Maryland Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.

  Last Verified: April 2017  

All unemployment claims and issues in Maryland go through the Division of Unemployment Insurance in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DUI). Unemployment insurance is funded by employers and it allocates money to those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. They must also be ready, able, and willing to work.Seal_of_Maryland_(reverse).svg


To be qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have earned enough wages in a 12-month period prior to your filing a claim. You must have earned those wages from an employer covered by the state’s unemployment insurance laws. If you meet the earnings requirement, you must also:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept offers of suitable employment
  • Be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US

Claimants  must register with Maryland’s One-Stop Career Center System. You can enroll in person or online.

Eligibility Requirements Explained

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

Your actions or decisions cannot be the cause of your separation from employment. Workers who are laid off or had their workplace close are examples of who are not at fault for their job loss.

Able and Available

You must be physically and mentally able to work. You must be available to accept any offer of suitable employment. “Suitable employment” is a job you’ve been trained to do or have performed previously at a salary in the range of prior earnings. The longer you remain unemployed, you will have to accept jobs that are less “suitable.”

Legally authorized

You should be able to prove you are authorized to work in the US if a non-citizen.

Wage Earning Requirement and the Base Period

The department will look at your wages over a 12-month period called the base period. The “base period” is the first four quarters of the last five calendar quarters.

unemployment base period

This chart shows the base period.

If you are not eligible using the standard base period, you may use an alternate base period. The alternate base period is the last four completed calendar quarters. You will have to contact the claim center to ask for an alternate base period.

The department will use the wages from the quarter in which you earned the most during the base period to determine eligibility.

Calculating Benefit Payments

The state also uses base period wages to determine how much you’ll receive weekly, called the weekly benefit amount (WBA). Your WBA will be about 1/2 of your average weekly wage up to the maximum WBA of $430. The minimum WBA is $50.

The department’s website provides a benefit payment chart online.

You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks during the benefit year (a year from the date you filed).

You will receive a Determination of Monetary Eligibility, form DLLR/DUI 212 after you file your initial claim. This will show how the DUI determined your wages and WBA. If you disagree with the math, you may request a redetermination. You will have 15 days from the mailing date of this document in which to make the request.

If the determination notes that you have earned enough wages, this does not mean you are going to get benefits. Wait for the Notice of Benefit Determination to find out.

Extended Benefits

During times of high unemployment, the state or federal government may authorize additional weeks of benefit payments. No program is currently active.

If you earn part-time wages during your benefit year, you may receive partial benefit payments. This may extend the number of weeks you receive benefits.

Claiming Dependents

You may also receive an additional $8 per dependent child, up to five children. 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. Your dependent payments will not allow you to exceed the maximum WBA.

How to Apply

Filing an initial claim is the first step to receiving unemployment benefits. You will need your full name, social security number, address, telephone number, information for your dependents, and the name, payroll address, telephone number, and reason for separation for all employers that you have had in the previous 18 months.

You can file online at Maryland Unemployment or via telephone. The telephone number you call depends on which area you are calling from.

Filing Continuing Claims and Maintaining Eligibility

If your initial claim is approved, you will have to file continued claims for each week that you are unemployed. The state requires this in order to ensure you are maintaining eligibility status.

You cannot file for the week until Saturday. After the initial week of payments, you file once every two weeks. You may call Telecert or you may go on the web and use Webcert to file your continued claims.

However you file, the system will ask questions on topics intended to determine whether you may receive benefits. Questions will cover:

  • Whether you are able and available to work
  • Whether you are looking for work
  • Whether you started or quit a new job
  • Whether you refused an offer of employment
  • Whether you earned any wages or income

If you earned any wages, you must report those earnings. You should report them during the week you earned them rather than when you were paid. If you refused a job offer, then you must report that as well. You must show why the job was not “suitable employment.”

Partial Unemployment

If you are receiving unemployment insurance payments and you find part-time, you may still be able to claim partial benefits. For each week that you request payment, you can earn up to $50 without it affecting the amount of unemployment you receive. However, you must still report any amount under $50 that you make. When you report earnings, your benefits will be adjusted appropriately.

Work Search Requirement

Looking for a job while receiving benefits is important to maintaining eligibility. You will have registered with career center. Additionally, you must make at least two “job contacts” per week to show you are making a good faith effort to find work.

