Division of Unemployment Insurance
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Note: The deadline for claimants to use their debit cards is extended to Tuesday, February 1, 2022. To access funds after February 1, 2022, claimants should call the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029.
OverviewMaryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) transitioned from issuing benefit payments to unemployment insurance claimants via debit card through Bank America to direct deposit (or paper check) through Wells Fargo. The department is excited to provide claimants with the ability to have their unemployment insurance benefit payments transferred directly into their personal bank account through the fast, safe, and convenient direct deposit program. Claimants are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit if they have a checking or savings account and their financial institution is able to receive direct deposits.
Transition TimelinePlease pay close attention to the following timeline:
- May 24, 2021
- Beginning Monday, May 24, 2021, all unemployment insurance benefit payments will be made by either direct deposit or paper check to eligible claimants who have made their selection in BEACON.
- January 5, 2022
- If claimants have been issued a Bank of America UI Benefits Debit Card and cannot locate that card, they must contact the Bank of America Customer Service Center at 855-847-2029 to order a replacement by Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Replacement cards will not be issued after this date.
- February 1, 2022
- On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Bank of America UI debit cards will be deactivated. If claimants have a balance on their debit cards after that date, they can contact the Bank of America Service Center at 855-847-2029 to access those funds in a different way.
Select Your Preferred Payment Method
For information about selecting your payment method, or to learn more about the transition, see the Direct Deposit of Benefit Payments Frequently Asked Questions.
The temporary, federal unemployment insurance programs (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC) expired the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021. No payments of PUA, FPUC, PEUC, or MEUC benefits will be made for any weeks of unemployment ending after September 4, 2021, even if you have a PUA or PEUC balance in your BEACON portal.
Processing of Claims for Weeks Ending on or Before September 4
Claims that include weeks of eligibility that end on or before September 4 will be processed even after the federal programs expire. Claimants will receive benefits for all weeks they are determined to be eligible for, even if a determination of eligibility occurs after September 4. If you are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of these four federal programs, the Department will ensure that you receive all payments owed to you for those weeks.
Extension to File PUA Claims
Until October 6, 2021, the Department will accept new initial claims for PUA benefits for weeks of unemployment ending between December 12, 2020, and September 4, 2021. Claimants are only eligible for PUA benefits for weeks they were unemployed or partially unemployed because of an approved COVID-19 related reason.
If you are not able to file your weekly claim certification this week, please check your BEACON portal to see if you have an “Apply for Benefits” button. If you have this button, there could be several reasons including, but not limited to:
- You did not apply for benefits last week,
- Your benefit year has expired (52 weeks), or
- Your monetary eligibility needs to be redetermined.
Even if your account is active and you have a balance, if you have an “Apply for Benefits” button, then you need to re-apply for benefits to be able to file your weekly certification as required by Maryland unemployment law and federal program rules.
If you wish to re-apply for benefits, you should access your BEACON portal from an internet browser, click on the “Apply for Benefits” link on your home page, and follow the steps. You cannot complete this process from the MD Unemployment for Claimants Mobile App.
Reminder: Claimants have through Saturday, June 12 to file their weekly certification for the week. If you have successfully filed your weekly certification this week, please ignore this message. There are no issues with the BEACON system.
On Sunday, July 4, Maryland LABOR reinstated the standard active search for work requirement for all claimants receiving regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Claimants receiving benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) federal programs must meet the active search for work requirement beginning Sunday, July 18, 2021.
All claimants must actively search for work by completing at least three valid reemployment activities each week, which must include at least one job contact. Claimants must satisfy the active search for work requirement to maintain their eligibility for UI benefits.
Valid reemployment activities are intended to help a claimant become reemployed and remove potential barriers to employment. Qualifying activities include, but are not limited to: activities completed through the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE), such as setting up a virtual recruiter or completing a skills self-assessment; attending networking events; creating a résumé in MWE; and attending employment events (e.g., job fairs, hiring events) held by the Maryland Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL). For a full list, see Maryland's Valid Reemployment Activities.
