Maryland Unemployment Extensions Information

Unemployment Benefits Extensions in Maryland


The Maryland federal unemployment extensions are additional payments that supplement the standard unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. These UI continuations serve as a financial safety net to state workers who have difficulties finding a new job. Note that the only time the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) activates unemployment compensation extensions in Maryland is during times of high unemployment. In such circumstances, only UI beneficiaries who exhaust their regular 26-week UI benefits may become eligible for unemployment benefits extensions, which will last for a number of additional weeks. Even though the DLLR administers the programs that grant unemployment extensions in MD, they are funded primarily by the federal government.

Unemployment beneficiaries who are wondering, “What can I do to extend unemployment benefits,” must first learn whether or not they qualify for UI continuations. In general, the same eligibility requirements set for the standard UI program apply for extended benefits. Also, once the DLLR activates the unemployment extension programs, it will contact any eligible recipients to instruct them on how to obtain their emergency UI payments. Note that, depending on the type of UI extension program, the duration of extended benefits varies. 

Unemployed workers who are wondering, “How can I extend unemployment coverage in Maryland?” can read the below sections to find out:

•    How to get an unemployment extension in Maryland
•    Previous Maryland unemployment extension programs

How to Get an Unemployment Extension in Maryland


Currently, the Maryland unemployment compensation extension program remains inactive. However, if and when the state initiates the Extended Benefits (EB) program, qualified UI recipients will be able to apply for federal unemployment extensions in MD. The EB program is funded by both the federal and state government, and it follows guidelines similar to the standard UI program.

According to these general rules, only unemployment claimants who meet the following conditions may become eligible for UI extensions:
•    They meet the initial UI work and wage requirements.
•    They are ineligible for other types of unemployment insurance benefits.
•    They are actively searching for employment.
•    They are able and available for a full-time job that suits their abilities.
•    They continually report all earnings.


The main requirement to extend your UI payments, however, is to first obtain the full amount of standard UI benefits for 26 weeks. Note that the Maryland unemployment extension program generally activates once the rate of unemployment within the state rises beyond six percent, and it grants an additional 13 weeks of benefits. However, because of an extremely high unemployment rate in the past, previous iterations of the program were also offering 20 weeks of unemployment benefits extensions in Maryland.

Note: The conditions of EB unemployment compensation extensions may change with any future versions of the program.


Previous Maryland Unemployment Extension Programs


Apart from the standard MD unemployment extension program, which is co-funded by the state and federal governments, state workers were also able to obtain funds from the 100-percent federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. The EUC program was implemented in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Labor with the goal to combat the soaring unemployment rate throughout all states across the nation.

The EUC federal unemployment extension program was deactivated in 2014, and it has not been reinitiated since, as the current economic climate does not necessitate unemployment compensation extensions. When it was active, the program granted benefits via four different tiers, which were activated once the state unemployment rate reached a certain level. Depending on the tier of your state at the time of application, the number of weeks on your unemployment benefits extension varied. 

For instance, state workers who qualified for and exhausted their regular UI benefits were automatically enrolled in the first tier of the EUC program and were able to obtain up to 20 additional weeks of benefits. UI beneficiaries who obtained the maximum amount of unemployment extension coverage at the first tier were then able to apply for UI continuations at Tier 2 for 14 additional benefit weeks, and so on. The third tier, which granted nine additional benefit weeks was only activated if the total unemployment rate (TUR) exceeded seven percent, whereas the fourth and final tier was only available if the TUR was higher than nine percent.

If and when EUC is reactivated in the future, the EUC program's requirements and the tiers of federal unemployment extensions may change.

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