Maryland to discontinue enhanced pandemic unemployment benefits

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 01, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Hogan has announced that the State of Maryland will discontinue enhanced pandemic federal unemployment benefits and reinstate work search requirements early next month.

24 states have also announced they will discontinue these benefits.

“Our health and economic recovery continues to outpace the nation, and we have reached the benchmark set by President Biden of vaccinating 70% of adults,” said Governor Hogan. “While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work.”

On Tuesday, Maryland provided notice for opting out of the following programs—effective Saturday, July 3, 2021:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 per week
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Claimants will no longer be able to submit new applications for the federal programs after the end date on July 3.

The Maryland Department of Labor will process all federal claims received prior to July 3. The state says that if claimants are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of these four federal programs, the department will ensure that they receive all payments owed to them for all weeks prior to July 3.

Beginning the week of July 4, the Department will reinstate the standard requirement for all regular state unemployment insurance claimants to actively search for work by engaging in three reemployment activities each week.

Senate President Ferguson reacted to the announcement with the following letter:

Mary Swain, who has been waiting on unemployment benefits since March, is also critical of the Governor’s decision.

“The struggle is not going to end,” Swain said. "So keeps thing the way they were and we can get out of the hole and everything can be good.”

She’s hoping the governor has a change of heart.

“Let us get on our feet,” she said.

Spokesperson for the Governor Mike Ricci said in a statement in part that the program has "served its purpose in providing temporary relief, but vaccines and jobs are now in abundant supply."

"Businesses are eager to hire right now and we look forward to getting more people back to work as we continue to emerge from the pandemic," he continued.