision made on your claim could be reversed and result in you receiving benefits.

If either you or your employer files an appeal and you are still unemployed, you must continue to file your weekly claim certifications. You will not be eligible to receive benefits for any week(s) that was not filed, even if the appeal decision is in your favor.

Eligibility Requirements

1. What are the requirements to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own;
  • You must be monetarily eligible. You must have worked and earned sufficient wages during the Standard Base Period (i.e., the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you file your initial claim. Refer to question. “What is the Standard Base Period?” If you do not have sufficient wages/ or not monetarily eligible based on the Standard Base Period, DUI will automatically determine if you are monetarily eligible based on the Alternate Base Period (i.e., the four most recently completed calendar quarters of wages earned before filing your initial claim. Refer to question “What is the Alternate Base Period.
  • You must be able to work and available for work without restrictions at the time you file your initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • NOTE: If you are working what is considered full-time in your occupation but earning wages that are less than your weekly benefit amount, you are considered to be “not unemployed”. Therefore, you are not entitled to either total or partial unemployment insurance benefits.

2. What are my responsibilities as a claimant?
Anyone who is filing an initial claim or is currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits must adhere to the following responsibilities:

  • Be able, available, and actively seeking work throughout the lifecycle of your claim.
  • File timely weekly claim certifications (also known as a request for payment). For more details see question . “What is a weekly claims certification and when should I file my weekly claim certifications?
  • Report all monies you have/will received (e.g., vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, etc.) each time you file your weekly claim certification;
  • Satisfy the Actively Seeking Work (ASW) requirement in which claimants must perform three (3) valid reemployment activities per benefit week (unless under a special exemption). The definition of a reemployment activity is an activity that may reasonably lead to the claimant becoming reemployed. Valid reemployment activities must be aimed toward reemployment in a position that the claimant is qualified for based on their customary occupation, experience, skills, education, and/or training in light of labor market conditions.
  • By filing your initial unemployment insurance claim, you have automatically been registered with the public employment office, the Division of Workforce Development, through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) system.
  • Be available and/or contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance and/or the Maryland Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL) when instructed to do so.
  • Accept suitable job offers within your occupation that may lead to being employed.

3. Can I file a claim if I quit my job or if I am fired from my job?
Yes, you may file an initial claim regardless of your reason for separation. However, a claims specialist will review the facts in your case to make a determination of eligibility for benefits based on UI guidelines.

4. Am I eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits if I am a full-time employee but only working part-time hours?
If your employer reduced your hours from full-time to part-time, you may a file a claim to determine your eligibility to receive benefits.. Your eligibility for benefits will be based on your maximum weekly benefit amount determined. If your earnings are less than your determined weekly benefit amount working part-time, you will be issued partial benefit payments. If your earnings are more than your maximum weekly benefit amount, you will not be issued benefit payments.

If you are working all hours your employer has available (i.e., less than 35 hours per week) and your gross pay is less than your benefit amount plus any dependents' allowance, you may be eligible for partial benefits. However, you must be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work.

5. Am I still eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits if I start working full-time?
If you start working full-time, whether the job is temporary or permanent, you are not entitled to unemployment benefits.

NOTE: If you are working what is considered full-time in your occupation, but earning wages that are less than your weekly benefit amount, you are considered to be “not unemployed.” Therefore, you are not entitled total or partial unemployment benefits.

6. If I am an unemployed part-time worker and only looking for part-time work, am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits?
A part-time worker who has become unemployed and is only looking for part-time work may be eligible for UI benefits if he/she meets the definition and requirements outlined in the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. The definition and requirements are provided below:

  • A part-time worker is defined as an individual whose availability for work is restricted to part-time work, and who worked at least 20 hours per week in part-time work for the majority of weeks (at least 6 months) in the base period (i.e., the time period used to determine monetary eligibility for benefits).
  • If the part–time worker is working all of the hours available (i.e., 20 or more hours per week), regardless if the gross weekly wages are under the Weekly Benefit Amount, the part-time worker would be considered as “Not Unemployed” and would not be eligible for weekly UI payments.

Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)

1. What is the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?
To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been authorized to expend funds from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments as a result of COVID-19. The Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA) supplements the payment of lost wages $300 per week to claimants who:

  1. are eligible for $100 or more of weekly unemployment benefits under a qualifying program, and
  2. self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

LWA is available for a week of unemployment starting the week ending August 1, 2020 and ending the week ending September 5, 2020. If you are eligible, LWA will be paid automatically to you along with your underlying unemployment benefits.

2. When will I receive my LWA payments?
The Maryland Department of Labor began issuing LWA payments to eligible claimants who have completed their self-certification on Saturday, September 12. The LWA payments will be retroactive for weeks ending August 1, 2020 through September 5, 2020 and will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. FEMA has funded Maryland for six weeks of lost wages assistance supplemental payments. The Department of Labor cannot pay $300 LWA supplemental payments for any weeks of unemployment after September 5, 2020.

3. Is the LWA program guaranteed to continue through December 26, 2020?
No. FEMA has funded the LWA program for 6 weeks because the Disaster Relief Fund has been exhausted. In Maryland, the LWA program will not be funded for weeks after September 5, 2020.

4. How often do I have to self-certify that I am unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19?
Just once per claim. There is no requirement for weekly LWA self-certifications. To receive your unemployment benefits along with any applicable LWA payments, you must continue to file your regular weekly claim certifications.

5. Do I need to submit additional documentation to receive LWA?
No additional documentation is required to receive LWA.

6. I am receiving benefits under a Work Sharing program. Am I responsible for providing the self-certification that I am unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19?
An employer in a Work Sharing program may provide the required certification on behalf of all participants in the program. NOTE: Work sharing participants must be eligible for $100 in weekly benefits under the work sharing program in order to be eligible for LWA benefits.

7. My weekly benefit amount is less than $100 but I receive an additional amount in dependents’ allowance that takes my weekly benefit amount over $100. Do I qualify for LWA if I complete the LWA self-certification?
Yes. The $100 minimum weekly benefit requirement to receive LWA includes any dependents’ allowance.

8. My weekly benefit amount is $176 but $80 of that is taken out for child support payments. Do I qualify for LWA if I complete the LWA self-certification?
Yes. The $100 minimum weekly benefit requirement to receive LWA is calculated before any offsets, including tax withholding, child support deductions, or overpayment offsets, are deducted.

9. How will I receive my LWA payments?
You will receive your LWA payments in the same manner that you receive your other unemployment compensation.

10. What underlying unemployment programs are eligible for LWA?
If you are eligible for a weekly benefit of at least $100 in weeks when the LWA is effective from any of the following programs, and you complete the LWA self-certification that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, you will be eligible for LWA:

  • Regular unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX);
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE);
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  • Extended Benefits (EB);
  • Work Sharing Benefits; and
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

To receive an LWA payment in any week that you are eligible, you must receive at least $1 in unemployment benefits in that week. Note: LWA is only payable for the weeks ending August 1 through September 5, 2020.

11. Is the $300 LWA weekly payment taxable?
Yes, the $300 LWA payment is taxable. If you request to have State and/or Federal taxes deducted from your benefits, those taxes will also be deducted from the $300 LWA payments. For specific guidance on the tax treatment of unemployment compensation, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

12. I am back to work now, but I was receiving unemployment benefits for some of the weeks covered by the LWA program. May I receive LWA for those weeks?
If you were eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for any week from August 1 - September 5, 2020, but you went back to work before LWA payments were available, you are eligible to receive retroactive LWA payments if you self-certify that during those weeks you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To complete your certification, sign on to your Beacon portal and, if you are eligible, the certification will be presented to you. You can also complete the certification using the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Mobile App. 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.

13. How can I complete the certification necessary to receive LWA payments?
A Claimant can complete the LWA self-certification by logging into their claimant portal at https://beacon.labor.md.gov/claimant. If the claimant is eligible for at least $100 in weekly benefits, then they will be presented with the certification upon logging in. If the claimant is not presented with the certification, then they have not satisfied that requirement for eligibility.

