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Claimant Most Frequently Asked Questions - Unemployment Insurance

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BEACON 2.0

1. What is BEACON 2.0?
The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor), Division of Unemployment Insurance (the Division) launched BEACON 2.0 on Sunday, September 20, 2020, for claimants, and on Monday, September 21, 2020, for employers and third-party agents. BEACON is a fully modernized system which integrates benefits, appeals, and contributions functionalities. In BEACON 2.0, claimants can file claims for ALL unemployment insurance benefit programs.

BEACON also allows claimants to:

  • file claim certifications each week;
  • upload supporting documentation;
  • review their benefit payment history;
  • retrieve correspondence and other claimant information;
  • respond to fact-finding requests;
  • submit supporting documents for adjudication or appeals;
  • file appeals;
  • track and pay overpayments;
  • use reemployment services; and,
  • maintain their portal accounts.

2. How is the BEACON 2.0 system different from the prior system?
This new BEACON 2.0 system makes the filing process more user friendly and efficient. Claimants can use the system to file ALL claims for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs, including for programs that previously required a claimant to file a claim by phone. Individuals can use this BEACON 2.0 to file for:

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits, including for claimants who:
    • earned wages in multiple states; and
    • had more than 3 employers over the last 18 months.
  • 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) for those who:
    • have recently exhausted their regular UI benefits.
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) for those who:
    • ○ have earned both employment wages and self employment income (at least $5,000 in net self-employment income in the completed taxable year prior to their regular UI application).
  • Extended Benefits

BEACON 2.0 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

To use BEACON 2.0, you must create an account, including a username and password, which you will use to log in to the system. When you log in to BEACON 2.0, you will be in your claimant portal. In your claimant portal you can receive notices and alerts about your account, including notifications regarding any missing documentation. Additionally, you can select your preferred method of communication: e-mail, text message, or postal mail. All communications will be available in your portal immediately, which drastically reduces the time it takes for you to receive updates about your claim.

NOTE: If you created an account in the BEACON One-Stop application, prior to the BEACON 2.0 launch, you may use this username and password to access BEACON 2.0.

3. How do I file a claim if this is my first time filing for unemployment benefits in Maryland?
Please go to BEACON 2.0 and then select “Get Started with BEACON.” 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.

If you are applying for PUA, you can watch the PUA application tutorial video. For instructions about applying for PEUC, see the PEUC application tutorial video.

4. How do I create a BEACON account? How do I log into my BEACON portal?
To create a BEACON account:

  • Go to the BEACON 2.0 claimant portal login web page.
  • Select the “Get Started with BEACON” link.
  • Follow the prompts and input your information.

To log into your BEACON portal:

  • Go to the BEACON 2.0 claimant portal login web page.
  • Enter your unique username.
  • Enter your unique password.
  • Input the Captcha code shown on the screen. If you enter the code incorrectly, the system will display a new code.
  • Select the login button to log into your BEACON portal.

5. How do I reset my BEACON 2.0 username or password?
To reset your BEACON 2.0 username or password:

  • Go to the BEACON 2.0 claimant portal login web page.
  • Select “Login to my Account.” You will be taken to a web page where you can input your username and password.
  • Select either “Forgot Username” or “Forgot Password.”
  • If you selected, “Forgot Username,” input the email address associated with your BEACON account and input the Captcha code.
  • If you selected “Forgot Password,” enter your BEACON username and input the Captcha code.
  • Follow the prompts and input any requested information.
  • If you could not reset your username or password, call a live claims agent at 1-667-207-6520.

6. 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 2.0 and then select “Getting Started with BEACON'' to try to activate your account again. If you are still experiencing issues, please ccomplete the e-mail Inquiry Form 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.

7. What documents or information do I need to apply for UI benefits using BEACON 2.0?
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; and
  • 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

8. I am self-employed, an independent contractor, or a gig worker. What documentation do I need to apply for uneployment insurance (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; and
  • Evidence of your 2019 Income (e.g. 1099, Schedule K-1 , Schedule C).

See Proof of Employment Documentation Requirement for PUA Claimants.

9. 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 the Division with additional documentation. ALL documents, including photos, must be legible. Illegible documents will be rejected, which may delay the Division’s determination of whether or not you are eligible for benefits. You can provide the documents by uploading them in your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal. If you use your cell phone to take photos of your documents, please ensure that the information is clear and readable.

10. How can I apply for the Extended Benefits (EB)?
A state must meet federally-mandated requirements, including insured unemployment rate requirements, to offer EB to claimants. EB offers up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. If Maryland offers EB, potentially eligible claimants will be notified about the program and how to apply in BEACON 2.0.

You can apply for all UI benefit programs, including federally extended benefits, onlinein BEACON 2.0 or by calling a live claims agent at 1-667-207-6520.

11. I received an e-mail from BEACON 2.0 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 2.0. 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 2.0 and the embedded link is displayed only as text, please activate the links using the instructions given by your e-mail provider.

12. I tried to logon to BEACON 2.0, 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 2.0, or try another supported browser.

13. 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 2.0 User Guide. If you are still experiencing issues, please complete the e-mail Inquiry Form 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.

14. How do I file a claim if this is my first time filing for unemployment benefits in Maryland?
Please go to BEACON 2.0 and then select “Get Started with BEACON.” 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.

15. How do I file a claim if I started an application in BEACON, but have not completed it?
Please go to BEACON 2.0 and then select “Get Started with BEACON.” Answer the prompts to be able to complete an unfinished claim application.

16. 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 2.0 account. Please go to BEACON 2.0 and select “Get Started with BEACON.” Answer the prompts to activate your account. 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. If you have any technical questions, please contact BEACON.support@maryland.gov or complete the online Inquiry Form. For other assistance, please contact a live claims agent at 1-667-207-6520.

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.  For account activation and log in assistance, see the Account Activation and Login Tutorial Video.

17. There is an error on my statement of “Eligibility Determination and Statement of Wages” form, 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 1-667-207-6520. 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 several hundred 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 has hired over 100 new unemployment insurance employees. We share your frustration and are committed to increasing our claim centers’ capacities.

18. Technical Support
If you require technical assistance with the BEACON 2.0 system, submit your issue to online Inquiry Form if you are a claimant or to dluiemployerassistance-labor@maryland.gov if you are an employer.

Benefit Payment and Bank of America Debit Card Information

IMPORTANT: Please note that the department is transitioning from paying unemployment insurance claimants their benefits with a Bank of America debit card to direct deposit or paper check through Wells Fargo. Claimants will begin receiving their benefit payments via direct deposit or paper check in May 2021. Find more information about the transition and next steps claimants need to take.

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:

  • 667-207-6520, 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 2.0 or by calling 667-207-6520.

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 667-207-6520.

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 667-207-6520 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 (UI) 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 BEACON 2.0 portal or by phone (410-949-0022 or 800-827-4839). Your weekly claim certification must be filed between 12:01 a.m. Sunday and by 11:59 p.m. Saturday ET, immediately following the week for which you are requesting benefits.

For Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance purposes, the benefit week runs from Sunday through Saturday. For example, if you file your weekly claim certification on Wednesday, May 19, you are requesting benefit payments for the benefit week that started on Sunday, May 9, and ended on Saturday, May 15.

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 667-207-6520 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 UI 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 payments, you must file a weekly claim certification. You may file your weekly claim certification through your BEACON 2.0 portal or by calling 410-949-0022 or 800-827-4839. The weekly claim certification questions are identical no matter which method you use to file.

When you file your weekly claim certification by phone, you will choose your preferred language, and then press 1 to begin filing your weekly claim certification. You will need to enter your Social Security number and PIN to access the questions.

To file your weekly claim certification in BEACON 2.0, go to the BEACON login page and enter your username and password to access your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal. If you filed an initial claim in BEACON and you are filing a weekly claim certification for the first time, log in using the username and password that you previously created to file your initial claim.

To file your weekly claim certification, you can select "Weekly Certification" from the menu on the left 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.

You will be asked to certify that the information you provided on your weekly claim certification is correct. To acknowledge that the information you provided is correct, select the checkbox on the appropriate screen. 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 weekly claim certification questions?

Question 1. Did you work either full time or part time 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 #3. 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 wages. Your gross wages refer to the amount that you receive for work before taxes or deductions (such as for medical insurance premiums) are taken out.

FRAUD WARNING: If you make a false statement or representation, or knowingly fail to disclose a fact to obtain or increase benefit payments, you may be disqualified from receiving UI benefits. Additionally, you may be required to repay any benefits fraudulently obtained, with interest and fees.

