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Lesser known unemployment insurance program now available to Marylanders

Multiple programs add up to a year of benefits
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Posted at 2:03 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 15:13:08-04

BALTIMORE — Maryland's high unemployment rate has triggered on another program providing an additional 13 weeks of benefits to eligible claimants in the state.

Maryland triggers Extended Benefits when the unemployment rate for 13 consecutive weeks reaches 5 percent and 120 percent of the average rate for the same period in the two preceding years, or 6 percent. Maryland's unemployment rate in June 2020 was 8 percent.

Extended Benefits was last available for claimants from October 2, 2011 through April 21, 2012.

For claimants to be eligible for Extended Benefits, they must exhaust both 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits and 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.

With the additional 13 weeks of EB, a claimant could potentially receive up to 52 weeks of benefits.

According to the Maryland Department of Labor, approximately 1,500 individuals have become eligible so far.

If you meet the requirements for EB, you should receive written notice from the Department and will see a link to apply in your BEACON One-Stop portal.

While EB are typically paid 50/50 by the state and the federal government, it’s currently 100 percent federally-funded through December 20.

Here are the other benefit programs available and their details:

Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits

  • Up to 26 weeks total of unemployment insurance benefits if you meet all the requirements of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law
  • Weekly benefit amounts range from $50 per week to $430 per week
  • Regular UI claimants may be eligible for PEUC, FPUC, and EB

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • 13 additional weeks of UI benefits
  • Effective from March 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020
  • Covers individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular UC under state or federal law; have no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law; are not receiving compensation under the UC laws of Canada; and are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • Individuals who are not usually eligible for regular UI and who cannot work due to COVID-19. These individuals include those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, have insufficient work history, and more.
  • Maximum of 39 weeks of benefits, which includes $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • Effective January 27, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020
  • Extended Benefits is not available to PUA claimants

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

  • $600 per week on top of current regular UI benefits
  • Effective March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020 (last paid week ends Saturday, July 25, 2020)

States offering 20 weeks of Extended Benefits
In addition to the 13 weeks available through Extended Benefits, a number of states offer an additional 7 weeks if the state's unemployment rate triggers on a High Unemployment Period (HUP). According to the United States Department of Labor, Maryland would need to have a state law for the additional 7 weeks, which Maryland does not have because the state has never enacted a high unemployment period. However, regardless of state law, Maryland still does not meet the requirements to trigger the additional 7 weeks.

To see the states that offer HUP and how Maryland compares, click here.