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Attorney representing MD unemployment claimants "hopeful" about lawsuit after Indiana ruling

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Posted at 8:07 PM, Jun 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 09:14:42-04

BALTIMORE — Ten more states are ending enhanced unemployment benefits this weekend. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah are ending the programs. It's expected to impact 2.5 million workers.

Twelve states already ended the enhanced benefits. Another handful of states, including Maryland, will drop the program before it expires in September.

Governor Hogan decided to end the federal benefits in Maryland on July 3.

A class-action lawsuit filed last Thursday could reverse the governor's decision.

RELATED: Lawsuit attempts to stop Gov. Hogan from cutting federal unemployment benefits

The Maryland Unemployed Workers Union is seeking an emergency temporary restraining order to continue federal unemployment benefits.

The attorney representing claimants hopes to hear from the Baltimore City Circuit Court on Monday.

"I hope the court will be prudent here and handle the situation correctly and we’ll hear from them on Monday, either a scheduling order or just an update," said Alec Summerfield, pro bono attorney for the Maryland Unemployed Workers Union.

See the full interview with WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii below.

The lawsuit is also asking the court to order the state to release any benefits withheld from claimants, to adjudicate claims faster, and to adequately communicate why a claim was denied.

Claimants in other states have filed similar lawsuits. On Friday, a judge in Indiana sided with jobless workers and ordered benefits to continue until the court makes a final decision.

"I actually am hopeful, especially the fact that the judge in Indiana said the governor could not end federal benefits that's huge so we'll be hoping for that here," said Summerfield.

Summerfield added that if the class is certified by the judge, any claimant who wants to join the lawsuit will have the opportunity to sign on.

Click here to fill out the Unemployed Workers Union grievance form and to stay in touch with Summerfield.