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Definitions - Unemployment Insurance

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Appeal - The formal request by a claimant or employer to have a case reconsidered by the next higher level authority (see "Hearing").

Base Period - First four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the claimant's Benefit Year. The wages paid in the base period determine the weekly benefit amount.

Benefit Year - The one-year period that begins with the first day of the calendar week that the claimant files for benefits. If the claimant is still unemployed when the Benefit Year expires, the claimant should file a new claim. Even if the claimant used all of the benefits in the first benefit year, the claimant may again be entitled to benefits in the next Benefit Year provided all requirements are met.

Claim Certifications - Filing a weekly claim certification (also referred to as a continued claim) is your request to be paid unemployment insurance benefits. After you file an initial claim, you will be required to file claim certifications each week that you are unemployed to receive benefit payments.

Each claim certification will cover a one-week period (Sunday to Saturday), referred to as the benefit payment week. 

  • You should file your claim certification between Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and Saturday at 11:59 p.m., immediately following the week for which you are requesting payment.
    • For example, to request payment for a benefit payment week ending on Saturday, September 4, you would file a claim certification between Sunday, September 5, and Saturday, September 11.
  • When you will file a claim certification each week, you are required to answer several eligibility questions

Claim certifications may be filed by telephone (referred to as a Telecert) by calling 410-949-0022 or online (referred to as a Webcert) in the BEACON 2.0 claimant portal. You can also file claim certifications in the MD Unemployment for Claimants mobile app (download from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store).  

Claim Specialist - The person who specializes in helping the claimant and the employer with Unemployment Insurance problems and who makes decisions ("Determinations") regarding the claimant's eligibility and the employer charging. Sometimes referred to as a "Claim Examiner."

Determination - A decision made regarding a claimant's eligibility for benefits. A monetary determination shows the amount of money the claimant may be eligible to receive; a benefit determination is a decision about a possible disqualifying factor (quit, discharge, job refusal, etc.) that may result in the denial of benefits.

Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning - This Division has two main functions:

  1. To help a claimant find appropriate training programs to improve the claimant's skills.
  2. To help the claimant find a job.

DUA - Disaster Unemployment Assistance - Section 407 of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 created a program for the payment of unemployment assistance to unemployed individuals whose unemployment is the direct result of a major disaster as declared by the President of the United States.

Effective Date - The first day of the calendar week that the claimant files for benefits.

Extended Benefits - Additional Federally funded weeks of benefits paid during periods of high unemployment as provided by the U.S. Congress.

Hearing - A formal meeting held to consider an appeal of a decision concerning benefits or to resolve a dispute of a material fact between the employer and employee.

Hearing Examiner - A hearing officer who hears the claimant's or the employer's appeal.

Initial Claim - The initial application for unemployment insurance benefits filed by calling a Maryland Unemployment Insurance Claim Center or via the BEACON portal.

Overpayment - Benefits received that the claimant was not entitled to because of a disqualification, earnings or for other reasons.

Part-Time Worker - An individual whose availability for work is restricted to part-time work, and who worked predominantly on a part-time basis throughout the past year for at least 20 hours per week.

Partial Benefits - If the claimant's gross earnings during a week are less than the claimant's Weekly Benefit Amount plus dependents' allowances, the claimant may be entitled to a "Partial Payment." Partial payments are usually paid when the claimant has only part-time work, and the claimant is working all available hours at the part-time work and is actively seeking full-time work.

Penalty - A condition the claimant must fulfill when the claimant has been disqualified in order for him/her to be eligible for benefits.

Quarter - The calendar year is divided into four quarters: the first quarter is January through March, the second quarter is April through June, the third quarter is July through September, and the fourth quarter is October through December.

Reasonable Assurance - A claimant who worked for an educational institution or worked for some employers who performed services for an educational institution is ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits between terms or during school vacations if the claimant has a "reasonable assurance" that he/she will return to work in the next term or when school resumes after the vacation period.

TRA - The Federal Trade Readjustment Act which provides benefits to persons affected by foreign imports.

UCFE - Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees which is the benefit program for former federal employees.

UCX - Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Personnel which is the benefit program for ex-military personnel.

Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) - The amount of money to which a claimant may be entitled each week. The amount is based on the claimant's covered wages paid during the Base Period.

Week Ending Date - For unemployment insurance purposes, the benefit week runs from Sunday through Saturday. The week ending date is always a Saturday date.