Claimants can also complete their certification on the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Mobile App. 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. If you are unable to complete your certification through either the portal or the Mobile App, you may contact a claims agent to complete the certification on your behalf.

14. I selected the wrong check box on the certification. How can I correct my mistake?
If you incorrectly complete the LWA self-certification form, you must contact a claims agent to make a request to correct the error. NOTE: the claims agent will not be able to immediately correct the certification form. Please review and complete the self-certification carefully so as to avoid an incorrect response. If you incorrectly decline to complete the certification, your LWA payment will be delayed.

15. There was an issue when I was completing my certification. How can I confirm that my certification was submitted and received?
A claimant can check if their certification has been submitted through their BEACON portal.

  1. Select Account Profile and Maintenance
  2. Select Claimant Maintenance
  3. Select the tab “Eligibility for Federal Supplemental Lost Wages Assistance”
There, a claimant can see their submitted response to the certification.

16. How can I determine if I received an LWA payment for a particular week?
A Claimant can see their LWA payments through their BEACON portal within their payment history.

  1. Select Benefit Payment
  2. Select Payment History
  3. Select the Date of the payment under the “Week Ending” heading
Under “Additions” you will see a payment of “Additional Compensation” of $300 if you received an LWA payment for that week.

Overpayments and Fraud

1. What is unemployment insurance fraud and what penalties can be imposed?
Unemployment insurance fraud is committed if you:

  • File for benefits while working and do not report your earnings.
  • Make false statements or fail to give required information in order to obtain or increase benefits.
  • Do not report payments as required when filing your weekly claims certification (request for payment).

If you are found guilty of fraud you will be:

  • considered overpaid for all benefits acquired fraudulently.
  • required to repay the fraudulently acquired benefits before any future benefits will be paid to you.
  • unable to file for benefits for a one-year period beginning the date fraud was determined.
  • In addition to the above, penalties for fraud can include prosecution, which could result in a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both, plus penalties and interest on the fraudulently collected benefits.

To report Unemployment Insurance fraud, call 1-800-492-6804.

Work Search

1. Must I register with the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL)? How do I get help in finding a job?
By filing your initial unemployment insurance claim, you are automatically registered with the public employment office, Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE). This is a one (1) time requirement.

2. What is the Active Search for Work (ASW) requirement?
A claimant who is not exempt from work search must perform and complete certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. One of the eligibility requirements is that a claimant must “actively seek work” (ASW). For each week that a claimant files a weekly claim certification to request benefit payments, they must perform and document their active search for work activities. These work search activities are referred to as “reemployment activities.”

3. What reemployment activities meet the ASW requirement?
A claimant who is not exempt from work search must perform a minimum of three (3) valid reemployment activities per week. The following actions are examples of valid reemployment activities for the purpose of satisfying Maryland’s ASW requirement:

  1. Skills Self-Assessment
  2. Self-Service Labor Market Research
  3. Resume Preparation Assistance
  4. Virtual Recruiter – Adding New Job Alerts
  5. Work searches completed through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE);
  6. Work searches made through external search engines (e.g. LinkedIn, Indeed);
  7. Employment events held by the DWDAL (e.g. job fairs, hiring events);
  8. Attending a Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) workshop or Reemployment Opportunity Workshop (ROW) at a local American Job Center (AJC).

Claimant must record all reemployment activities each week in the Reemployment Exchange (REX) module of the MWE system, including relevant contact information, date of the activity, type of activity, and supporting documentation, when necessary as follows:

  1. Information must be entered into the REX module of MWE.
  2. REX maintains a permanent record of a claimant’s work searches and eliminates the need to maintain a separate written log.
  3. DUI will no longer accept a written log of job contacts from a claimant as evidence that they have satisfied their ASW requirement.

