Tax News

New One-Stop Unemployment Insurance Application Launched On April 24

On Friday, April 24, the Maryland Department of Labor is launched a new one-stop unemployment insurance application to allow all Marylanders to file all types of claims entirely online. This includes those who are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, and individuals who were previously required to file by phone. The launch of this new online application has allowed Maryland’s Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) to implement all three Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) programs. To access the new application tomorrow morning, visit MDunemployment.com.

“Our team at the Maryland Department of Labor is thrilled to offer a brand new, easy-to-use, one-stop application to ensure that all Marylanders can now apply for unemployment insurance benefits entirely online,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “We remain committed to getting benefits into the pockets of all eligible Marylanders as quickly as possible, and we will continue to improve our systems and operations until we have assisted every single claimant.”

Starting April 24, those who are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or believe they are eligible for the PUA program, will be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility. These individuals, who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance and who cannot work due to COVID-19, will be eligible to apply for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits, effective January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

To file a claim for PUA benefits, individuals will need to have the following information available, as applicable:

  • Social security number;
  • Date of birth;
  • Alien registration number, if they are not a citizen;
  • Residential and mailing address;
  • Telephone number and email address;
  • Name, date of birth, and social security number of all dependents under 16 years of age that they will claim, as well the same information for each dependent’s other parent, such as the social security number and date of birth for any dependents that they claim;
  • If they worked for the federal government, they will also need a SF-8 or SF-50 form; and
  • If they are separated from military service, they will also need Form DD-214, member 4 copy.

Individuals filing for PUA benefits may also need to provide information and supporting documentation about their work and income history, which may include the following:

  • Documentation of the income that they earned in 2019 (Schedule K-1, Form 1099, or summary of quarterly payments);
  • All necessary licenses and permits for their self-employment; and
  • Proof of an offer to begin employment that was postponed or withdrawn due to COVID-19.

After submitting a claim using the new online application, claimants will have access to a portal where they will receive notices and alerts, including notifications regarding any missing documentation. Claimants can also select their preferred method of communication, including e-mail, text message, or postal mail. No matter what preference they select, all communications will be available in their portal, which will cut down on wait times for Marylanders to receive information about their claim.

After reviewing a claimant’s application and supporting documentation, DUI will notify a claimant of their eligibility through the portal and their preferred method of communication. If they are denied or found ineligible for benefits, they will receive instructions on how to protest or appeal the determination.

If a claimant is determined to be eligible for PUA benefits, they will also automatically receive an additional $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The FPUC program applies to benefit payments effective March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020. Payment of the $600 will be retroactive to the earliest date of their eligibility within that time period. This $600 program was launched for regular unemployment insurance benefit recipients on April 17.

The new online application will also implement the PEUC program. Starting tomorrow, new claimants and those who are already receiving benefits will automatically receive an additional 13 weeks of benefits under the CARES Act. Current eligible claimants do not need to take any additional steps to receive these extended benefits. Labor will directly contact Marylanders who have recently exhausted their benefits to notify them of their potential eligibility for PEUC with instructions on how to reapply and receive the additional 13 weeks they may be entitled to.

The new application will also allow individuals who were previously required to file by phone, like those who are federal employees, members of the military, have worked in multiple states, and have worked for more than 3 employers in the last 18 months, to now file online.

For more information about unemployment insurance in Maryland during COVID-19, please visit MDunemployment.com.

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