Maryland Department of Labor Prepared for Impact of Potential Federal Shutdown


BALTIMORE, MD (April 8, 2011) – Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez announced plans today to handle unemployment insurance claims of Federal employees if they are furloughed due to a shutdown of the Federal government. The Division of Unemployment Insurance, led by Assistant Secretary Julie Ellen Squire, administers the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program.

“While I hold out hope that the Congress and the Administration can find a compromise that allows the Federal government to provide important services for Americans, continue progress toward economic recovery and build on recent job growth, I’ve directed my department to prepare for the impact of a Federal shutdown,” said Secretary Sanchez. “More than a quarter million Marylanders are employed by the Federal government and many will be eligible for temporary unemployment insurance benefits. DLLR is prepared to assist and guide all Marylanders through the claims process.”

Federal employees may file for unemployment insurance benefits during a temporary layoff. To meet the expected increased demand for services, the Division of Unemployment will provide specific information for Federal employees who work in Maryland on their home page.

If the U.S. Congress cannot reach a budget compromise and the Federal government is shut down for any period, the Division will launch a Web application early next week to accept claims from Federal employees who work in Maryland. Maryland residents who work for the Federal government in other jurisdictions – notably the District of Columbia or Virginia – must file claims in those jurisdictions. While the DLLR Division of Unemployment Insurance cannot accept claims from Marylanders who work in other jurisdictions, the Division’s website will provide Marylanders with information to navigate the claims process. In addition, the Division will extend call center hours to answer Marylanders’ questions and help furloughed Federal workers submit claims.

Any number of the 262,000 Marylanders employed by the U.S. Government may be impacted by the potential shutdown. DLLR will continue to provide Marylanders with uninterrupted services, including unemployment insurance benefits, skills training, financial regulation and consumer protections.

In an email to DLLR employees sent Thursday morning, Sec. Sanchez wrote, “A Federal shutdown will not affect [DLLR’s] day-to-operations. However, the [potential] temporary unemployment of thousands of Federally-employed Marylanders will certainly increase our workload. I appreciate efforts that will go above and beyond normal operations for what may be a difficult, but hopefully brief, period of time. I remain optimistic that an agreement can be worked out before a Federal shutdown becomes necessary.”