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 wages. Your gross wages refer to the amount of money that you receive for work before taxes or deductions (such as for medical insurance premiums) are taken out.

Question 3. Did you engage in any self-employment during the 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 “YES” to this question. 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 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 during the week, including an offer of part-time or remote part-time work, answer “YES.” If you were NOT offered work or paid telework during the week, then answer “NO.”

Question 5. 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 UI 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 from another state or Canada, then you would answer “YES” to this question. If you did not receive UI benefits from another state or Canada, then you should answer “NO” to this question.
  2. Any paid sick leave or other paid benefits?
    This question is asking whether you received any paid leave benefits while unemployed. This includes payments such as sick or FMLA leave or paid vacation. If you are receiving such paid leave benefits, then answer “YES” to this question and provide the amount of the payment that you received. If you are not receiving such paid leave benefits, then answer “NO” to this question.

Question 6. During the week listed above, were you able and available for work in your occupation without restrictions?
This means you were physically and mentally able to work and available to work all hours on any day that are customary for your occupation.

This question is asking whether you were able to work and available for work without any restrictions. To be able to work without restrictions 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 “NO” to this question. If there were no restrictions on your ability to work and availability for work, then answer “YES” to this question.

Question 7. Are you unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of COVID-19?
This question is asking whether the reason that you are unemployed, or the restriction on your ability and availability for work, is due to COVID-19. This question helps the Division determine if the reason that you are unemployed qualifies you for UI benefits or if the restriction on your ability and availability is for a permissible reason. Additional documentation may be required. If you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for UI benefits under one of the temporary federal pandemic UI programs. These programs will end on Saturday, September 4, 2021. For more information about these temporary federal programs, see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Issues FAQs.

Question 8. Did you actively look for work during the week?
This question is asking if you performed any activities with the goal of becoming reemployed. If claimants do not meet the active search for work requirement, their benefit payments may be delayed or denied.

NOTE: Effective Sunday, July 4, 2021, to maintain eligibility for UI benefits, claimants receiving regular UI benefits must actively search for work during each week that they request benefit payments.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claimants must actively search for work effective Sunday, July 18, 2021.

To satisfy the active search for work requirement, you must:

1. complete your registration with the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE);
2. complete at least three valid reemployment activities per week, which must include at least one job contact; and,
3. enter your completed job contact(s) and valid reemployment activities each week in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log (located in MWE).

Detailed instructions for registering with MWE and entering your job contact(s) and valid reemployment activities are available online, as well as in this video tutorial. A full list of valid reemployment activities is also available on the Division’s website.

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.

Question 10. Did you receive your first payment from a pension that you have not already reported?
Do not include Social Security benefits.

You must report any lump sum pension or monthly pension payments you receive from any employer for whom you have worked during the last 18 months. These payments may be deductible from UI benefits. It is required that you report the effective date of any pension payments, even if the actual payments are received at a later date. You must also report any changes to your pension amount.

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 yet. Your gross wages refer to 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 any self-employment work, then you must report your 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.

6. Where do I locate my weekly claims certification in the BEACON 2.0 application?
Log into your BEACON 2.0 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Issues

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) UI Benefit Provisions

1. Who is eligible for benefits under ARPA?
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provisions extend several temporary federal unemployment insurance programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). ARPA was signed into law on March 11, 2021, and the ARPA unemployment insurance programs will expire on Saturday, September 4, 2021. The week ending date is the end of the benefit week for which a qualifying claimant should file a weekly claim certification to request benefit payments. In Maryland, the benefit week always begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. The number of weeks of benefits you receive varies according to the UI program through which you are collecting benefits and is dependent on your continued eligibility for benefits.

You must report all of the money you earn each week on your weekly claim certification. You will need to report your gross wages. However, if you earn any income from self-employment, consulting, gig work, or working as an independent contractor, you must report your net income. If you earn money in a week that you receive benefits, the amount that you earn will be deducted from your benefit payment. There is a $50 threshold for earnings deductions. Due to recent state legislation enacted due to COVID-19, a $200 threshold for earnings deductions applies from the week of unemployment ending April 17, 2021, to the week ending June 29, 2021. For example, if you are eligible for a $430 Weekly Benefit Amount for one of those weeks and you earn $400 in a week, you would be eligible for $230 in benefits that week. You would also receive the additional $300 weekly FPUC amount, so your total benefit payment for that week would be $530.

a) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Individuals who are not eligible for Regular Unemployment Insurance (Regular UI) benefits and who are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason may be eligible to receive up to 79 weeks of benefits under PUA between the weeks ending Saturday, March 20, 2021, and Saturday, September 4, 2021. The 79 week maximum includes any weeks of PUA that a claimant previously received and any weeks of regular UI and Extended Benefits (EB) that a claimant received after February 2, 2020. Claimants who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, or who do not have sufficient work history are not normally eligible for Regular UI, but may qualify for PUA.

To qualify for PUA, claimants must provide proof of their employment, self-employment, planned commencement of employment, or planned commencement of self-employment. Claimants will receive an Action Item in BEACON 2.0 with a link to upload this documentation. Individuals who filed an initial claim before January 31, 2021, must upload this documentation within 90 days of receiving the action item, and individuals who filed an initial claim after January 31, 2021, must upload this documentation within 21 days. All PUA claimants will receive an Action Item in their BEACON portals to upload this documentation. See the Proof of Employment Documentation Requirement for PUA Claimants web page and FAQ number 22 (Why am I being asked to provide proof of self-employment or planned commencement of employment or self-employment for PUA?) for additional information and for a list of acceptable documents that demonstrate proof of employment. In an effort to prevent fraud, PUA claimants may be required to provide additional identity verification documentation.

Additionally, PUA claimants must also be unemployed or underemployed due to one of the following COVID-19 related reasons:

  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 you were 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 are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  8. You have become the main source of income for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
  9. You have to quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  10. Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or,
  11. You are self-employed (including an independent contractor and gig worker) and experienced a significant reduction in your customary or usual services because of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  12. You were denied continued unemployment benefits because you refused to return to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite that is not in compliance with local, state, or national COVID-19 health and safety standards (such as wearing face masks, physical distancing measures, or using personal protective equipment consistent with public health guidelines);
  13. You provide services to an educational institution/educational service agency and you are unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule caused by COVID-19 (including changes in schedules and partial closures); and,
  14. You were laid off, either temporarily or permanently, or your hours were reduced as a direct result of COVID-19.

b) Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): Eligible claimants can receive an additional $300 per week, in addition to their weekly benefit amount, under FPUC. Qualifying claimants will receive FPUC automatically and do not need to file an additional application. To qualify for FPUC, claimants must be receiving at least $1 in benefits under one of the following unemployment insurance programs: Regular UI; PEUC; PUA; Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE); Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX); Extended Benefits (EB); Short-Time Compensation (STC) (called Work Sharing in Maryland); and Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA). If you are eligible, you will receive FPUC automatically. You do not need to apply for the FPUC program. The FPUC program was extended by ARPA and will end in Maryland on Saturday, September 4, 2021.

You will receive your FPUC payments at the same time that you receive your other unemployment compensation payments. The first FPUC payment you receive will include any prior weeks of FPUC that you were eligible for, but did not previously receive.

c) Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): PEUC provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits for claimants who have exhausted their 26 weeks of Regular UI benefits (since July 1, 2019). The PEUC program was extended by ARPA and will end in Maryland on Saturday, September 4, 2021. PEUC provides a maximum of 53 additional weeks of benefits for claimants, which includes any previous weeks of PEUC benefits a claimant received.

d) Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC): MEUC provides an additional $100 weekly payment to eligible claimants who earned both employment wages and at least $5,000 in net self-employment income in the completed taxable year prior to their Regular UI application. Claimants must also be receiving Regular UI, PEUC, EB, or Work Sharing benefits (based on the W-2 income only) to be eligible for MEUC.

For claimants who applied for Regular UI benefits prior to the week ending January 2, 2021, the most recent tax year refers to Calendar Year 2019. For claimants who applied for Regular UI after the week ending January 2, 2021, the most recent tax year refers to Calendar Year 2020. Claimants receiving PUA are NOT eligible for MEUC. The MEUC program was extended by ARPA. MEUC is available in Maryland from the weeks ending Saturday, January 2, 2021, to Saturday, September 4, 2021.

