Business, Politics

As economic recovery continues, Maryland to discontinue enhanced pandemic unemployment benefits

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

“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.”

To date, 24 states have announced that they will discontinue enhanced pandemic federal unemployment benefits. According to recent U.S. Department of Labor data, there are a record 8.1 million job openings nationwide.

Earlier today, Maryland provided the federal administration with the 30 days’ written notice required by law 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)

Discontinuation of Enhanced Benefits

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 (Labor) will process all federal claims received prior to July 3. 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 that they are determined eligible for.

Reinstatement of Work Search Requirements

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Beginning the week of July 4, Labor 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. If claimants do not complete three reemployment activities each week, they may be determined ineligible to receive regular state unemployment insurance benefits. Examples of reemployment activities include submitting a job application through the Maryland Workforce Exchange, completing a workshop at an American Job Center, attending a job fair, and more. Additional employment opportunities and services can be found by visiting https://labor.maryland.gov/employment.

“As our state continues to make great progress in its economic recovery, employers are successfully reopening for business and creating job opportunities,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “Our team is available to connect jobseekers with a wide variety of training programs and resources, so they can find meaningful employment and return to the workforce.”

In addition to these actions, Maryland has urged federal officials to make more H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program visas available to help the state’s seasonal businesses. The state has also prioritized the reopening of child care centers: as of today, 92% of licensed providers in Maryland are open and operating.

Since March 2020, the State of Maryland has paid out more than $12.3 billion in unemployment benefits to 730,759 recipients, resolving more than 97% of claims.

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