Maryland's Unemployment Benefit Division: Fall 2021 Update
The Unemployment Division of the Maryland Department of Labor ("Division") is undergoing a sea change as federal pandemic benefits expire on Sept. 4, 2021, and unemployment claims being handled shrink dramatically. The Division should have more capacity to handle new and pending claims faster and better.
The Division, in my experience, has been terribly backed up this year. The end of federal pandemic benefits should change it. Federal pandemic benefits are unavailable in Maryland after Sept. 4, 2021. MD DOL, Web site (last visited 9/21/21).
To put this into some perspective, reporter Amy Simpson of local TV station WBFF, "Fox 25," reports that there was around 125,000+ people receiving unemployment benefits in Md. on August 21, 2021. Of these, about 109,000 received federal assistance and 15,000 or so received regular unemployment benefits, according to her report. See WBFF (linked here) (last visited 9/21/21).
So, the Division's volume has shrunk. It's about nine times smaller. Hopefully, this reduction of claims promises a faster and more accurate processing of new and in-process unemployment benefit claims.
The Maryland economy, meanwhile, continues to improve. As of August 2021, the state's unemployment rate is 5.9% and Maryland added over 11,000 jobs during August. MD DOL, Press Release (9/17/21) (last visited 9/21/21).
Of course, we all know things are not exactly 'back to normal,' if that means returning to the exact routines before the pandemic. The way we work and live has changed in Maryland, and how that plays out, remains to be seen.
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Gregg H. Mosson, Esq.
Mosson Law, LLC