The Maryland Department of Labor began accepting applications for the MEUC program on Monday, March 1, 2021, and began making MEUC payments on Friday, March 12, 2021. Claimants will receive payment backdated to their earliest date of eligibility. All potentially eligible claimants will be notified.

2. How much will I be eligible for?

Under PUA, the Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is calculated based on your earnings in the prior Calendar Year, with a minimum WBA of $176. As an example, if you applied for PUA in 2020, your WBA is based on the wages and income you earned in 2019. If you applied for PUA in 2021, your WBA is based on the wages and income you earned in 2020.

Under PEUC, the benefit amount is the same as the Regular Unemployment Insurance WBA that you received.

Under FPUC, eligible claimants will receive an additional $300 per week in unemployment insurance benefits. The additional benefits are available from the weeks ending March 20, 2021, to September 4, 2021, in Maryland.

Under MEUC, claimants who earned qualifying employment and self-employment income, and who also receive benefits under the Regular UI, PEUC, EB, or Work Sharing programs, may receive an additional $100 weekly benefit. PUA claimants are NOT eligible for MEUC.

3. 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.

4. Are my unemployment insurance benefits taxable?
Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are subject to federal, state and, if applicable, local taxes: federal tax (10%); Maryland state tax (7%). You can opt to have either/or both federal and state taxes withheld from your benefits, or to not have any taxes withheld at all. Benefits received through the federal pandemic UI programs (PUA, PEUC, MEUC, and FPUC), are also taxable.

However, for the 2020 tax year, ARPA waives federal taxes on UI benefits (on up to $10,200 of UI benefits for individuals and on up to $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, if each spouse received UI benefits) for households with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. The Maryland Relief Act waives local and state income taxes on UI benefits for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. Under the Maryland Relief Act, this waiver is available to taxpayers with the following filing status: single; married; married filing separately; and dependent. Taxpayers must have a Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI) of less than $75,000, and filers with married filing jointly, head of household, or surviving spouse status must have a FAGI of less than $100,000.

5. Are gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors covered in the bill?
Yes. PUA is a special program which provides benefits to those who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance, including gig workers (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb hosts, etc.), freelancers, and independent contractors.

6. 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 remain eligible for PUA benefits under ARPA. Self-employed workers are also eligible for the additional $300 weekly FPUC amount. ARPA extended the pandemic federal UI programs (PUA, PEUC, MEUC, and FPUC) from the weeks ending March 20, 2021, to September 4, 2021.

7. I am a part-time worker who lost my job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Am I eligible for benefits?
Yes. Part-time workers who are unemployed are eligible for benefits. Your recent wages are taken into consideration when calculating the amount of benefits you will receive. You will also be eligible for the additional $300 weekly FPUC benefit.

8. I have been working part-time and my employer recently reduced my hours. Am I eligible to file for benefits?
Yes, you are eligible for partial benefits if your hours were reduced as a result of a specified COVID-19 related reason, and your reported earnings are not greater than your Weekly Benefit Amount.

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

10. 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 is shut down because of coronavirus — you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

11. What if I am advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine because of exposure to coronavirus? What about government orders to stay at home?
If you must self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits under ARPA. In the event of a government stay-at-home order, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits if you cannot reach your place of employment and if you are not given the option to telework.

12. I was about to start a new job and now cannot get there because of an outbreak.
Under ARPA, individuals who planned to commence employment or self-employment, but were unable to due to COVID-19, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You may also be eligible if you do not have sufficient work history to qualify for benefits under traditional circumstances.

13. I became unemployed a few weeks ago and I am now filing for unemployment benefits. Will I be able to get benefits for those weeks I did not file?
Claimants can backdate their claim for Regular Unemployment Insurance benefits to the first affected week of unemployment. However, if you are a claimant who filed/files for PUA after December 27, 2020, you can only backdate your claim to the week ending December 12, 2020, in Maryland, per federal requirements. Claimants who filed for PUA before December 27, 2020, can backdate their claims to the first affected week of unemployment (back to the PUA program start date of February 2, 2020). To backdate your claim greater than one week, you must contact a claims agent for assistance at 667-207-6520.

14. I had to quit my job because I, or someone in my household, was directly impacted by the coronavirus. Am I eligible to apply for benefits?
Under some circumstances, an employee who had to quit a job due to the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible for UI benefits. For example, if you had to quit because a healthcare provider recommended that you quarantine, or because your child’s daycare closed and you are the primary caregiver, those reasons for quitting are covered and you may be eligible for benefits.

A claimant who quits a job out of fear of exposure to COVID-19, however, may not be eligible for UI benefits. For an individual to be eligible for benefits in this circumstance, the reason for quitting must be based on the individual’s personal health or the health of a member of the individual’s household.

15. My employer shut down my workplace because of coronavirus. Am I eligible for benefits?
If you are unemployed, partly unemployed, or unable to work because your employer closed down due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits under ARPA.

16. 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. Additionally, individuals who are not separated from employment due to a COVID-19 related reason are ineligible for PUA, but may be eligible for benefits under a different unemployment insurance benefit program.

17. How long will my benefit payments last?
It will vary according to the UI program through which you are collecting benefits and is dependent on your continued eligibility for benefits. Maryland provides up to 26 weeks of Regular UI benefits. The PEUC program provides up to 53 additional weeks of benefit payments to claimants who exhaust 26 weeks of Regular UI benefits. The PUA program provides up to 79 weeks of UI benefits for non-traditional workers. PEUC and PUA benefits will be available until the claimant reaches the program’s maximum number of weeks or until the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021..

18. I did not earn enough to qualify for Regular unemployment insurance benefits. Am I eligible for assistance under the ARPA programs?
Individuals without sufficient work history, who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason, are eligible for benefits under the PUA program. An individual who lacks sufficient work history is someone who has not worked for a long enough period of time or for a consistent duration, and who did not earn enough wages to be eligible for Regular UI.

19. I am already receiving Regular UI benefits. Will I receive any additional assistance under ARPA?
Even if you are already receiving Regular UI benefits for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, you may be eligible to apply for PEUC to receive up to an additional 53 weeks of benefits. Claimants must exhaust their 26 weeks of Regular UI benefits before they are eligible for PEUC. A claimant who receives at least $1 in Regular UI benefits during the FPUC program dates is also eligible for the $300 weekly FPUC supplement.

20. I recently exhausted my regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. How can I get an extension?
If you exhausted your Regular UI benefits after July 1, 2019, you may be eligible for PEUC benefits. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can receive up to 53 additional weeks of UI benefits. Please log in to your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal to apply.

21. Will receiving benefits disqualify me from any other programs?
The benefits provided under the ARPA UI programs may affect your eligibility for other programs. For example, the additional $300 FPUC benefit counts as income when determining eligibility for means-tested programs, except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The MEUC additional $100 benefit DOES count as income for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.

22. Why am I being asked to provide proof of self-employment or planned commencement of employment or self-employment for PUA??
The U.S. Department of Labor requires any individual who files an initial application for PUA, or who continues to file for PUA benefits, after December 27, 2020, to provide documentation to substantiate their employment, self-employment, planned commencement of employment or planned commencement of self-employment. For acceptable documentation to substantiate proof of employment or self-employment (or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment), see Proof of Employment Documentation Requirement for PUA Claimants.

Please note that even if you provided this same documentation in response to the original proof of income action item, you must reupload the documentation to your BEACON portal to both satisfy the proof of employment action item and the federal program requirements.

23. 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 2.0 portal portal will also contain the notice. The easiest way to provide any requested documentation is through BEACON 2.0. Once the Division adjudicates your claim, you will be notified of the decision through your preferred method and your portal.

24. When will I 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 extraordinarily high claim volume as a result of the impact of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance cannot provide a definite timeline on benefit delivery. However, many claimants have received their benefits in less than 21 days. Your patience is greatly appreciated during this pandemic.

25. Which tax year should I provide documentation for to receive MEUC?
If you are a continuing claimant (initially applied for benefits in 2020) within the Regular UI, PEUC or Work Sharing programs, you need to provide documentation from tax year 2019 that proves you earned $5,000 or more in self-employment income to be eligible for MEUC benefits. If you are a claimant filing for UI benefits (Regular UI, PEUC, or Work Sharing) for the first time on or after December 27, 2020 for, you must provide documentation from tax year 2020 to be eligible for the additional $100 MEUC benefit.