A job contact is a verifiable communication with someone in a position to influence a hiring decision. The DUI may perform an audit of your job search efforts at any time, so keep this info on your job searches handy:

  • Date contacted
  • Contact information (address, telephone number, website information, etc.)
  • How you contacted the employer (in-person, telephone, internet, etc.)
  • Person contacted (if available)
  • Type of work sought
  • Did you apply for a job, if so how (in person, internet, mail, filled out application, sent resume, etc.)
  • If internet application completed, confirmation number
  • Results of application (pending, not hiring, will call, not accepting application, etc.)

Reasons for Denial of Benefits

If you do not meet the wage requirements, you will not qualify for unemployment benefits. As noted, you will have an opportunity to request a redetermination of your eligibility.

If you do meet the wage requirements, the DUI may still deny benefits for the other reasons. You may not meet the requirements based on your separation from work, or may be otherwise ineligible. You can also lose your benefits after an initial determination of eligibility.

Separation Issues

If you quit without good cause or are discharged for misconduct, the DUI will deny your claim for benefits.

Quitting for personal reasons may result in a denial of benefits. If you quit to return to school, this is a personal reason, even though going back to school may be a “good” cause. Quitting because of a lack of transportation is also a personal reason because transportation is your responsibility. Also, it isn’t likely your employer caused your transportation issues.

When you are fired, the DUI examiner will seek to determine whether you were discharged for misconduct. “Misconduct” is defined as actions or inaction that show a disregard for your employer’s interests. When you repeatedly violate an employer policy, clearly stated, you are likely to be ineligible for benefits. Some one-time instances, like stealing on the job, are obviously misconduct.

Quit and Still Eligible

If you quit work for a “good cause,” you may be eligible for benefits. A “good cause” may be something the employer did or failed to do to leave you with little choice but to quit. Your employer may have forced you to work in unsafe conditions. You will have to show those conditions existed when you quit, and that you made every effort to work out the situation.

Fired and Still Eligible

Your employer may fire you, but the reason may not be “misconduct” according to the DUI examiner. The employer may discharge you because they believe you could not perform the duties as required. This is not misconduct.

Other Issues

You may be ineligible for benefits because you were unable to work when you filed. You may have been disabled, for example. You would collect disability benefits instead. If you become unable to work after you fiile, you may be able to continue receiving benefits. The DUI would have to examine your medical condition.

Being unavailable to work, like being incarcerated or a becoming a full-time student may cause a denial of benefits.

You may also lose your benefits because you don’t look for work, don’t respond to requests from the DUI or otherwise violate DUI rules.

What Happens When the DUI Denies Benefits

Your request for unemployment insurance payments may be denied. If this happens, you will receive a Notice of Benefit Determination that explains why your claim was denied. If you disagree with the decision, you may appeal it. You must file your appeal within 15 days of the day that you were denied benefits. Appeals must be mailed to the Appeals Division and signed by the person requesting the appeal. Your employer may also appeal if you are given unemployment insurance benefits. You may need to attend an appeal hearing.

If you are filing an appeal, you should still continue to file continued claims. If you win your appeal and you have not filed continued claims, you will not be paid for that time period.

Read more about filing an appeal at our page on Maryland unemployment benefits appeals.


In the event that your initial claim is approved, you will receive a Notice of First Benefit Payment Approval and Mailing of Your Prepaid Citibank Debit Card. Your first payment has been approved; further payments must be approved through continued claims. Within seven days of the notice, you should receive a Citibank debit card that is loaded with your first week of payments. You may request that Citibank deposits your benefits into your account instead of onto a debit card. To do this, call Citibank at 1-800-582-4910.


Find your claim center

File an initial claim online

File an ongoing claim online

Claimant Information Service

410-949-0022 for people calling from Baltimore or out-of-state

1-800-827-4839 for people calling from Maryland but outside of Baltimore

Address for appeals

Appeals Division

1100 N. Eutaw St. Room 505

Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone number for appeals


Sign up for Maryland’s Career Center online

Find your career center


  • Mrs. B

    I’m a teacher and get paid for 9 months out of the year. Can I collect unemployment for the other 3 months that I’m not working

  • sid

    If I was laid off in May 2017 and it is now Aug 2017 is it too late to file unemployment since I have not found a job yet

  • Sheron Thornton

    I was fired from my job after 20 Years, and am now receiving unemployment. , on 12/2016 I had been fired from the same job in 2014, but reinstated, again receiving unemployment I believed this is a result of my filing a EEOC case after I was sexually harassed and assaulted. I have been out of work for one year. My unemployment benefits has expired. Is there a way to extend it?