Job contacts refer to actions a claimant takes to contact employers in an attempt to secure employment. Acceptable job contacts include: submitting a job application to an employer (in person, email, online, fax); interviewing for a job; or completing a pre-screening for a job interview; among other actions.
As part of the active search for work requirement, claimants must complete a one-time registration with MWE and submit their completed job contacts and valid reemployment activities each week in the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity log (formerly known as the Work Search Log), located within MWE.
For detailed instructions about MWE registration and submitting job contacts and valid reemployment activities, see the Maryland Work Search Requirements web page, the Job Contact and Reemployment Activity Log video tutorial for using the log.
To learn more about the active search for work requirement, see the Work Search FAQs on the DUI website.
Claimants can conveniently chat online with a live agent to receive help with their unemployment insurance inquiries. To chat with a live agent, please select the blue “Chat with us” button at the bottom right of the homepage and then type "speak with an agent." Agents are available Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Claimants can also chat with Labor’s Virtual Assistant Dayne, which can provide immediate answers to common inquiries or direct claimants to relevant resources about filing a new claim, extending benefits, receiving benefit payments, and more. The Virtual Assistant is available 24/7. Since May 2020, the Virtual Assistant has handled more than 18.8 million messages and 3.1 million conversations, with an average of 10,400 conversations daily.
Overview of Programs
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Provides benefits for claimants who are ineligible for regular UI and unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason. This includes gig workers, independent contractors, the self-employed, and those with insufficient work history.
- Per new USDOL guidelines, eligibility for PUA has been expanded to include:
- Individuals who were denied unemployment benefits because they refused to return to work or refused an offer of work at a worksite that, in either rinstance, is not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19;
- Individuals who provide services to an educational institution or educational service agency and are unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule that is directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency (this includes, but is not limited to, changes in schedules and partial closures); and
- Individuals experiencing a reduction of hours or a temporary or permanent layoff as a direct result of the Covid-19 public health emergency.
- Claimants are required to provide proof of their employment in order to be eligible for PUA.
- All PUA claimants will receive an action item in their BEACON portals. Learn more about the proof of employment requirement.
- The last payable week for the PUA program was the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- Provides an additional $300 per week for claimants who receive at least $1 in benefits under another unemployment insurance program: (Regular UI; Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE); Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX); Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); Extended Benefits (EB); Short-Time Compensation (STC) (called Worksharing in Maryland); and Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).
- All claimants who are eligible to receive benefits (including regular UI claimants) will automatically receive the $300 FPUC amount for the duration of the federal benefits programs.
- The last payable week for the FPUC program was the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Provides benefits to claimants after they have exhausted their Regular UI benefits.
- Regular UI benefits must have been exhausted on or after July 1, 2019.
- The last payable week for the PEUC program was the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC)
- Provides an additional $100 weekly benefit payment to claimants that are receiving Regular UI, PEUC, EB, or Work Sharing benefits. It is NOT available to PUA claimants.
- To be eligible, claimants must have earned both employment wages and self-employment income (at least $5,000 in NET SELF-EMPLOYMENT income in the completed taxable year prior to their Regular UI application).
- Claimants must provide documentation substantiating their self-employment income.
- Labor began accepting applications for the MEUC program on Monday, March 1, 2021, and began making MEUC payments on Friday, March 12, 2021. Claimants will receive payment backdated to their earliest date of eligibility. All potentially eligible claimants will be notified.
- The last payable week for the MEUC program was the week ending Saturday, September 4, 2021.
With the record number of unemployment insurance claims filed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland, and states across the entire country, have seen an increase in activity by bad actors and fraudsters using illegally obtained data to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Please note that there has been NO breach in our BEACON unemployment system.
If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Benefit Payment Control Unit by completing a “Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud” form and e-mailing it to email@example.com.
If you received a 1099-G tax form, but did not apply for unemployment insurance benefits in Maryland in 2020, then please complete this Affidavit form and submit it along with picture ID to the Benefit Payment Control Unit by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an employer and believe a fraudulent claim has been charged to your account, please file a benefit charge protest through your employer portal.
