Submitting an unemployment benefits claim in Maryland is an option for all state workers who were separated from their last jobs and are actively seeking new employment. The federal unemployment benefits program, Unemployment Insurance (UI), was established by the U.S. Department of Labor and was implemented in Maryland by the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). In order to claim unemployment benefits in MD, interested UI applicants must meet all eligibility criteria set forth by the DLLR. In general, you can only claim federal unemployment benefits in Maryland if you are a former employee who was dismissed through no fault of his or her own and who meets the state monetary qualifications. Once approved, UI beneficiaries will also have to meet additional criteria on a weekly basis, proving that they are able and willing to work, in order to maintain benefits. Unemployment claimants may receive up to 26 weeks of benefits. The maximum amount of payments, however, depends on their average weekly wages prior to becoming unemployed. Note that, in times of high unemployment, the DLLR may also offer unemployment benefits extensions, which exceed the regular 26 weeks of benefits.
How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Maryland
Former workers can file for Maryland federal unemployment benefits either by submitting an internet application through the department’s Initial Claim System or by calling one of the DLLR Claim Centers. In any case, an MD unemployment benefits claim must be submitted by eligible applicants, and this claim must include their:
- Social Security Number and contact information.
- Full name, date of birth and information about their dependents.
- Citizenship information (non-U.S. claimants will be required to submit proof of legal presence).
- Information about their past jobs, such as dates of employment, reasons for separation from work and employer contact details.
State employees who would like to claim unemployment benefits in Maryland may be contacted by the DLLR and asked to submit additional items in support of their UI claim. Unemployment applicants whose requests for UI benefits are approved will be able to collect their weekly payments with a special card called the Maryland UI Benefits Debit Card, which is issued by the DLLR.
Note: Partially employed workers who are searching for full-time jobs can also obtain a reduced amount of weekly UI benefits in Maryland.
How to Continue to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Maryland
State employees who are claiming benefits for unemployment in Maryland are required to regularly file for UI payments on a weekly basis in order to recertify their eligibility for the program. The DLLR offers UI beneficiaries the option to either claim unemployment benefits regularly via the Webcert online system or by phone through the Telecert system. Note that Sunday is the first day you can request federal unemployment benefits for the previous week.
During each verification procedure, UI recipients will be required to provide complete and truthful answers to questions regarding:
- Their current mental and physical ability to work.
- Their current job search progress and availability for work.
- Whether or not they have worked and earned wages.
- Whether or not they have attended school.
To complete the standard certification process, UI claimants will be asked to produce their Personal Identification Number (PIN), which is obtained once they file their first weekly request. Applicants who have properly filed their weekly unemployment benefits claim in MD will receive a processing number as proof of their submission.
Learn About Maryland Federal Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
Federal unemployment benefits are taxable on both the state and federal levels, and UI beneficiaries must report them as gross income. The DLLR assists UI claimants in filing their taxes by mailing them the 1099-G IRS form, which displays the full amount of UI payments that the beneficiary has received during the benefit year.
The former employees can then choose whether or not to have these taxes deducted from their weekly UI benefits. The department offers four different tax deduction options. Beneficiaries can choose to have Maryland state taxes, federal taxes, no taxes or both types of taxes withheld from their weekly UI paychecks.
Note: Those claiming benefits for unemployment who chose to have their taxes withheld from their UI payments will have to return the full amount of payments, along with the deducted taxes, in the event of an overpayment.