  • Latoya Thompson

    Yes i just file for unemployed on 4/20/17 had my phone conservative ain’t got my letter back and it told me that I will be disqualified for 10 weeks starting 03/05/17-05/13/17 and i get my notice in the mail to file my claim every week. How long will it be before i get my money??

    • Depends on why the penalty was imposed. If you were found guilty of misconduct, MD will begin to pay benefits at the conclusion of week 11. If you’ve quit without good cause, in addition to the 10 week dq from benefits, you are required to return to work and earn 15x your weekly benefit amount before MD will begin to pay.

      • Latoya Thompson

        Yes it was for misconduct so i won’t get my money until the 1st week of june?? And will i get my back pay??

        • No – no back pay. That’s the point of a disqualification – you are being punished for misconduct. If you are unemployed long enough, you will eventually be able to collect the entire award of the claim going forward.

  • Kevin

    I accepted a one month contract that pays a stipend every other week. The weekly breakdown is less than my benefit amount. Will this position make me ineligible for benefits? How will I need to answer my weekly certification?

    • You report the hours and gross pay earned for each week you claim – WHETHER OR NOT PAID. Under its partial benefit formula, Maryland will increase your weekly benefit amount by 50% and deduct the gross wages from that. In other words, if you work, a $300 weekly benefit becomes $450 from which is deducted your gross earnings (whether or not paid).

  • Daniel idylwood

    I work a full time & a part time job. I recently was told through a letter that my part time is closing & being laid off. Will I be able to get unemployment even though I still have a full time job?

  • Jeffery Watson

    My Name Is Jeffery Watson I Been Out Of Work Since December 31st My Work Assignment End. I Was Never Notify For A Follow Up Through The Temp Agency I Worked With Them For 2 Years 2015-2016 I Been Looking For Work Going Out And Searching For Work Every Week

  • Ally burnes

    Hi my name is Ally,

    Wanted to know if you thought I qualified for md unemployment. I recently had my daughter in November….went back to work late December…and needed to be off for like 2 weeks in January. My employer said I would need to come back to work until I was approved for a leave of absence or resign. So I believe I forced to resign. Would this qualify?

  • Danielle

    I was terminated from my job after 6 months of employment for alleged bad alcohol service to customers. I did not have any warnings or write ups documented and was terminated a week after the alleged poor service. Will I qualify for unemployment? I worked two other jobs a year prior to the current job. Does that affect it?

    • Your base year for this claim will include earnings October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016. So, yes, those other earnings will affect your claim in a positive way.

      Whether or not you get benefits will depend on how you present your case and what your employer can PROVE. Be prepared to appeal, if necessary. Initial denials are routinely issued because it’s an easy answer for the states whenever employer says anything that could be defined as “misconduct.” Appeals are won all the time. So, if you get a denial, absolutely appeal.

      For now, you apply for benefits. You were discharged, you do not know why. Let employer assert the exact instance of “poor service” and when. You don’t know when it happened, were never warned, you are mystified. Don’t you make the employer’s case for them at this point.

      Sounds like employer was looking for an “excuse” to discharge you and may have decided to just make one up. Employers lie all the time.

      • Danielle

        Thank you! What questions are typically asked during the phone interview. Mine is coming up I want to be prepared as possible.

        • Nothing you say in this interview will help you if your employer tells MD it fired you for poor service. MD will always side with the employer and let the appeals court determine the truth of the matter.

          As a general rule, in potential issues of misconduct, you are better off not taking the call at all, let the state render its decision, and file an appeal if you are denied. Far too often people unwittingly incriminate themselves in these interviews which works to their disadvantage at the appeal.

          If, by some chance, the employer does not respond negatively, by not taking the call you have avoided possibly saying something which gives MD an excuse to deny – in which event, you get an approval.

          • Danielle

            Thank you. I actually have a job interview at the scheduled time of my phone interview. I heard if you don’t answer you automatically get denied. Is this proven to be true?

