Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Unemployment Benefits (2023)
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland created a new "Beacon" online portal to manage and process unemployment benefit claims. Today, the system continues as Beacon, which is online and linked here.
Unemployment benefits is an insurance program that provides a certain level of payment to anyone in Maryland who has worked sufficiently enough to qualify, and who is laid off though no fault of their own - which means not because of workplace misconduct or other significant fault - but due to the employer's preference and/or varied business reasons. That is the simple definition. Of course, many regulations, laws, and rules apply.
The "Beacon" system, as of 2023, has improved since its launch, but it remains full of gaffes, according to people contacting Mosson Law, LLC, for help. So, if you are applying for unemployment benefits you should take the time to ensure you have access to your Beacon portal, and are recieving notice of uploaded and issued documents to you.
If you find yourself out of a job and are not familiar with Maryland’s unemployment benefits, you may have tons of questions about the process. Sometimes getting answers from the very busy State of Maryland can be tricky.
So, to ensure you have all your doubts cleared, Mosson Law, LLC, has answered some of the most frequently asked questions below about Maryland unemployment benefits.
How do you apply?
Beacon permits Marylanders to apply online, which is online and linked here. If you have never used it beforehand, you can go to the tab that states, "Get Started With One Beacon" to create an account and apply.
What should I do to prepare for the application?
If you have been laid off, entirely or temporarily, or fired, and it was communicated by letter, email, text message, or any written document, you should keep it handy to show to the State.
Likewise, if you disagree with why the employment has ended - it may not be necessary - but gather the documents that present your side of the story.
You can be denied unemployment benefits, in part or in whole, if found to have committed "misconduct" or "gross misconduct" at work. Sometimes, you have to defend your work history performance to obtain these benefits.
Can I obtain unemployment benefits if I fear COVID-19 infection?
The answer should be yes, especially if you can document your reasonable concerns, under the doctrine of having "good cause" to quit.
If these concerns are made greater because you have unique health issues, like asthma for instance, or are in remission for cancer and so may be especially vulnerable if infected, you should gather those medical records so that you can establish your specific "reasonable concern" with documentation rather than just saying it.
Where Can I Find More Information?
The Maryland Department of Labor has an FAQ informational page linked here for you.
If Beacon 2.0 is confusing for you, a link on the page above called "BEACON 2.0 Claimant User Guide" opens to a PDF that shows how to navigate various buttons and screens.
If you have more questions, or have been denied unemployment benefits, you can schedule a legal consultation with an attorney.
Gregg H. Mosson, Esq.
Mosson Law, LLC
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: At Mosson Law, LLC, we consult on unemployment benefit matters as well as represent people at unemployment benefit hearings and upon appeal within the Md. Dept. of Labor.
ABOUT: Our founder and experienced attorney, Mr. Mosson, focuses on representing employees in claims of illegal discrimination, illegal retaliation, disability rights violations, FMLA interference, wrongful terminations, and when seeking owed wages. He also serves people seeking disability benefits from Social Security. His experience and knowledge in these areas of the law are vast and helpful to the clients he represents. For more details, visit the Web site at www.mossonlaw.com. To contact us, you can click here or call 443-226-0601.