ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland's Department of Labor on Friday is launching a new one-stop website that will process all types of unemployment claims related to COVID-19.
On the site, citizens can apply to be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, and other Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) programs.
Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or believe they are eligible for the PUA program, will be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility. Those not eligible for regular unemployment insurance and who cannot work due to COVID-19, will be eligible to apply for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits, effective January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Applicants will needs the following information to file a claim.
To file a claim for PUA benefits, individuals will need to have the following information available, as applicable:
· Social security number;
· Date of birth;
· Alien registration number, if they are not a citizen
· Residential and mailing address;
· Telephone number and email address;
· Name, date of birth, and social security number of all dependents under 16 years of age that they will claim, as well the same information for each dependent’s other parent, such as the social security number and date of birth for any dependents that they claim;
· If they worked for the federal government, they will also need a SF-8 or SF-50 form; and
· If they are separated from military service, they will also need Form DD-214, member 4 copy.
Individuals filing for PUA benefits may also need to provide information and supporting documentation about their work and income history, which may include the following:
· Documentation of the income that they earned in 2019 (Schedule K-1, Form 1099, or summary of quarterly payments)
· All necessary licenses and permits for their self-employment; and
· Proof of an offer to begin employment that was postponed or withdrawn due to COVID-19.
After submitting a claim using the new online application, claimants will have access to a portal where they will receive notices and alerts, including notifications regarding any missing documentation. Claimants can also select their preferred method of communication, including e-mail, text message, or postal mail. No matter what preference they select, all communications will be available in their portal, which will cut down on wait times for Marylanders to receive information about their claim.
Once an application and documentation are reviewed, applicants will be notified of whether or not they're eligible and qualify for unemployment. If denied or found ineligible for benefits, applicants will receive instructions on how to protest or appeal the determination.
If eligible for benefits, residents will automatically receive an additional $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, effective anywhere from March 29, through July 31.
Under the PEUC program, new applicants and those who already receiving benefits will automatically receive an additional 13 weeks of benefits under the CARES Act. Current eligible claimants do not need to take any additional steps to receive these extended benefits. Labor will directly contact Marylanders who have recently exhausted their benefits to notify them of their potential eligibility for PEUC with instructions on how to reapply and receive the additional 13 weeks they may be entitled to.
The new application will also allow individuals who were previously required to file by phone, like those who are federal employees, members of the military, have worked in multiple states, and have worked for more than 3 employers in the last 18 months, to now file online.