Who Is Eligible for Unemployment in Maryland?


Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) oversees unemployment benefits in that state. Workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits must apply with the DLLR to receive them. Workers should only rely on benefits to the extent necessary to find a new job and make ends meet. The amount of benefits depends on the wages earned while the person was employed. The worker must have been employed by a company that pays unemployment insurance.

No-Fault Unemployment

In general, unemployed workers are eligible for benefits if they lose a job through no fault of their own. You cannot quit voluntarily unless an exception applies such as working in hazardous conditions, according to FileUnemployment.org. If you are fired, benefits may be delayed or denied depending on the degree of misconduct. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, there are varying degrees of misconduct. Simple misconduct delays benefits five to 10 weeks. Gross misconduct denies benefits until the employee finds a job and earns 20 times their Weekly Benefit Amount at the new job. Aggravated misconduct denies benefits until the employee finds a job and earns 30 times their Weekly Benefit Amount at the new job.

Under Maryland law, simple misconduct is conduct that falls short of gross or aggravated conduct. Gross conduct means willful or deliberate disregard for the employer’s rules or standards. Aggravated misconduct refers to actions that deliberately disregard the property, safety or life of others.

Reporting Requirements

If an unemployed worker is eligible based on the reason for the discharge of employment, that employee must still meet certain reporting requirements. Specifically, Maryland DLLR requires the unemployed worker to be available for work and to actively seek employment. The unemployed worker must file reports with the DLLR showing job contacts and job search efforts. Additionally, the worker must report money received each week from sources such as work, vacation pay or pension payments.

Application Instructions and Required Information

To apply for benefits, the unemployed worker should file a claim with the DLLR “as soon as possible.” According to the DLLR, eligibility begins “the week in which you file your claim.” If you file on a Wednesday, for example, the claim is effective that Sunday. When you file for benefits, you must provide basic contact information (name, address and telephone number), your Social Security number, the name of your employer and the reason for losing your job.

Duration of Benefits

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you may continue to receive benefits. If you find a job during the time you are on unemployment, you must inform the DLLR and you will stop receiving benefits. The benefits do not last indefinitely. Maryland pays benefits out every two weeks, but the benefits will not last longer than 26 weeks unless some extension or exception applies. The DLLR will notify you of any extensions in effect if they exist.

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