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Out of work Marylanders voice frustrations during virtual town hall Thursday night

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 10, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — "I am mad, I am disgusted and I am ready to fight."

Out of work Marylanders say they feel stabbed in the back by Governor Larry Hogan after he announced last week the state will join more than two dozen others ending the additional federal aid for unemployment.

RELATED: Maryland to discontinue enhanced pandemic unemployment benefits

Miss Harp spoke on behalf of her husband Leonard, saying that they had to pawn jewelry to pay their bills because they were so behind waiting for unemployment to come.

My husband is 56 years old, never been sick a day in his life and on May 22, my husband had a heart attack and...now has a stint in his heart and he’s going to be on medication for the rest of his life due to the stress that's been put on him," she explained.

During a virtual town hall Thursday night, many expressed their frustrations with a system that's left them waiting for benefits for months or in some cases longer than a year.

RELATED: Sudden change in unemployment system leaves claimants scrambling to file weekly certifications

For those who have received unemployment, some are now asked to reapply for benefits or fill out weekly certification by Saturday but can’t because of issues with the Beacon system.

And even when they did get through to reapply, some say their benefits were slashed or gone entirely.

RELATED: Unemployment insurance claimants experiencing issues filing weekly claim certifications

“My benefit year according to my claim doesn’t end until September 4, 2021 so I shouldn’t have to be reapply and I also can’t reapply through the system,” said Trisha Watkins.

"It's been a battle to understand the system let alone having things constantly trying to take things from you," Brent Thomas exclaimed.

Many are now at their breaking point and will soon take their concerns to the court as the the Maryland Unemployed Workers Union plans to file a class action lawsuit on their behalf in the next two weeks.

State Delegate Sheila Ruth says she and other lawmakers are also working to reverse the Governor's decision.

"They say well if you’re on hold for several months trying to get your benefits, you’ll get your back benefits eventually," Delegate Ruth said. "That doesn't help you feed your children today.“

Now the Department of Labor has denied any recent issues related to BEACON and say most people have been able to reapply and file their weekly certifications.