26. Can I change my benefit program to get the additional $100 benefit under MEUC?
No, your benefit program is determined by your job classification and type of income. You were asked to provide this information in your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal when you filed your initial application for UI benefits. MEUC is not available to claimants receiving benefits under the PUA program.

27. What documentation is sufficient as proof of self-employment income for MEUC?
If you are applying for MEUC, sufficient proof of self-employment income includes, but is not limited to, pay check stubs, invoices, the prior year’s tax return, bank receipts, business records, ledgers, and billing statements which substantiate $5,000 or more in self-employment income. All claimants who are potentially eligible will be messaged directly with instructions on how to apply for this benefit.

28. I have documentation to show $5,000 in self-employment income, but I am receiving benefits under PUA. Can I get the additional benefit under MEUC?
No. Claimants who are enrolled in the PUA program are not eligible to receive the additional MEUC benefit. MEUC provides an additional $100 weekly payment to eligible claimants who earned both employment wages and at least $5,000 in net self-employment income in the completed taxable year prior to their Regular UI application. Claimants must also be receiving Regular UI, PEUC, or Work Sharing benefits (based on the W-2 income only) to be eligible for MEUC.

29. If my employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing me from coming to work, am I eligible for benefits?
If you are temporarily laid off due to a business shutdown as a result of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) recommends that you file an initial claim for UI benefits. After you file a claim, DUI will determine whether you qualify to receive UI benefits. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, log in to BEACON 2.0, or file by phone during business hours at 667-207-6520.

30. 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 involves a reduction of both work hours and earnings. An individual who is receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave is still receiving pay and is generally not considered to be “unemployed” for purposes of collecting unemployment insurance benefits. If you are currently instructed to quarantine by a medical professional, and your employer has instructed you not to return to work until the quarantine is ended and has not provided the option to telework, DUI recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance.

After you file a claim, DUI will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or by phone at 667-207-6520 during business hours.

31. 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 COVID-19 and you decide to leave your employment, the DUI 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 the ARPA COVID-19 related reasons or Maryland’s provisions for good cause and/or just circumstances for voluntarily leaving work, as described in Section 8-1001 of Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law.

After you file a claim, DUI will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

32. If I need to take time off work because I am sick, but I have not been instructed to quarantine by a medical professional, 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, DUI 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 to work for the same employer in the future.

After you file a claim, DUI will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

33. 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. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

34. If my employer reduces my hours as a result of COVID-19, am I 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. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

35. 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. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

36. Can I still collect unemployment benefits if I am able to work remotely from home?
If you continue to work remotely for the same number of hours you normally work, you are not considered to be unemployed. However, if you are working reduced hours while working remotely, it is recommended that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. To file a claim for benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visit BEACON, or file by phone by calling 1-667-207-6520, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

37. 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?
Yes. Employers regularly report (quarterly) the wages of their employees to DUI. These wages, including reported tips, are used to help calculate your Weekly Benefit Amount. If a tipped employee files a claim and receives a determination about a Weekly Benefit Amount that the employee disagrees with, the employee 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.

38. If I earn wages, can I still receive the FPUC $300 payments? How many hours can I work and still receive FPUC?
Your eligibility for benefits in a week is based on your earnings, not the hours that you work. You must report all of the money you earn each week on your weekly claim certification. You will need to report your gross wages. However, if you earn any income from self-employment, consulting, gig work, or working as an independent contractor, you must report your net income. If you earn money in a week that you receive benefits, the amount that you earn will be deducted from your benefit payment. There is a $50 threshold for earnings deductions. Due to recent state legislation enacted due to COVID-19, a $200 threshold for earnings deductions applies from the week of unemployment ending April 17, 2021, to the week ending June 29, 2021. For example, if you are eligible for a $430 Weekly Benefit Amount and you earn $400 in a week, you would be eligible for $230 in benefits that week. You would also receive the additional $300 weekly FPUC amount, so your total benefit payment for that week would be $530.

39. I was separated from my employer two weeks ago due to a COVID-19 related reason and I am applying for unemployment. Can I backdate my claim for benefits to the date that I stopped working?
Yes, claims may be backdated to the first affected week of unemployment. Claims that are filed after December 27, 2020, may be backdated to as early as the week ending December 12, 2020. If you need to backdate a claim by greater than one week, then you will need to call a claims agent for assistance at 667-207-6520.

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.

Direct Deposit of Benefit Payments

TRANSITION FROM UI BENEFIT DEBIT CARD TO DIRECT DEPOSIT

1. Why did the Division transition to a new UI benefit payment method, direct deposit?

The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (the Division) is committed to providing a safe and efficient benefit payment experience for claimants and ensuring the integrity of the unemployment insurance program. Direct deposit is an electronic transfer of funds directly into a recipient's bank account that is both safe and convenient. Claimants are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit if they have a checking or savings account and their financial institution is able to receive direct deposits.

2. What are the advantages of receiving benefit payments through direct deposit?

  • Direct deposit is a more convenient and safer method than payment by debit card or check, as it eliminates the possibility of theft or loss of the debit card or check.

    • Following enrollment in direct deposit, UI benefit payments are conveniently and electronically deposited directly into your bank account.

    • Direct deposit eliminates the need to keep track of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits Debit Card.

    • The direct deposit payment is completely free (subject to the rules of your bank or financial institution).

    • You can track your UI benefit payments through your bank account, as opposed to logging into a third-party website.

    • To learn more general information about bank and credit union accounts, read the FAQs from the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.

    3. How can I select direct deposit or paper check as my payment method?

    • If you are a new claimant, you will be required to choose your preferred payment method (direct deposit or paper check) when you file an initial claim.

    • If you are an existing claimant, you can change your payment method in BEACON 2.0 or the mobile app. To change your method in BEACON, select “Change Payment Method” under the Quick Actions section of your BEACON portal.

    • If you select direct deposit, you will be asked to enter your bank account information.

    • If you select paper check, you will be asked to confirm your mailing address. You must do so even if your mailing address has not changed.

    NOTE: There is no automatic default payment option. All claimants are required to select a payment method (direct deposit or paper check) to prevent a delay in benefit payments.

    Please note: For the safety of your personal information, Division staff are unable to update or enter your bank account information.

    4. When did the Division stop issuing unemployment benefit payments through debit cards?

    Friday, May 21, 2021, was the last day that the Division issued new debit cards or loaded benefit payments onto the debit cards. Beginning on Monday, May 24, 2021, all unemployment insurance benefit payments are made by either direct deposit or check -- even for backdated weeks.

    5. When can I enroll in direct deposit?

    Direct deposit enrollments began on Friday, April 30, 2021. Existing claimants were asked to select a new payment method between Friday, April 30, 2021, and Friday, May 21, 2021, to prevent a delay in benefit payments. If you are a new claimant, you will be required to choose your preferred payment method when you file your initial claim.

    NOTE: There is no automatic default payment option. All claimants are required to select a payment method (direct deposit or paper check) to prevent a delay in benefit payments.

    6. I am interested in direct deposit, but I do not have a bank account. What are my options?

    If you do not have an account with a financial institution but would like to select direct deposit as your payment method, consider opening a bank or credit union account. There are many options in Maryland.

    • To learn more general information about bank and credit union accounts, read the FAQs from the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.

    • To learn about some of the many bank account options available for Marylanders, visit the CASH Campaign of Maryland’s Bank On Maryland program.

    • Please note it is a consumer’s responsibility to thoroughly research and review any information provided by any of these entities before opening an account.

    • You may also contact a financial institution of your choice.

    NOTE: If you have additional questions about any of the financial institutions listed on the Bank On Maryland website, please contact the financial institution directly.

    7. What information do I need to sign up for direct deposit?

    You will need:

    • Account Type: This will usually be a checking or savings account.

    • Bank Routing Number: This number identifies the bank or credit union. For a checking account, it is the nine-digit number that generally appears on the lower left portion of a personal check. A savings account typically does not have the routing number listed, so you may need to contact your financial institution for the routing number.

    • Account Number: For a checking account, the account number usually appears just to the right of the bank routing number on the check. It may be a series of digits followed by the check number or it may be a series of digits after the check number. The number of digits in an account number differs, depending on the bank or credit union. An account number may also include hyphens, spaces, or letters, and if so, they should be included when entering your account information. The savings account number should be on your statement or passbook.

    8. Who should I contact if I cannot find my routing number or account number?

    For assistance determining your routing number and account number, please contact your financial institution.