          • Incorrect. Not sure where you are reading that, but it is absolutely not true. There are many, many cases of approval in every state when claimants skip the interview. You are going to be denied, anyway, most likely, so in your case it’s a moot point. The job interview rules, imo.

          • Danielle

            I received a denial letter and to send an appeal. The reasoning they have here is as follows, failing to follow instructions, as a result it is determined that the claimants action was a deliberate and willful disregard of standards of behavior, which his or her employer had a right to expect. How should I address this in the appeal?

            What does it mean when they state at the end of the letter: “benefits denied week beginning 1/1/17 and until the claimant becomes reemployeed and earns wages in covered employment equal to at lease 25 times his/her weekly benefit.

          • For now, you send in a request for an appeal hearing. You say, “I disagree with this decision. I hereby request an appeal hearing.” Then, at the appeal you require employer to prove its lies, as discussed above.

            The language on the dq beginning 1/1/17, means, unless you get this decision overturned at appeal, you must go back to work and earn at least 25 times your weekly benefit and experience another qualifying separation before MD will pay benefits on this claim.

            This is why you need to appeal. The employer has lied. Now they have to back it up at the hearing. If you win the appeal, benefits will be paid retroactively from date of discharge. Keep claiming throughout this process.

          • Danielle

            Thank you so much I will try contacting someone in regards to obtaining the interview. Is it normal that my appeal is over the phone? It states that I need to call in at a specific time for the hearing.

          • Yes, it’s normal. Depends on the state.

        • Danielle

          I just received my appeal date. It’s suppose to be over the phone. I read their statement and the employer has completely lied. They wrote me up twice wrongfully. They told me I was late two days that I didn’t even work and my manager informed me that they would be thrown out. I have online access to all of my documented write ups which states I have zero but apparently they still have the original write ups. Also my Statement claims I said I didn’t listen to the manager which I did not say during the initial interview. Do you have any advice for my appeal or does it seem to appear that I will not get my claim? I’m getting so frustrated I don’t understand why they would lie.

          • You appear at the hearing and make employer prove and then you refute the allegations, one by one. Employers lie ALL THE TIME. Every claim against them costs them money. They count on you not appealing. A large number of appeals are won. If you don’t appear, you lose by default. Don’t be one of those people.

            As I warned you upthread, the interview clearly didn’t do you any good whatsoever and, in addition, the interviewer has now attributed to you a statement which you did not make, to wit:

            “Also my Statement claims I said I didn’t listen to the manager which I did not say during the initial interview.”

            Interviewers do this all the time. Either the interviewer conflated your case with another or just made this up – more likely the latter. Happens all the time in every state. Had you not talked to her, she could not have said you made this statement.

            You will now have to request a transcript of the interview from MD. Call them and ask how you can obtain the recording or transcript of the original interview so you can rebut this false “admission.”

          • Danielle

            I’m super upset. I was informed I cannot obtain the actual transcript. The summary is all I have access to. Do you recommend anything during the appeal?

          • Then, you need to work with what you have. First and foremost, you refute/interrogate employer lies about when you worked and anything else at issue. Make them prove their allegations.

            Tell the ALJ the summary is in error and attributes to you a statement you absolutely never made. Be very clear that your requests for an actual transcript/recording were denied. Therefore, absent tangible evidence of this statement, the allegation in the summary is hearsay and not admissible.

            Good luck.

          • Danielle

            I just received a denial from the lower appeals diyshould I send in another appeal? Or is that basically the final decision. The decision basically states I was employed for a while and they highly doubt I didn’t know I was serving over the amount of alcohol.

          • You can file another appeal request. This will go to the Board of Review. Written briefs are filed. Instructions on how to appeal should have been included with the denial.

            Whether or not you want to do this is up to you. MD is not particularly claimant-friendly.

            I doubt the board will overturn this ruling unless you can effectively refute the argument in the decision – as in did employer really prove its allegations??

            If not, lay out point by point how none of their assertions are borne out by the evidence submitted by the employer. It’s a long shot, but you don’t lose anything by trying.

  • Gene

    My claim was initially denied after my phone interview due to voluntarily quitting. I appealed the decision,I had my hearing on January 10th,the employer was a no show and the decision has been reversed in my favor stating i voluntarily quit with good cause and I am now eligible for benefits. The MD site has updated me with the figures of how much i have left and what is to be paid to me (been waiting since November 19th). How long until i receive my debit card? Or must i do something else first?

