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Jobless workers fight for benefits while court battle determining future of programs looms

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 10:38:14-04

BALTIMORE — The Unemployed Workers Union presented close to 3,000 grievances to the Labor Secretary's office on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

This comes after Governor Larry Hogan gave notice at the beginning of June that federal unemployment benefits would be ending on July 3, despite them being available until September. This decision impacted over 150,000 claimants.

"Governor Hogan and Labor Secretary Robinson can do the right thing now; they do not have to wait until the class-action lawsuit is finished," said Sharon Black. "Right now, thousands of unemployed Marylanders have yet to see a dime of their benefits. The Labor Department must process these claims."

In addition to presenting their grievances, the Unemployed Workers Union will also be making the following demands:

  • The Labor Department pays the claims now.
  • They open offices and allow workers to come to the unemployment office, in person, so that those designated as fraud and on hold can present their identification.
  • They allow those who cannot adequately access the Beacon system online to apply in person.

While jobless workers fight for their unemployment benefits this afternoon, WMAR-2 News was just told that the hearing on the two unemployment lawsuits that are seeking to continue federal pandemic programs through September and that are also hoping to provide relief to claimants who are still waiting for benefits has been scheduled for July 9 at 2 p.m.

SEE ALSO: What's next for federal unemployment benefits in Maryland?

WMAR-2 News' Mallory Sofastaii also found out that the Maryland Department of Labor is now offering limited in-person appointments for claimants to inquire about appeals, overpayments, and claim statuses.