    9. Do I need to contact my bank/financial institution to enroll in direct deposit benefit payments?

    No, you do not need to contact your bank or financial institution to receive benefit payments through direct deposit. Unemployment benefit payments are issued by Wells Fargo on behalf of the Division. However, you will be required to input your bank account information in BEACON 2.0 or the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app to enroll in direct deposit payments.

    10. Will my bank account information need to be verified?

    Yes. To complete your enrollment in direct deposit, you will be prompted to enter the following information about your bank account:

    • Bank Account Type;

    • Routing Number;

    • Bank Name;

    • Bank Account Number; and,

    • Confirm Bank Account Number.

    After entering your information, you will select “verify.” Once your account information is verified, you will see the following message in red lettering: “Bank details verification is successful. Payment method is updated.” If you do not see this message, your direct deposit enrollment is not complete.

    In some cases, a claimant’s bank account cannot be verified because the personal information (name or address) listed for a claimant in BEACON 2.0 does not match the information associated with the claimant’s bank account. These details must match and be verified to enroll in direct deposit.

    To correct this, a claimant can either update their personal information in BEACON 2.0 or with their bank.

    • If a claimant updates their information with their bank, it will take at least 3 business days for the bank account verification process via BEACON to note these changes.

    • However, if a claimant updates their information in BEACON, the information is processed immediately.

    After a claimant updates their name or address (and if done so with their bank, has waited at least 3 business days), a claimant must enter their bank account information again, following the steps listed above, and select “verify.” Once the verification process is successful, a claimant’s direct deposit enrollment is complete.

    If further verification of your bank account information is needed by Wells Fargo, this will happen via a “micro deposit” process. The purpose of this micro deposit process is to ensure that your bank account is able to receive ACH deposits. You will receive two deposits of less than $1.00 into your account, usually within 1-2 business days. You will be able to see them in your bank account’s transaction history.

    NOTE: One withdrawal will be made from your account. The withdrawal amount will be equivalent to the amount of the two micro deposits. Although you can select direct deposit as your payment method in the mobile app, you cannot use the mobile app to complete the micro deposit verification process. To complete the micro deposit process, you must log into BEACON 2.0.

    11. What do I need to do after I receive micro deposits in my bank account?

    Once you have received the micro deposits in your account, you must return to your BEACON portal to confirm the amounts that were deposited. You will receive an Action Item in your portal with instructions.

    NOTE: This can only be completed by accessing BEACON 2.0 via an internet browser. You cannot use the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app to confirm the micro deposits.

    12. What should I do if my bank account information is not verified by the micro deposit process?

    If the micro deposit process cannot verify your bank account information, it may be due to one of two reasons:

    • You entered your bank account information in BEACON, but you did not complete the micro deposit process by entering the amount of the two micro deposits in BEACON;

    • You entered your bank account information in BEACON incorrectly, and as a result, the micro deposits were not deposited into your account.

    If you did not enter the amount of the micro deposits in BEACON:

    • If you entered your bank account information less than five days ago, monitor your bank account’s transaction history for the micro deposits. Once they are deposited into your account, complete the Action Item in your BEACON portal.

    • If you entered your bank account information more than five days ago, check your bank account’s transaction history for the micro deposits. If they were deposited in your account, log into your BEACON 2.0 portal to complete the Action Item. The Action Item will remain in your portal until you have:

      1.   Completed the micro deposit verification process;

      2.   Entered new bank account information; or,

      3.   Changed your payment method.

    If your bank account information was entered incorrectly:

    • You must start the enrollment process again to receive benefit payments by direct deposit.

    • Sign into BEACON. Under “Quick Actions,” select “Change Payment Method.”

    • Select “Pay my benefits by Direct Deposit” and enter your bank account information.

    • If your bank account information is verified, the following message will be displayed in your BEACON portal: “Bank details verification is successful. Payment Method is updated.”

    If your bank account information is not approved or you are unable to receive direct deposits:

    • You must log into your BEACON portal.

    • Click on “Change Payment Method” (on your homepage under “Quick Actions”).

    • Select “Pay my benefits by check mailed by United States Postal Service.”

    • You will be asked to confirm your mailing address. You must do so even if your mailing address has not changed.

    13. What happens if my bank account information is NOT verified by Wells Fargo?

    If you attempt to enroll in direct deposit payments and your banking account information is not approved, you may consider using another financial institution to receive direct deposit payments. If you do not want to use another financial institution, please elect to receive benefit payments by paper check.

    14. When can I expect to receive my benefit payment via direct deposit?

    If you requested benefit payments via direct deposit, the timing of your payment depends on both when you filed your weekly claim certification and the amount of time it takes your banking institution to process the payment.

    Your funds will be sent for processing on the next business day. This may vary during holidays and weekends. Please note that while your funds are quickly processed by the Division, the time it takes for your funds to be available in your bank account will depend on your particular banking institution.

    15. Can I receive payments via direct deposit if I have issues pending on my claim?

    Enrolling in direct deposit has no impact on any issues pending on your claim. However, if you have issues pending on your claim, those issues may result in a determination that you are ineligible for benefits. You will be issued a determination letter stating whether or not you are eligible for benefits, and, if applicable, the reason why you are ineligible for benefits. If you are determined to be ineligible, you will not receive benefit payments until the issues are resolved. You have the right to appeal a determination you disagree with.

    16. How can I enroll in direct deposit if I do not have a computer?

    Owning a computer is not necessary to enroll in direct deposit. To enroll in direct deposit, you must log into BEACON 2.0, which you can do from a mobile device with internet access or a computer, or the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app, which you can access from a mobile device.

    Although you can select direct deposit as your payment method in the mobile app, you cannot use the mobile app to complete the micro deposit verification process. To complete the micro deposit process, you must log into BEACON 2.0.

    If you do not have access to a computer or mobile device, you can check the computer availability at your local library. The Division’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system cannot be used to select a payment method or enroll in direct deposit.

    NOTE: DO NOT share personal user ID and/or password information. Anyone who uses a public computer should log out of personal online accounts when they are finished using the computer.

    17. Is direct deposit my only payment option?

    No. You may elect to receive benefit payments by paper check instead of direct deposit. If you decide to select check as your preferred payment method, you must verify your mailing address in BEACON 2.0 or in the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app. You must do this even if your mailing address has not changed.

    18. When can I expect to receive my benefit payment via paper check?

    If you requested benefit payments via paper check, the receipt of your payment will depend on when you filed your weekly claim certification. If you are determined to be eligible for benefits, paper checks are processed on the next business day and will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Once the check has been mailed, the Division cannot provide updates on its location or the status of its delivery.

    19. What must I do in the event my unemployment benefit check is lost, damaged or stolen?

    You can report a lost, damaged or stolen check in your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal.

    • From your BEACON 2.0 claimant portal homepage, select “Benefit Payment” and then, “Claimant Payment Summary.”

    • Under “Claimant Payment Summary,” select the week ending date related to the benefit payment.

    • Once you have chosen the date, select “Payment Lost, Damaged, Stolen.”

    • In the “Payment Lost, Damaged, Stolen” section, select whether your payment was lost, stolen, or damaged, and enter any additional pertinent information in the “Notes” section.

    • You will then be asked to confirm or update your address.

    • After you confirm your address, you may submit your request to reissue your payment.

    NOTE: Claimants who knowingly provide false information, misrepresent, or withhold information to increase or obtain unemployment insurance (UI) benefits may be found guilty of committing UI fraud. Penalties for UI fraud could include a yearlong denial of UI benefits, criminal charges, fines and imprisonment, as well as repayment of any illegally-obtained money with interest.

    20. What should I do if I select paper check as my payment method, but my mailing address changes?

    • You can change/update your mailing address online. To do so, log into your BEACON 2.0 portal.

    •  Go to the Quick Actions section, select, “Change Address/Phone/email,” and update your mailing address.

    • If you choose check as your new payment method you must verify your mailing address in BEACON 2.0, regardless of whether or not your mailing address has changed.

    21. If I select paper check as my payment method, will I be charged a fee to cash my check?

    Please note that most banks and credit unions will not charge a fee to cash a check if you have an account with that institution (consult with your financial institution for information about your account fees). However, if you want to cash a check with a financial institution you do not have an account with, you may be charged a fee. If you go to a store or other business that offers check cashing services, the maximum fee they can charge to cash a government-issued check is $3 or 2% of the check amount, whichever is greater. Select this link for more information about check cashing services.

