Updated : December 17th, 2020
How to claim your benefits in Maryland
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Maryland Unemployment Questions
What income must I report and when should it be reported? What effect will this income have on my benefits?
Any income must be reported. The Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) staff will make a determination based on the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law regarding whether the monies will have an effect on your weekly benefit amount.
When you file your initial claim or reopen your existing claim, you must report full or part-time wages earned during that week from regular employment, self-employment, odd jobs, etc. regardless of whether you were paid during that week. You must also report pensions, annuities, holiday pay, vacation pay, severance pay, bonuses and special payments that you have received or will receive. Commission payments must be reported during the week in which you receive the commission.
When you file your bi-weekly continued claims for benefits, you must report all wages earned during the week in which the work was performed regardless of whether you were paid during that week. This includes wages earned for permanent and temporary work, part-time and full-time work, self-employment and odd jobs. Commission payments must be reported during the week in which you receive the commission. In addition, DUI must be notified if during the continued claim process you receive a back pay award or if there is a change in your pension amount.
If I have been working part-time but am now unemployed and only looking for part-time work, am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
A part-time worker who has become unemployed and is only looking for part-time work may be eligible if he/she meets the definition and requirements outlined in the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. The definition and requirements are provided below.
A part-time worker is defined as 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.
A part-time worker is considered to be able and available for work if he/she:
1. is monetarily eligible based on wages that were predominantly earned from part-time work;
2. is actively seeking part-time work;
3. is available for part-time work for at least the number of hours worked at the part-time worker's previous employment;
4. does not impose any other restrictions on his/her ability to work or availability for work; and
5. is in a labor market in which a reasonable demand exists for part-time work.
A part-time worker is not considered to be unemployed, and, therefore, not entitled to benefits, if the part-time worker is working all hours for which he/she is available regardless of the amount of money earned.
If you have worked outside of Maryland or for the Federal government or served in the Armed Services during your base period, you must report this information when you file your claim. Under certain circumstances, these wages can be combined with your Maryland wages to give you a higher weekly benefit amount. If you have no Maryland wages during the base period, you may be required to file a Federal claim or an interstate claim. DUI staff will help you with this process.
Can I be paid for my dependents?
For Unemployment Insurance purposes, a dependent is defined as a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or legally adopted child (not grandchild or foster child) under 16 years of age for which you provide support. You may be eligible for dependents' allowance of $8 per dependent for up to 5 dependent children. Dependents' allowance will only be paid for 26 weeks during any one-year period. Only one parent may claim a dependent during any one-year period. The maximum weekly benefit amount, including any dependents' allowance is currently $410 per week.
What if I have worked in more than one state in the last 18 months?
You may have an option to file against any one of the states in which you worked and have monetary eligibility. You may choose to combine the wages of the states in which you worked to establish a combined wage claim, which may result in a higher weekly benefit amount.
To determine in which states you may have an option to file, contact the states in which you worked to explore all options. Your combined wage claim may be filed in any state in which you have employment and wages in the base period of the state and you qualify based on combining your wages. These claims cannot be filed using the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Internet Website
What if am living in another state, but worked in Maryland?
If your base period earnings are in Maryland, but you do not live in Maryland, you would file your claim against Maryland. Your claim would be governed by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law
When should I first file? How do I file?
Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits cannot be determined until you actually file an initial claim. If you are unemployed, file your claim as soon as possible, as your eligibility begins the week in which you file your claim. Your claim becomes effective the Sunday of the week during which you apply for benefits.
You can file via the Internet at mdunemployment.com or by telephone using one of the telephone numbers listed on the Unemployment Insurance Home Page under "Claim Center Telephone Numbers."
In addition, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own, be able to work, available for work, looking for full-time work (unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part-time worker), and willing to accept a job for which you are qualified.
What are my responsibilities as a claimant?
- be able to work, available for work and you must make an active search for full-time work (unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part-time worker);
- report all wages earned each week; report all monies received by you (e.g., vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, etc.);
- be available and/or contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance when directed to do so;
- report to the Maryland Division of Workforce Development when required to do so;
- accept suitable work as defined by law;
- file timely bi-weekly continued claims (request for payment).
What is the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefit Debit Card?
The Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefit Prepaid Debit Card is a Visa® debit card issued through Citibank. The card is not a credit card. It carries no credit line and you are not subjected to a credit check or approval process to receive the card. Purchases and withdrawals are limited to the balance on your card. This card is valid for a two-year period.
If I receive a debit card, does that mean that I have met the eligibility criteria for Maryland unemployment insurance benefits?
Yes. If your UI payments are approved, first you will receive a notice entitled "Notice of First Benefit Payment Approval and Mailing of Your Prepaid Citibank Debit Card." Then, within 7 days of the date of that notice, you will receive your debit card. Your card will arrive in a YELLOW envelope with the State of Maryland logo and an Omaha Nebraska return address in the upper left-hand corner. Receipt of the card means that your first payment is available, but it does not mean that you will automatically be eligible to continue to receive UI benefits. However, if you meet all of the eligibility requirements of the Maryland UI Law, you will be eligible and will have a safe and convenient way to receive and access your Maryland UI benefits. To obtain information on UI eligibility requirements and the Citibank debit card, to file a Webcert continued claim, or to obtain a claim center telephone number, refer to other sections of state web site.
When will I not receive a debit card?
If your UI payments are not approved, you will not receive a debit card. Some reasons that could prevent you from being approved for payment are: you are not monetarily eligible; you have been denied UI benefits for a nonmonetary reason (for example, you quit or were discharged from your job, you are not able to work, etc.); or you have not filed a timely continued claim. For a more detailed explanation of these and other reasons, refer to other sections of this web site.
If you were previously issued a debit card, that card is valid for two years. Unless two years has passed since you received your debit card, no new card will be issued. In addition, you will not receive the notice entitled, "Notice of First Benefit Payment Approval and Mailing of Your Prepaid Citibank Debit Card."
What are the advantages of receiving my payments by debit card? Some of the main advantages include:
- Saves time - Easy and quick access to your payments without waiting in line to cash or deposit a check
- Convenient - Withdraw cash at ATMs 24 hours a day and make purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted
- Saves money - Reduce check cashing and money order fees
- Tracks spending - Free account information and customer service 24 hours a day
- Reliable - Receive your payments timely - no lost or stolen checks
How can I access my unemployment insurance benefit payments using my debit card? To access your funds with your card, free of charge, you can:
- Access cash through bank tellers at any bank that accepts Visa
- Transfer your unemployment insurance payments to your personal bank account (similar to direct deposit)
- Withdraw cash from an ATM at: Citibank branches, MoneyPass ATM network, STARsf/Allpoint ATM network, and 7-Eleven stores
- Get cash back at select retail point-of-sale locations
- Make purchases through signature or pin-based transactions
Can I access the entire cash amount of my unemployment insurance benefit payment on the same day the funds are available?
Yes. The funds are available for withdrawal on the day of payment. There is no set amount that can be withdrawn from an ATM. Each ATM sets its own limit on the amount that can be withdrawn at one time or during one day. However, if you withdraw your money from a teller at a bank that displays the Visa logo, generally, you can withdraw all of the money on your card.
If I stop filing for unemployment insurance benefits and then at a later point re-apply, can I use the same debit card?
Yes. You will need to hold onto your debit card in the event that you might receive future payments from the State of Maryland. The debit card is valid for a two-year period.
What should I do if I change my address?
You must notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) at 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839. Even though you will not be receiving checks through the mail, you may be sent notices from DUI and your failure to respond to the information/instructions in these notices could result in a delay or denial of your benefits.
When do I contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance?
Contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance for concerns other than those related to the debit card, e.g., to question the amount of benefits you are paid or to obtain an explanation regarding a denial of benefits, etc. In addition, whenever you move or change your telephone number, you must change your address and/or telephone number with the Division of Unemployment Insurance at 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839.
Can I be paid for my dependents?
For Unemployment Insurance purposes, a dependent is defined as a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or legally adopted child (not grandchild or foster child) under 16 years of age for which you provide support. You may be eligible for dependents' allowance of $8 per dependent for up to 5 dependent children. Dependents' allowance will only be paid for 26 weeks during any one-year period. Only one parent may claim a dependent during any one-year period. The maximum weekly benefit amount, including any dependents' allowance is currently $430 per week.