DLLR Announces Procedures for Claiming New Federal Unemployment Benefits


BALTIMORE (12/02/09) - The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today began mailing notices to unemployed Marylanders who are eligible for additional federal unemployment insurance benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) bill recently passed by Congress.

"With more than 8,000 Marylanders exhausting their state benefits each month, these new federal benefits are a critical lifeline for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are struggling to provide for their families," DLLR Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said. "We urge all recipients to read the instructions on the letters carefully."

Individuals who have exhausted 33 weeks of current EUC benefits will receive a letter providing notification of the additional weeks and providing instructions for filing a claim. Individuals who are currently receiving EUC benefits will be notified by mail that they may be eligible for up to 47 weeks of benefits, that they should keep filing continuing claims and that they do not need to contact a claims center.

The first week for which the additional benefits are available is the week ending Nov. 14.

These additional benefits are paid for entirely by federal funds and have no impact on the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The trust fund pays up to 26 weeks of benefits to people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Federal benefits begin after state benefits have been exhausted.

Individuals should not contact claims centers before they receive a letter.

Any individuals who quit jobs to file for these benefits will have their claims denied.

It is important to note that Congress did not extend the EUC program, even though it provided additional weeks of benefits. Based on current law, EUC payments will begin to phase out after the week ending December 26. It is uncertain what effect this will have on the continued payment of benefits and it is not known whether Congress will extend the program. Additional information will be provided later this month, based on Congressional action.