4. Can I be exempt from the active search for work requirement?
You may be eligible for a work search exemption if you are:

  • On a temporary layoff and your employer has provided you with a definite return to work date of 10 weeks or less
  • A member of a union and are only permitted to seek/be assigned work through your union hiring hall
  • In a training program approved by the agency
  • Serving on a jury
  • Participating in the Work Sharing lay-off aversion program
  • A work search exemption order decreed by the Secretary of Maryland LABOR.

5. What should I do if I cannot be available as instructed or for a scheduled telephone fact-finding appointment?
You will be sent a “Claimant Telephone Appointment Notice” if there is an issue regarding your eligibility. It is important that you make all efforts to be available for the scheduled telephone interview appointment.
If you cannot be available, it is your responsibility to write the following on the back of the notice: the reason you are not available for the interview; and any information concerning the “Issue To Be Resolved” that is listed on the front of the appointment notice. Your statement will be used to determine your eligibility for benefits.

You must mail the notice to the address listed on the front of the notification. Please mail it back to the agency immediately prior to the interview date.

If you are not available and have not provided information concerning the “Issue To Be Resolved,” a determination will be made on your claim based on available information, which may result in a delay or denial of your benefits.

6. Am I required to search for work during this state of emergency?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency in Maryland, you are exempt from the requirement to actively search for work until thirty (30) days after the state of emergency is lifted.

You may still be selected for a federally-required reemployment workshop with a workforce professional which will take place one-on-one over the phone. The professional will work with you to develop an individualized reemployment plan to be implemented after the state of emergency is lifted.

We strongly encourage you to complete any of the reemployment activities which can be done online with MWE.

If you are in a union with a hiring hall, you must make regular contact in the manner prescribed by your union.

7. I began receiving benefits before the order exempting the work search requirement was issued. Do I have to perform a work search each week?
If you are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, you are exempted from completing the weekly work search requirement for the duration of the state of emergency plus 30 days.

8. I have been selected to participate in a reemployment workshop. Am I exempt from participating in the workshop during the state of emergency?
If you are selected to participate in a reemployment workshop during the state of emergency, you will be scheduled to complete a one-on-one telephone session with a Re-Employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) facilitator. During the one-on-one telephone session, you will work with the RESEA facilitator to develop an individual reemployment plan (IRP). However, you will not be required to complete the activities detailed in your IRP until the state of emergency has been lifted.

9. Although I am not required to search for work during the state of emergency, are there steps that I can take to increase my likelihood of getting reemployed once the labor market improves?
Yes! The Division of Unemployment Insurance encourages you to complete any of the activities listed below which can be done online at the Maryland Workforce Exchange. By completing these activities, you can maintain and increase your skills and training and position yourself to be hired quickly when the labor market stabilizes and businesses are hiring again.

Self-Service Reemployment Activities that you can perform virtually in MWE-REX:

  1. Self-Service Labor Market Research
  2. Skills Self-Assessment
  3. Outside Web-Linked Job Referral (e.g., Career Builder, Indeed, LinkedIn)
  4. Networking Events conducted in REX
  5. Completion of Training Courses in ALISON-REX
  6. Attending a Calendar Event posted in MWE-REX
  7. Virtual Recruiter
  8. Register for Work with a Private Employment Agency or Placement Facility of a School, College, or University

Work Sharing Information for Employees

1. What is Work Sharing?
Work Sharing (WS) is a voluntary Unemployment Insurance program that provides employers with an alternative to layoffs when they face a temporary and unexpected downturn in business. It allows employers to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of implementing a full layoff to a few employees. It allows employees to keep working but with fewer hours. While you are working fewer hours, you will receive a percentage of your regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. You may choose not to participate.

2. Can I apply for WS benefits if my employer reduced my hours?
Only your employer can establish a WS Plan. Individual employees cannot. You can notify your employer about the availability of the WS program. If your employer is not eligible or does not want to participate in WS and you are working reduced hours, you may be eligible for partial regular UI benefits.

3. Are there ever any reasons my employer cannot participate in WS?
Yes.

  • WS is not intended to be a means for employers to address problems such as seasonal or cyclical shutdowns, inventory control, model changeovers, or equipment maintenance.
  • WS is also not intended to allow an employer to use UI benefits to supplement the payroll on a continued basis.