If you believe fraudulent transactions have been made on your Bank of America Debit Card, please contact the Debit Card Customer Service Center at 1-855-847-2029 to file a report and request a replacement card.
We have been alerted to a number of potential scam operations that are attempting to prey on unemployment insurance claimants. To help you distinguish between legitimate assistance from Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) staff and fraudulent assistance from a potential scammer, please remember the following:
- DUI will never request or require payment for assistance with unemployment insurance, especially not through apps like Venmo or Cashapp.
- DUI staff will not provide assistance to claimants through direct message on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
- DUI will never arrange for an adjudication or fact-finding interview over any teleconferencing platform, such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Hangout Meets, or Skype.
- DUI does not provide assistance through text message and will not send any links asking a claimant to verify their account through text.
- DUI will never ask for your bank account number, debit card number, or credit card number over e-mail or on social media
- DUI will never request your BEACON password over e-mail.
- All e-mails from legitimate DUI staff will come from a @maryland.gov e-mail address.
- Do not provide any sensitive information related to your Maryland unemployment insurance claim by e-mail unless it is to a @maryland.gov e-mail address.
Avoid Scams on Social Media
Please be aware of pages and scammers on social media pretending to be the Maryland Department of Labor. Scammers are replicating the Maryland Department of Labor’s social media pages, directly messaging claimants, and attempting to steal their identity by asking for their personal information. These pages are particularly targeting members of unemployment groups on Facebook.
Fraudulent pages may look similar, but are newly created, do not have a lengthy history of posts, spelled differently (often with typos), and not verified with a blue check mark. “Maryland department of labour” is an example of a fraudulent page that looks similar, but is spelled differently. If you find a fraudulent page, please report it to the social media platform immediately and DO NOT respond to their messages.
Links to the Maryland Department of Labor’s official government agency social media pages can be found below:
Identity Theft Resources
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please read the Maryland State Police's Identity Theft Protection Quick Guide. For more information about identity theft, please visit the Commissioner of Financial Regulation identity theft page.
Governor Larry Hogan recently signed the bipartisan RELIEF Act of 2021, which will provide more than $1 billion in tax relief and economic stimulus funds to Maryland residents, small businesses, and unemployed workers. The RELIEF Act was enacted to help Marylanders who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistance of Unemployment Workers
- Repeals state and local income taxes on unemployment insurance benefits for the 2020 and 2021 tax years for claimants who meet certain household income requirements (federal adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 for individuals, or $100,000 for married couples filing jointly). This tax relief effort will result in a $400 million savings for unemployed workers. Any questions about unemployment insurance benefit taxes need to be directed to: Comptroller’s Taxpayer Services Division at email@example.com or via phone at 1-833-345-0787.
- The Comptroller of Maryland shall provide a $1,000 grant to any individual whose claim for unemployment benefits is pending a determination of eligibility and has been in adjudication for at least 30 days, except for a claim where the failure to determine eligibility is related to an allegation of fraud. The Comptroller will mail eligible claimants a paper check. If you do not receive a check from the Comptroller, you were not on the list of eligible claimants sent as of March 3. Claimants are only entitled to receive one grant per person. This grant is in no way a determination of eligibility for benefits. Qualifying claimants do not need to take any action to receive the grant. For more information, select the Maryland Office of the Comptroller RELIEF Act Frequently Asked Questions.
Assistance for Employers
- The Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) will calculate tax rates for contributory employers based on their pre-pandemic experience, using the computation date, July 1, 2019, and using the normal computation date. These employers will receive the lower of the two rates. This provision will be in effect through the 2nd July after Governor Hogan lifts the state of emergency.
- Contributory employers with fewer than 50 employees have the option to defer submitting their contribution and employment reports for the first 3 quarters of calendar year 2021. If an employer elects to do so, they can defer payment until the due date for the 4th quarter of 2021: January 31, 2022.