    22. Can I change my payment method after I make an initial choice?

    After you make an initial payment choice, you can change to another method (either direct deposit or paper check) by signing into BEACON 2.0 and selecting “Change Payment Method.” You can view your selected payment method in BEACON 2.0 under the “Payment Information” section.

    23. Can I use my Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card as my payment method after the transition?

    On Friday, May 21, 2021, the Division stopped issuing new debit cards and loading benefit payments onto debit cards. On February 1, 2022, all debit cards will be deactivated. If you have a balance on your debit card after that date, you can contact the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029 to access those funds in a different way.

    24. When did the Division stop issuing unemployment benefit payments through debit cards?

    The Division stopped issuing new debit cards and loading benefit payments onto debit cards on Friday, May 21, 2021. On Monday, May 24, 2021, claimants began receiving unemployment insurance benefit payments by either direct deposit or check -- even for backdated weeks. On February 1, 2022, all debit cards will be deactivated. If you have a balance on your debit card after that date, you can contact the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029 to access those funds in a different way.

    NOTE: Although you can select direct deposit as your payment method in the mobile app, you cannot use the mobile app to complete the micro deposit verification process. To complete the micro deposit process, you must log into BEACON 2.0.

    25. By what date must I withdraw all funds from my debit card? How do I withdraw these funds?

    All debit cards will be deactivated after Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The Division encourages you to remove any remaining funds from your debit card as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition to your new payment method. To withdraw these or transfer these funds, you can:

    • Withdraw cash through bank tellers at any bank that accepts Visa;

    • Withdraw cash from an ATM;

    • Get cash back at select retail point-of-sale locations;

    • Transfer funds from the debit card to your personal bank account using the Bank of America mobile app, contacting Bank of America at 1-844-511-1331 (available 24 hours a day/7 days a week) or signing into your Bank of America Maryland Benefit Card account.

    If you have a balance on your debit card after February 1, 2022, you can contact the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029 to access those funds in a different way.

    26. What happens if I need a replacement debit card before the transition is completed because my card is lost, damaged or stolen?

    If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, immediately contact the Bank of America Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at 1-855-847-2029. Individuals with hearing impairment may call the TTY line at 1-866-656-5913. The deadline to order a replacement debit card is Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

    27. How can I find how I was paid for a particular week?

    Please log into BEACON 2.0, select “Benefit Payment” and then “Payment History.” This section will provide you with a history of your payments.

    28. How long can I use my debit card?

    DUI stopped issuing new UI payments on debit cards in May 2021. Claimants who have an existing balance on their debit cards can use their cards until Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

    To access funds after February 1, 2022, claimants should call the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029.

  • 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 are partially registered with the public employment office, the Division of Workforce Development, through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) system. You must log in to MWE to complete your registration. Complete registration instructions are available online.
    • 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.

    Identity Verification Process

    Identity Verification Process

    1. Why do I need to verify my identity?

    Identity verification ensures that there is a real person behind an application for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and that an applicant is who they say they are. This prevents the payment of benefits to bad actors who either steal identities or create ones that do not represent real people.

    In the traditional face-to-face process, agency representatives can verify that a photo ID corresponds to the person presenting it. Now, the process of applying for UI benefits is completed either online or by calling a live claims agent. For that reason, the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (the Division) is providing a convenient, online process for claimants to verify their identities.

    If we cannot verify your identity, you will not be eligible for benefits.

    2. How can I avoid common mistakes when filing my claim for UI benefits?

    For faster processing of your application for benefits, make sure:

    • Your information matches. Your name, date of birth, and Social Security number must match the information on file with the Social Security Administration (SSA), your state’s motor vehicle agency, and your employer. For example, your information may not match if you changed your name legally without changing it on your driver’s license.
       
    • You submit the correct documentation. All supporting documentation must include your correct name and date of birth.

    Note: The Division will not update your information with the SSA, your state’s motor vehicle agency, or your employer. You should contact them directly to make any necessary changes.

    3. What do I need for the identity verification process?

    You can complete the identity verification process online with a computer or tablet. You will be directed to complete the process when you file your initial claim for benefits, when you reopen a UI claim, or when you file an additional UI claim.

    Note: You cannot file an initial claim for benefits on the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app. You must access BEACON via a web browser.

    The Division might also need to verify your identity when you request personal account information changes, such as banking or address changes or when you are claiming weekly benefits.

    For part of the identity verification process -- the two-factor authentication with a one-time passcode -- you will need a mobile telephone number that is accessible to you. It is possible, however, that your identity will be verified before you reach that stage in the process.

    If you do not have access to a computer or tablet, you may also call a live agent at 667-207-6520 for help with this process during normal business hours, which are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. You will be prompted to press 4. For security reasons, live agents may not be able to provide the results of the identity verification process.

    If you cannot complete the process online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. (See Question 7 below.)

    4. When will my identity be verified?

    Your identity will be verified when you file an initial claim for UI benefits online. Your identity will be re-verified if you reopen a UI benefits claim or file an additional UI benefits claim online.

    It might also be verified when you request personal account information changes, such as banking or address changes or when you are claiming weekly benefits.

    5. How is my identity verified?

    For your protection, the Division uses data pulled from public records, federal, state and local government sources, and/or non-public data from government, utility, or education sources. The Division may also use limited information from credit reporting bureaus, but no credit check is conducted and no inquiry of any kind is incurred. This process will take place when you file your initial claim, reopen a claim or file an additional claim.

    You will have the option to complete the verification process online. You may also call a live agent at 667-207-6520 for help with this process during normal business hours, which are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. You will be prompted to press 4. For security reasons, live agents may not be able to provide the results of the identity verification process.  

    The online verification process will take you through a series of questions, which you will be required to answer. It might also include a two-factor authentication with the use of a one-time passcode. For this step, you will need a mobile telephone number that is accessible to you. After the verification process, you will be able to continue with the claims filing process.

    If you answered the questions and completed the two-factor authentication with the one-time passcode, but your identity could not be verified, you will be given the option to speak to a live agent. If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. You will be given a deadline to submit your information. (See Question 7 below.)

    6. What if my identity could not be verified with this process?

    If you answered the questions and completed the two-factor authentication with the one-time passcode but your identity could not be verified, you will be given the option to speak to a live agent. If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. You will be given a deadline to submit your information. (See Question 7 below.)

    If we cannot verify your identity, you will not be eligible for benefits.

    7. What documentation do I need to provide to prove my identity?

    If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. Within 48 hours, you will have an Action Item in your BEACON portal to submit documentation to prove your identity. Your access to your BEACON portal will be restricted until you complete the Action Item. If we cannot verify your identity, you will not be eligible for benefits.

    To complete the Action Item, you must upload one document from List A below. If you are unable to provide a document from List A, then you must provide one document from List B and one from List C. Please note that the list of documents below is not exhaustive. For a complete list of acceptable documents, please refer to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Form I-9 list of acceptable documents. The uploaded photos must be clear and legible and include all four corners of your documents, and your documents must not be expired.

    List A:

    U.S. Passport
    Foreign Passport
    Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card
    Form I-766, Employment Authorization Card

    List B:

    Driver’s License Issued by U.S. State or Territory
    Photo ID Issued by a Gederal, State, or Local Government Agency
    Voter Registration Card
    Native American Tribal Document
    Driver’s License Issued by a Canadian Government Authority

    List C:

    Social Security Card
    Birth Certificate

    8. How do I submit my identity documentation?

    If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. (See Question 7 above.) BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. Within 48 hours, you will have an Action Item in your BEACON portal to submit documentation to prove your identity. Your access to your BEACON portal will be restricted until you complete the Action Item. If we cannot verify your identity, you will not be eligible for benefits.

    If you choose to submit your documentation by mail, you may send clear and legible photocopies of your documents (which include all four corners of the documents) to: Benefit Payment Control, Room 206, 1100 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. All correspondence should include your claimant ID number to facilitate the process. Please note that if you send your documentation to the Division by mail, it might result in longer wait times for staff to review your Action Item. It is preferable for claimants to upload their documentation in their BEACON portals as part of the Action Item.

    9. What if you cannot verify my identity?

    If we cannot verify your identity through this identification process and you do not submit sufficient documentation to prove your identity (see Question 7 above), you will not be eligible for benefits. You will receive a disqualification notice (Notice of Determination) via your preferred method of communication. Your preferred method of communication is displayed in your BEACON portal. You will have the right to file an appeal of this Notice of Determination.