4. Am I eligible for WS benefit payments?
To be eligible, you must:

  • Be monetarily eligible for regular UI benefits in Maryland and not have exhausted your entitlement to regular UI benefits;
  • Meet all the requirements of the law for us to pay UI benefits; you must be able and available for work but in the case of WS it means you must be able and available to work for your current employer and you do not have to look for work with another employer;
  • Be able and available to work your normal work hours;
  • Have worked at least three months for an employer with an approved WS Plan; and
  • Have been hired on a full-time or permanent part-time basis. Temporary or seasonal workers cannot participate.

5. How much money will I receive each week?
This depends on how many hours a week you work with the WS employer and your weekly UI benefit amount.

  • You will receive wages equal to the number of hours you work each week. If for example, your employer reduces your hours by 20% and you work 80% of your regular hours, you will receive 80% of your regular wages from your employer.
  • Your WS benefit payment is calculated using the percentage of the reduction of your working hours. If your working hours are reduced by 20%, then your WS benefit is 20% of your UI benefit amount.

Here are examples:

  • You regularly work 40 hours a week and earn $500. Your employer is reducing hours by 20%. You will receive 80% of your wages from your employer - $400 a week
  • Your UI weekly benefit amount is $250. WS benefits are 20% of the UI benefit - $50 a week
  • Total for the week = $450
  • If you have dependent children as defined for UI, you may also be eligible for an additional $8 dependency allowance for up to 5 dependents.

6. How are benefits paid?
Payments are issued through a debit card or a paper check.

WS benefits will not be released to an employee/WS claimant until the employer and the claimant certify the hours worked. The employer must submit the certifying information to the Reemployment and Trade Unit on a weekly basis.

7. When would I be eligible to be paid regular UI benefits instead of WS benefits?
You would be eligible for regular UI benefits instead of work sharing benefits when you do not work any hours in a week because:

  • your WS employer has no work available or
  • When you work more hours or less hours than your approved plan.

Because regular UI benefits are calculated differently than WS UI benefits, you may or may not receive benefits for that week.

8. What type of UI benefits will I get if I go on vacation for a week?
If you do not work any hours for your WS employer and you are not available for work during the week (vacation), you are not eligible for any type of UI benefits.

9. What happens if I use a day of paid leave (sick, vacation, personal) during a WS week? What about unpaid time off?

  • If you miss any time during a week and receive paid leave, those hours count as worked time for calculating WS benefits. However, you must do some work for the employer in that week.
  • If you take leave that is unpaid or you fail to work all available hours, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits during that week. For instance, if you are two hours late for work and are not paid for those two hours, you will not receive WS benefits for that week.

10. What happens if I am in a Union?
If you are represented by a union, the Plan must have the agreement of the collective bargaining agent. Your employer must seek the agreement of the employees covered under the Plan.

11. What happens to my health, retirement or other benefits while my hours are reduced on WS?
It is a requirement that benefits continue to be provided to affected employees as though their workweeks have not been reduced. However, if the employer reduces the level of benefits for its employees who are not in the WS program, the level of benefits may be reduced by a like amount for the employer's WS employees.

12. What do I do if my employer has been approved for WS?
The Reemployment and Trade Unit will provide instructions to your employer when your Plan begins. Your employer will then provide you with instructions for filing a claim. You do not need to contact the UI office to file for your weekly WS benefits. If you are filing for regular UI benefits, you must contact a local office.

While the Plan is in effect, your employer is responsible for ensuring that employees in the same affected group have the same number of reduced work hours each week. If the DUI discovers a discrepancy in claims by members in the same work unit, the Plan will be revoked.

Foreign Language Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Archive

Please Note: These translated FAQs are provided for informational purposes only as current operations of the program continue to change.

Español (Spanish)

Français (French)

한국어 (Korean)

中文 (Chinese)

Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

Tagalog (Filipino)

አማርኛ (Amharic)