Did you lose your job through no fault of your own? You may be eligible to file for Maryland unemployment benefits.
Eligible individuals can temporarily receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to replace part of their income.
In Maryland, you must file weekly and verify you're actively looking for a job.
If you need help with a job assistance program or other information on other financial support programs while you're out of work, call 2-1-1.
Md Unemployment BEACON
The Maryland Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance utilizes a program called BEACON 2.0 to help Marylanders file for unemployment benefits and manage unemployment insurance claims (WEBCERT).
You can also call 667-207-6520 to speak to a live agent. If phone lines are full, you can provide a callback number and the system will call you back when they’re available.
If you’re having trouble reaching someone, you can also chat online.
You can also get answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the Department of Labor.
Documents to file unemployment
Before filing for unemployment, gather the documents the state will need to verify your claim. These include personal information and employment history for the last 18 months. You'll need the name, address, and phone number for all your employers during that time.
You may be asked for pay stubs, W-2 and 1099 forms, tax return and more. Learn about the documents that you may need to provide to file a claim.
Filing A Weekly Claim Certification
Each week, you’ll be required to file a claim certification. You can do this one of three ways:
- Filing through BEACON 2.0
- Using the app called “MD Unemployment for Claimants.” Download it on the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play.
- Calling 410-949-0022
There are two main unemployment numbers. One is a live agent and the other is the IVR phone system. You can also start a chat with a virtual assistant.
To file a new claim or get information on an existing claim, speak with a live agent by calling 667-206-6520.
To file a weekly claim certification, reset your PIN or check payment status, call 410-949-0022.
Maryland Workforce Exchange
Once you’ve filed for unemployment, you must actively search for a job to continue to be eligible for full benefits. You'll need to complete at least three valid reemployment activities per week. At least one must be a job contact.
A qualifying job contact involves contacting a potential employer. It can be in person, online or through fax or email.
You must register for Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE), so you can complete your Job Contact and Weekly Reemployment Activity Log (formerly Work Search Log) each week.
MWE will help you develop skills and position yourself for re-employment. You can meet with a virtual recruiter, complete a skills self-assessment, attend a networking event or recruiting event or add a resume.
1099-G Unemployment Tax Forms
When you receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, you'll receive a 1099-G form which is a Statement for Recipients of Certain Government Payments. You'll use this form when filing your taxes.
The 1099-G form will include the total Maryland unemployment benefit for each calendar year. It may be different than what you received for the week(s) of unemployment that was/were paid to you.
If you need help filing your taxes, free tax preparation services are available in Maryland for those who qualify.
COBRA Health Insurance
Even though you are no longer working with your former employer, you may be eligible to continue your health insurance while unemployed through COBRA. It's typically available for employees who are laid off, lose their job as long as there's no gross misconduct and for individuals who voluntarily leave a job.
You can continue the health benefits for at least 18 months, and up to 36 months in some cases.
However, it will cost more and sometimes that price is significant. Your employer will no longer pay a portion of your health insurance. You will pay the full premium.
Ask your former employer if COBRA is available while unemployed.
Health insurance for unemployed individuals
You may also apply for coverage through Maryland Health Connection. Learn more about health insurance options in Maryland when it's not available through an employer.