107,000+ jobless workers losing unemployment benefits in Maryland

Posted at 12:30 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 12:30:08-04

BALTIMORE — More than 107,000 unemployment insurance claimants will stop receiving benefits in Maryland on September 5.

Federal pandemic unemployment programs expire nationwide on September 6, however, the U.S. Department of Labor only allows states to pay claimants for a full week of unemployment. In Maryland, a full week is from Sunday to Saturday. Partial weeks of unemployment are not payable.

As of the week ending August 28, there were 68,738 claimants receiving benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and 39,119 claimants receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 per week for claimants who receive at least $1 in benefits under another unemployment insurance program and the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC) providing an additional $100 weekly benefit payment to eligible claimants will also be expiring.

WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii asked the Maryland Department of Labor if claimants under these programs will still receive backpay. In an email, a spokeswoman wrote:

"Claims that include weeks of eligibility that end on or before September 4 will be processed even after the federal programs expire. Claimants will receive benefits for all weeks they are determined to be eligible for, even if a determination of eligibility occurs after September 4. If a claimant is waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any federal program, the Department will ensure that they receive all payments owed for those weeks."

The Department has also extended the deadline for jobless workers to file a claim under the PUA program through October 6, 2021. Up until that date, the Department will accept new initial claims for PUA benefits for weeks of unemployment ending between December 12, 2020, and September 4, 2021. Claimants are only eligible for PUA benefits for weeks they were unemployed or partially unemployed because of an approved COVID-19 related reason.

And while President Biden has said states can use federal pandemic-related funds to extend unemployment benefits, a Department spokeswoman said that will not happen in Maryland. Federal programs will end as planned on September 4th.