    10. Can I choose not to participate in the identity verification process? 

    No, you may not opt out of participating in the identity verification process. When you file an initial claim for UI benefits, reopen an UI claim, or file for an additional UI claim, the information you provide will be automatically verified through the identity verification process.

    If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. You will be given a deadline to submit your information. (See Question 7 above.)

    11. I went through the identity verification process and am still unable to submit my claim for UI benefits. What should I do?

    BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process regardless of whether or not your identity was verified by this process.

    If your identity could not be verified online or with a live agent, you will have an Action Item in your BEACON portal to send in documentation to prove your identity. (See Question 7 above.) Please note that it will take up to 48 hours for any action taken by a live agent to be reflected in your BEACON 2.0 portal. If your identity was verified, you should not see an ID verification Action Item in your portal.

    If you need help with your claim, you can call a live claims agent at (667) 207-6520 during normal business hours, which are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

    12. Will the identity verification process delay the processing of my UI claim?

    The identity verification process is a quick and convenient method for the Division to verify your identity and prevent fraud. If we can verify your identity via this process, and you have no issues on your UI claim, the processing of your UI claim will not be delayed.

    If your identity cannot be verified online or with a live agent, you will be required to send in documentation to prove your identity. BEACON will allow you to complete the claim submission process. You will be given a deadline to submit your information. (See Question 7 above.)

    The Division will review ID verification documentation that is submitted as part of an Action Item as quickly as possible.

    13. How secure is my information with this identity verification process?

    The identity verification process uses federally-compliant information protection practices to safeguard your data. The Division employs a risk-management framework for the privacy and physical security of information. This framework includes administrative, physical, and technical safeguards designed to reasonably protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of personal information collected from or about our consumers.

    14. What if I am a victim of identity theft?

    If you believe that a claim for UI benefits was fraudulently filed under your name, please complete a Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud form.

    Send the completed form either by email to ui.fraud@maryland.gov or by mail to Benefit Payment Control, Room 206, 1100 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. 

    The U.S. Department of Labor issued a fraud alert about a scam designed to trick people into giving out their personal information.

    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.

    Reapplying for Unemployment Insurance Benefits in BEACON 2.0

    1. Why do I need to reapply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
    Claimants need to reapply to re-establish their eligibility for UI benefits only under certain circumstances. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

    • The claimant’s monetary eligibility needs to be redetermined.
      Note: A claimant is monetarily ineligible for benefits if the claimant does not have sufficient earnings from a covered employer in the base period, for example during a quarter change.
    • The benefit year has expired.
      Note: The benefit year is the 52-week period starting on the effective date, which is the Sunday of the week in which a new claim is filed.

    If you need to reapply for benefits, you will see an “Apply for Benefits” button in your BEACON 2.0 portal.

    Note: Claimants who received PUA or PEUC benefits were also required, per federal law, to reapply for benefits during each change in quarter (after March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). PUA and PEUC claimants were also required to reapply when their benefit years expired. The temporary, federal pandemic UI programs, which include PUA, PEUC, FPUC, and MEUC, expired the week ending September 4, 2021, in Maryland.

    2. How do I determine if my benefit year has expired?
    To determine if your benefit year has expired, select “Benefit Payment” from the left menu in your BEACON portal. Select “Payment History” and navigate to the Potential Benefits by Program section, as shown in the images below. Your benefit year expiration date is the date listed for your Regular UI claim in the Benefit Year End Date column. Use the Regular UI claim date even if you are receiving benefits under PUA or PEUC.

    How do I determine if my benefit year has expired?

    3. How do I reapply?
    If you wish to reapply for benefits, log in to your online BEACON portal, select the “Apply for Benefits” button on the left menu and follow the prompts.
    Note: You cannot complete this process from the “MD Unemployment for Claimants” mobile app.

    How do I reapply?

    4. If I have the “Apply for Benefits” button in my portal, when should I reapply for benefits?
    You should reapply as soon as possible. The sooner you reapply (by selecting “Apply for Benefits” in your BEACON portal and following the steps), the sooner you will be able to file your weekly claim certification and receive benefit payments, if eligible.

    5. I applied for a new benefit year and now my account balance is $0. What happened to my previous balance?
    When you apply for a new benefit year, any remaining benefits from the previous benefit year are not carried over to the new benefit year. If you are a Regular UI claimant who applied for a new benefit year and were determined to be monetarily ineligible for UI benefits, you will have a $0 account balance. A claimant is monetarily ineligible for benefits if the claimant does not have sufficient earnings from a covered employer in the qualifying base period.

    6. How will I know if I am approved?
    Once the determination is made about whether you are approved or denied for UI benefits, you will receive a notification via your BEACON portal and through your preferred communication method. You do not need to contact the Division. You will receive your determination more quickly if there are no additional issues detected on your claim.

    7. What happens if I reapply and additional wages are detected?
    If additional wages are detected and verified, you may be monetarily eligible for UI benefits. The wages you earned impact your monetary eligibility for benefits and the weekly benefit amount that you receive. However, you must still meet all other eligibility requirements to receive benefit payments.

    8. Does reapplying for benefits have anything to do with the expiration of the federal pandemic UI programs?
    No. There is no connection. If you are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of the federal pandemic programs, the Division will ensure that you receive payment for all weeks in which you are determined to be eligible. The week ending September 4, 2021, is the last payable week for the pandemic UI programs in Maryland.

    Work Search

    1. What is the active search for work requirement?
    Claimants must satisfy certain requirements to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, including a requirement to actively search for work each week. For each week that a claimant files a weekly claim certification to request benefit payments, the claimant must actively search for work by completing and documenting at least three valid reemployment activities, which must include at least one job contact.

    Failure to satisfy these requirements may result in a delay or denial of your benefits. DUI conducts claim audits, which include verifying your job contacts and reemployment activities. If you received benefits during a week in which you did not meet the work search requirement, you will be required to repay all overpaid benefits that you were not eligible to receive.

    Reemployment activities are activities that may reasonably lead to the claimant becoming reemployed, including those that help remove barriers to reemployment. You may view a full list of valid reemployment activities online. Several activities can be completed through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE).

    A job contact refers to an action a claimant takes to contact an employer in an attempt to secure employment.

    Job contacts may include, but are not limited to:

    • submitting a job application to an employer (in person, email, online, fax);
    • making an in-person contact with a potential employer;
    • attending a job interview;
    • contacting an employer through another method appropriate for the occupational classification; or,
    • making contact through a method specified by the employer.

    Claimants must record their valid reemployment activities and job contact(s) each week in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log, located in MWE. Claimants will be asked to provide relevant contact information, the date of the activity, type of activity, and any supporting documentation in the log.

    • Valid reemployment activities and job contacts must be entered in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log in MWE.
    • The Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log maintains a permanent record of a claimant’s valid reemployment activities and job contacts and eliminates the need to maintain a written log.
    • DUI will no longer accept a written log of valid reemployment activities and job contacts from a claimant as evidence that they satisfied the active search for work requirement.
    • Your completed weekly job contact and reemployment activities will not be visible in your BEACON 2.0 portal. It is your responsibility to review your completed weekly job contact(s) and activities for accuracy and to ensure they are entered correctly in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log in MWE.

    Before a claimant can record these activities in the log, claimants must complete their registration in MWE. Visit the Maryland Work Search Requirements web page and the MWE website to learn more. If you experience technical issues during your registration process, contact dldwdwehelp-labor@maryland.gov.

    2. Must I register with the Maryland Workforce Exchange?
    Under Maryland law, to maintain your eligibility for UI benefits, you are required to register for work. To do so, you must register with the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE).

    When you file your initial UI claim, a MWE account is partially created for you. You may find some sections in MWE are pre-filled with information you provided when you filed your initial claim. You are required to complete the full registration, which you can do in MWE online or, in some cases, in person at your local American Job Center. MWE registration is a one-time requirement. Registering with MWE does not replace the requirement to file your weekly claim certification. You must file your claim certification each week to request benefit payments, which you may do in your BEACON 2.0 portal or by phone at 410-949-0022.

    To register:

    • On the MWE website, select "Sign In."
       
    • Select Retrieve Username or Password under Option 1 - Already Registered. You should follow this process in MWE even if you have not previously created a user name or password. Your MWE user name and password are different from your BEACON 2.0 user name and password. After selecting Option 1, select “Option 3 - Forgot User Name and Password” and follow the prompts. Answer all mandatory questions, which are indicated with red asterisk (*).
       
      • Or, if you cannot retrieve your user name and password, select “Individual” under Option 2 - Create a User Account, and follow the prompts. Answer all mandatory questions, which are indicated with a red asterisk (*).
         
