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Maryland Unemployment Insurance

Record numbers of Americans have found themselves without work, through no fault of their own, due in large part to the Great Recession that began sometime in late 2008. Although the economy appears to be recovering slowly, there are still tens of millions of unemployed people who are actively seeking work. The problem stems from a large number of huge conglomerates that either folded, or had to significantly downsize in order to stay in business.

From the perspective of all those unemployed people, the upside is that there is such a thing as ‘unemployment insurance’ that kicks in if certain criteria are met. Although the amount of money they receive is only a percentage of their normal take home salary, those benefits at least bring money in while they seek new employment. If you live in the State of Maryland, you are entitled to collect Maryland unemployment insurance Benefits if you are eligible.

Who Pays for Unemployment Insurance?
Unlike health insurance, the employee does not pay premiums for Maryland unemployment insurance. The responsibility lies with the employer who pays unemployment taxes at pre-scheduled times throughout the year. Most often those payments are made quarterly and the rates an employer needs to pay for each employee can be found on the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) page that is part of the Maryland government website. The website contains all the information employers may need and if something is unclear, contact information is provided for further assistance.

Who Qualifies for Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits

While there are several factors which determine eligibility, the most basic requirements are that the person must be without work through no fault of his or her own, must be willing and able to work full time and must be actively seeking alternate employment. If the person is out of work due to illness or disability, he or she will not qualify for unemployment benefits. Instead, those persons would need to file for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration closest to them. For a complete list of criteria that must be met to qualify for unemployment insurance, it is suggested that you visit the Maryland DLLR website or contact the state employment/unemployment agency closest to you.

How Long Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits?
The first question that many people are asking at the moment is how long they can continue to receive Maryland unemployment insurance benefits. Under state law, the maximum a person can continue to receive benefits is 26 weeks. However, there are some exceptions to that rule. The first exception is if you are still eligible for benefits but have dependents that are eligible for dependents’ benefits. The second exception is if you earn ‘some wages and partial benefits are paid,’ but if you file for an additional 26 weeks under the dependent’s clause, you will only be granted that additional 26 week period and no longer unless federal assistance is given to the state for the extension of benefits.

Since 2008, there have been several federal programs that have enabled states to extend benefits as a result of a sluggish economy. These extensions are only issued in times of grave need on a national level and can be restricted at any time. Because one of the key factors in eligibility is that the claimant must be actively seeking employment, chances are you will find a job before your benefits expire. If not, contact your local DLLR office for further information.

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