- Reimbursable employers with fewer than 50 employees may elect to defer payment of their bills for the first 3 quarters of 2021. Employers who choose to defer these payments must pay them on the due date for the fourth quarter of 2021. Reimbursable employers with fewer than 50 employees may receive authorization from DUI to defer payments for the calendar year 2022 until a date which DUI will establish. Employers will not be considered delinquent or charged interest payments for the deferral period.
Unemployment insurance benefits are subject to federal and state income tax. If you collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2020, you will need the I.R.S. 1099-G tax form to complete your 2020 federal and state tax returns. Please note that when you completed your initial claim application, you chose whether to have any taxes withheld from your weekly benefit amount. If you chose not to withhold any taxes, then you will be required to pay the appropriate taxes on the total benefits received when you pay your taxes.
Maryland’s Division of Unemployment Insurance has issued a 1099-G tax form to all claimants that received unemployment insurance benefits during the calendar year 2020 (from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020) based on the delivery preference chosen in their BEACON portal.
All claimants will be able to immediately access their 1099-G tax form by visiting their BEACON portal and selecting Correspondences from “Your Options.” Select “Search” to display all Correspondences and select “1099” to view. If you selected the U.S. Mail as your preferred method of delivery, then you will also receive a 1099-G tax form in the mail.
If you receive a 1099-G tax form, but did not apply for or receive unemployment insurance benefits in Maryland in 2020, then please complete this Affidavit form and submit it along with picture ID to the Benefit Payment Control Unit by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you did not receive unemployment benefits in 2020, you will not be responsible for paying taxes on that money once the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance confirms that the claim was fraudulently filed.
To learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit, find locations offering FREE tax preparation through the CASH Campaign of Maryland, get financial help with the cost of health coverage through the Maryland Health Connection, and more, please visit our website. To learn more about the 1099-G tax form, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.
The fully modernized BEACON 2.0 unemployment insurance system launched for claimants and for employers.
BEACON 2.0 is a multi-year project dating back to 2015 that integrates all benefits, appeals, tax, and reemployment functions of the unemployment insurance system. BEACON 2.0 is replacing a legacy mainframe IT system that is several decades old.
In addition to all that claimants can already accomplish in the current BEACON One-Stop application, launched to accommodate the unprecedented surge of new claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BEACON 2.0 system will offer claimants and employers dozens of new online features.
Claimant Portal User Guide and Glossary
Download the Claimant Mobile App
The BEACON mobile app called “MD Unemployment for Claimants” is available to download for free from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. The mobile app allows claimants to easily file their weekly claim certifications, view and update claimant information, and more directly from their mobile device. To download the app in the iOS App Store, please visit https://bit.ly/AppleMDBEACON. To download the app in the Google Play Store, please visit https://bit.ly/GoogleMDBEACON.
For questions regarding BEACON 2.0, file an inquiry using our new Inquiry Form or call an agent at 667-207-6520. Please include your full legal name, complete address, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of your Social Security number, claimant ID number, and/or a brief description of the issue you are experiencing.
The new BEACON 2.0 system offers dozens of new features and will greatly improve the user experience for both claimants and employers. Check out the new functionalities and upgraded features below:
New Features for Claimants
Claimants will now be able to:
- Receive immediate updates regarding their claim status, including up-to-date information about their eligibility
- Retrieve correspondence and other claimant information
- Review benefit payment history
- Respond to fact-finding requests (as required) for additional information
- Submit supporting documents for Adjudication or Appeals
- File appeals
- Track and pay overpayments
- Use reemployment services
- Maintain their portal account
Existing Features for Claimants
Claimants will still be able to:
- Access their unemployment insurance claim 24 hours / 7 days per week
- File initial claims for all program types:
- Regular UI
- Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
- Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)
- Combined Wage Claim (CWC) - Maryland and Out-of-State Claim
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Extended Benefits (EB)
- Workshare Claimants
- Trade Claimants
- File weekly claim certifications
- Update Account details
- Update requests for Tax withholding
- Mobile App
- Review benefit payment history
New Features for Employers
Employers will now be able to:
- Submit required reports and information
- Update their account information such as address, contact, and ownership
- Access their tax rate and other UI-related information
- Submit wage reports and pay contributions
- Submit adjustments to previously filed wage reports
- Respond to Requests for Separation information
- File an Appeal
- Submit supporting documents for Appeals or Adjudication
- View all correspondence generated by the system
- Set up an agent to manage their account
- Get assistance by contacting the new employer/agent call center at 410-949-0033 (starting Monday, September 21, 2020)
- Mobile App coming soon
New Features for Third Party Agents
Agents will now be able to:
- Submit a power of attorney online and access their customer’s account based on their privileges granted by the power of attorney
- File wage reports on behalf of their clients
- Make contribution payments on behalf of their clients
- File Appeals on behalf of their clients
- Obtain rate information for their clients
- Get assistance by contacting the new employer/agent call center at 410-949-0033 (starting Monday, September 21, 2020)
The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s website and call centers are currently experiencing an unprecedented volume of users due to COVID-19. This may result in longer than usual wait times. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience during these uncertain times.