    • After you answer all required questions, upload your résumé. If you do not have a résumé, please create one in MWE. To upload/create your résumé, go to your dashboard, scroll down to Job Seeker Services and select “Résumé Builder.” From Résumé Builder, you may either upload or create your résumé in MWE. To get started, select “Create New Résumé.” You must maintain an up-to-date résumé in MWE while you are collecting unemployment insurance benefits.
    • You must make your résumé viewable to employers in MWE. After choosing the “Create New Résumé” option, navigate to the Availability section and select “Allow employers to view my résumé online.”
    • After registering, check your MWE inbox frequently throughout the week. Your inbox contains important information about weekly tasks or actions that you must complete. Failure to complete these tasks or actions may result in a delay or denial of your benefits.
    • Visit the MWE website to learn more. If you need further assistance with your MWE registration, contact dldwdwehelp-labor@maryland.gov.

    3. What valid reemployment activities and job contacts meet the active search for work requirement?
    A claimant who is not exempt from work search must perform a minimum of three valid reemployment activities per week, which must include at least one job contact. You may view a full list of valid reemployment activities online. The following are examples of valid reemployment activities that can be used to satisfy the active search for work requirement:

    • Skills self-assessment;
    • Labor market research;
    • Résumé preparation assistance;
    • Virtual recruiter (to receive alerts about job postings);
    • Work search completed through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE);
    • Outside web-linked job referral (CareerBuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn);
    • Attended a job-related workshop posted in MWE;
    • Completing a reemployment workshop, including: Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) workshop; Reemployment Opportunity Workshop (ROW); or
    • Initial development of an Individual Reemployment Plan (IRP).

    A job contact refers to an action a claimant takes to contact an employer in an attempt to secure employment.

    Job contacts may include, but are not limited to:

    • submitting a job application to an employer (in person, email, online, fax);
    • making an in-person contact with a potential employer;
    • attending a job interview;
    • contacting an employer through another method appropriate for the occupation; or,
    • making contact through a method specified by the employer.

    4. How do I document my valid reemployment activities and job contact(s) online in the Maryland Workforce Exchange?
    Claimants must enter their valid reemployment activities and job contact(s) each week in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log in the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE). You will be prompted to provide relevant contact information, the date of the activity, type of activity, and supporting documentation, among other information. If you complete any valid reemployment activities or make any job contacts in MWE, those activities will be automatically recorded for you in the log. Acceptable completed activities will display a green check mark (✔) in the same row. If you completed any valid reemployment activities or made any job contacts outside of MWE, you will need to enter them manually. To add job contacts and reemployment activities manually:

    • Log in to MWE. After you log in, you will be in your dashboard. To access the log, scroll down to the Unemployment Services section and Select “Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log.”
    • After selecting the link, you have the option to: Enter or Review Your Job Contacts; or Enter or Review Your Reemployment Activities.
    • To add a job contact, select “Enter or Review Your Job Contacts.”
    • On the next screen, select “Enter a Job Contact.”
    • Fill in all of the required fields (indicated with a red asterisk (*) and select “Save.”
    • To add more job contacts, select “Enter a Job Contact” and repeat the process.
    • To enter your reemployment activities, select the “Reemployment Activities” tab in the log.
    • Select “Enter a Reemployment Activity.”
    • Choose an activity from the Activity Type dropdown menu. You may need to upload documentation to substantiate the activity. Enter all of the information required, select “Choose File” to upload any supporting documentation that proves that you completed the activity, and then select “Save.”
    • To enter another reemployment activity select “Enter a Reemployment Activity” and repeat the process.

    NOTE: Your completed weekly job contact and reemployment activities will not be visible in your BEACON 2.0 portal. It is your responsibility to review your completed weekly job contact(s) and activities for accuracy and to ensure they are entered correctly and saved in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log in MWE.

    For detailed instructions about documenting and submitting these activities, see the Maryland Work Search Requirements web page, and video tutorial.

    Visit the MWE website to learn more. If you are experiencing technical issues, contact dldwdwehelp-labor@maryland.gov.

    5. How do I know I have satisfied the work search requirement for the week? Do I need to complete a certification?
    All job contacts and reemployment activities must be entered each week in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log located in the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) system. Once you have logged and saved your required activities for the week, you will have satisfied the work search requirement for that week. If you do not enter your job contacts and reemployment activities, your benefits could be suspended or delayed.

    Failure to satisfy these requirements may result in a delay or denial of your benefits. DUI conducts claim audits, which include verifying your job contacts and reemployment activities. If you received benefits during a week in which you did not meet the work search requirement, you will be required to repay all overpaid benefits that you were not eligible to receive.

    In the future, the MWE will have a certification feature. The department will notify claimants when this feature is available.

    6. What should I do if I am selected to participate in a reemployment workshop?
    If you are selected for a reemployment workshop (e.g., a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) or Reemployment Opportunity Workshop) you are required to complete the workshop.

    You may receive a notice about the workshop via mail, your Maryland Workforce Exchange system inbox, phone call, e-mail, or text message.

    If you cannot be available for the required workshop, you must notify the American Job Center staff at least 24 hours prior to the appointment to reschedule. Contact information is listed on the workshop notice that you received. Failure to complete the entire workshop, or failure to notify the American Job Center staff in advance if you need to reschedule, may result in a delay or denial of your benefits.

    7. 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 layoff aversion program; or,
    • Under a work search exemption order decreed by the Secretary of Maryland Labor.

    8. How do I get help with finding a job? What resources are available through Maryland’s American Job Centers?
    The Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) has several resources to help you find a job, including job listings, résumé assistance, virtual recruiter, labor market information, information about apprenticeships, training and educational programs, skills assessments, and many more. You can access these tools online or in-person through one of Maryland’s American Job Centers (AJCs), which are located throughout the state.

    AJCs offer several free services for job seekers and employers. Priority of service is provided to veterans and their eligible spouses. AJCs also offer a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, which provides intensive employment assistance for eligible participants. AJCs give claimants access to computers with internet access, telephones, printers, photocopiers, and more. AJCs are reopening to the public on a limited basis in some areas and continue to offer virtual services as well as walk-in services based on local guidance. Please visit the Maryland Department of Labor’s AJC web page for contact information, current hours of operation, appointment requirements and COVID safety precautions in place at specific centers.

    You can also access the Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC), which offers job assistance to individuals in professional, executive, technical, managerial, or scientific occupations. Through POAC, individualized career guidance, a computer lab with internet access, and free faxing and copying services, among other services.

    9. How can I increase my likelihood of becoming reemployed?
    In addition to the required valid reemployment activities and job contacts, the Maryland Department of Labor encourages you to complete any of the activities available below through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE). By completing these activities, you can maintain and increase your skills and training and also position yourself to be hired.

    Self-guided valid reemployment activities that you can perform virtually in MWE include, but are not limited to:

    • Labor market research;
    • Self-service labor market research;
    • Skills self-assessment;
    • Completing training courses in ALISON;
    • Attended a job-related workshop posted in MWE;
    • Virtual recruiter; or,
    • Creating a résumé in MWE.

    COVID-19 Pandemic Work Search Related Questions

    10. Am I required to search for work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, claimants were temporarily exempt from the requirement to actively search for work.

    However, Maryland’s active search for work requirement was reinstated on Sunday, July 4, 2021, for claimants receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits. Individuals who are receiving benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs are required to search for work beginning Sunday, July 18, 2021. Claimants must search for work to maintain their eligibility for benefits. Claimants are also required to be able and available for work.

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

    When you file your weekly claim certification, you will be asked whether or not you actively looked for work during the benefit week for which you are requesting payment. If you did not actively search for work, your benefit payments may be delayed or denied.

    NOTE: Failure to satisfy these requirements may result in a delay or denial of your benefits. DUI conducts claim audits, which include verifying your job contacts and reemployment activities. If you received benefits during a week in which you did not meet the work search requirement, you will be required to repay all overpaid benefits that you were not eligible to receive.

    11. With the active search for work requirement in effect, will claimants who are laid off temporarily have to search for work?
    Claimants experiencing a temporary layoff that lasts more than 10 weeks are required to actively search for work. Claimants who are laid off for a period of less than 10 weeks and have a definite return-to-work date from their employer are exempt from the requirement to actively search for work.

    Work Sharing Information for Employees

    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 partial 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 DUI 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 direct deposit or 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 WS 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)