ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced that the Maryland Department of Labor had begun accepting claims and issuing payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) unemployment insurance programs extended by the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act.
“Just one week after the federal COVID-19 relief package was signed into law, Maryland is one of the first states in the nation to have already programmed and implemented all three of the extended unemployment insurance programs,” said Governor Hogan. “Our team has been working around the clock to bring this much-needed financial relief to unemployed Marylanders as we continue to navigate this public health and economic crisis.”
Officials say all claimants will receive an email specifying whether they should file their weekly claim certification, reopen their claim, or reapply for benefits for the week ending January 2, 2021 in their BEACON 2.0 portal. All claimants who are eligible to receive benefits, including regular unemployment insurance claimants, will automatically receive the new FPUC amount of $300 in their benefit payment beginning the week ending January 2, 2021. If determined eligible for benefits, claimants will begin receiving payment this week.
“After the federal legislation was signed into law and our department received the necessary guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, we were able to reprogram the BEACON 2.0 system as quickly as possible for our claimants,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “We are thrilled to announce that claimants can begin filing for the extended federal unemployment insurance programs and will not experience a gap in eligibility or delay in payment.”
Since the system’s soft launch on Sunday, December 27, over 194,000 weekly claim certifications have been filed and over 34,000 claimants have reopened their claim. Approximately $43 million from the FPUC program, $25 million from the PUA program, and $11 million from the PEUC program have already been paid to claimants.
Additional guidance is needed before the new Mixed Earner Unemployment Insurance Program (MEUC) can be implemented. More information will be available at a later date. For more information about unemployment insurance in Maryland, visit MDunemployment.com.