Please be assured that Maryland does not have a waiting week like many other states do. No matter when or how they file, Marylanders become eligible for benefits starting the day after they separated from employment. Your payment will be backdated to the date you became unemployed, not when your claim was processed. If you are determined to be eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.
Important Contact Information and Links
We strongly encourage you to utilize our online BEACON application to file your claim, which is available online 24/7.
Claimant Phone Number
- To contact a live agent to file a new claim or inquire about an existing claim, please call 667-207-6520, toll free.
- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have more than doubled our Claims Center staffing and have further extended hours. Live claims agents are available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Claimants now have the option to call us seven days a week.
- If you call during business hours, you may provide a callback number. When an agent becomes available, the system will call the number and connect you with an agent. You may also be offered the opportunity to connect with a virtual agent to have questions answered by smartphone.
Employer and Agent Phone Number
- The Employer Call Center will be available beginning September 21, 2020 and can be reached at 410-949-0033.
- If you need activating your employer or agent account in BEACON, please contact the Account Activation Hotline at 410-767-8997.
Connect with IVR System to File Telecerts and More
- To connect with the new IVR system available 24/7, call 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839, toll free. Please listen carefully as the voice and many prompts have changed.
- Using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, claimants can file weekly claim certifications for both regular and pandemic unemployment insurance claims by phone. Claimants can also file a telecert for multiple weeks, reset their PIN number, check their payment status, receive filing instructions, and more without having to connect with a claims agent.
You may file an inquiry with our Inquiry Form. Simply complete the requested information and enter a brief description of your question. You will receive a tracking number to follow-up on the response to your question.
You may also chat with our Virtual Assistant on our Division of Unemployment Insurance homepage. Simply click on the blue “Chat with us” bar in the lower right hand corner of the screen. An area to type in your question will appear.
Ombudsman Inquiry Form
Additional State Resources
If you are in need of additional financial assistance, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has created a Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders. The guide summarizes some of the many COVID-19 financial relief programs and consumer protections that are available for Maryland residents and their families.
You may be eligible for additional supportive benefits and services through the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). In addition to cash and food purchasing support, you may qualify for counseling and other services. Find out what services may be available for you by completing an initial application online or you may contact DHS' 24-hour helpline at 1-800-332-6347.
For additional state resources from the state departments of Labor, Human Resources, and Housing and Community Development, please visit the State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services.
- Assistance from the MD Dept. of Human Resources
- Financial Help with the Cost of Health Coverage
- Find a Job in Maryland
- Information about Tax Benefits and FREE Tax Preparation
- Job Dislocation: Making Smart Financial Choices after a Job Loss
- El desempleo y sus finanzas: Cómo tomar decisiones inteligentes al perder su empleo
- Employers: Pay Federal UI Taxes Online
Claimant Information:Live Agent - 667-207-6520
IVR Number – 410-949-0022
For Hearing Impaired Only:
Maryland Relay dial 711
File an inquiry using our Inquiry Form
Employer Information:Baltimore area - 410-949-0033
Toll free within the US - 1-800-492-5524
MD Unemployment Insurance Tax MVA License Renewal - 410-767-2699