  • Patty

    I have been working for the same company for almost 2 years, but recently my father-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 lung Cancer and lives in Dallas. I live MD and his wife is the only one caring for him. He was hospitalized and will be going home with so much care needed. They are both in their 70’s and need someone to help them. If I quit and move from MD to TX does that qualify me for unemployment benefits?

    • Maryland would first require you make an attempt to preserve the employment relationship by requesting a leave of absence. If employer refuses, then you might have a good cause quit.

      However, would you also be Able and Available to search for and accept work while in Texas? If not, MD may grant the claim but will not pay benefits. When you certify for weekly benefits, you are stating you have performed work searches and are able and available to accept work if offered.

      Essentially, there are two prongs here: (1) a good cause quit; and (2) Able and Available. Maryland may ultimately grant a claim due to compelling family circumstances, although care for an ill father-in-law with a living wife is stretching it. But, unless MD waives the work search, which is unlikely, you will need to be Able and Available in Texas – to search for and accept work if offered. MD will require you verify each week you have searched for work.

      You should also read this:

  • Stacue

    I worked for a company, received my 26 of unemployment have been searching for work for a year now with no results. I am eligible to reapply again, I have earnings within the base period of 13,140 and they say I do not monetarily qualify. How do I not meet the monetary qualifications if I made that amount of money during the base period for an amount after my year of unemployment? Please explain to me why that amount is not enough for something? When to qualify you only need 1,800 in one single base period and I have two base periods with more then that in it.

    • Those wages – called the LAG – are only available IF you have worked during your first benefit year. Then, when the first benefit years expires, your state will establish a second claim utilizing those wages. The work requirement demonstrates an attachment to the labor market. If you have not worked at all during your first benefit year, you have not met that test and, therefore, the LAG cannot be used for a second claim. Each state differs in the amount of new earnings necessary for a requalifying claim.

      • Stacue

        These wages were not available for the first claim year to begin with as they were not on the 18 month base period at that time. These wages only came into play now that it has been a year since I have worked . Why are they not able to be used since they were not used to begin with on the original claim and they were all earned in Maryland.

        • Once again, those wages were in your LAG. The LAG is the period between the end of your base period and date of discharge. The only way wages in the LAG can be utilized in a new claim is if you have worked and earned new wages during your first benefit year.

          The best explanation is provided in the NJ handbook, but this is true in every state:

          If you received benefits on an unemployment insurance claim, you must have worked since the beginning of that claim to qualify for another unemployment insurance claim after the first claim’s benefit year ends.

          You cannot go from one claim to another successive claim without working in between.

          Two claims cannot be based on the same separation from work.

          A requalifying claim which includes a strong LAG can often provide a second claim almost as good as the first. BUT, claimant needs to have worked during the benefit year. For this reason, once benefits are exhausted and prior to the end of a benefit year, it is always wise to find any work sufficient to provide enough income to allow use of this LAG.

          In CA, the earnings requirement is either $1,300 in one quarter or $900 in one quarter and $225 outside that quarter.

          In NJ, you must earn six (6) times the previous claim’s weekly benefit rate and work at least four (4) weeks in covered employment to be eligible for benefits in a successive benefit year.

          In Illinois, high quarter must be $1,600 and another $440 outside the high quarter.

          And so on and so forth.

          The earnings requirement is usually not onerous but, without new earnings, the LAG cannot be utilized.

  • Larry

    I worked from June 13, 2016 – October 7, 2016. I earned $2200 in June but not paid until July. July, August and September I earned $12,500 and in October $1100. If I am laid off in January, 2017 will I qualify for payments?

    • Yes, you qualify.

      If you haven’t worked at all in 2016 other than the current job, applying now, using its alternate base period, MD would examine earnings Jan.-Dec. 2016.

      You need earnings in at least two quarters of your base period totaling $1,800, with your high quarter equal to at least $1,200. With total base period wages of $13,820, you should qualify for MD’s maximum benefit of $430/wk for 26 weeks.

  • Bob C.

    I am on seasonal layoff. After my initial claim I received a notice that I was exempt from work search till my return date. Then a couple of days later I received a revised Notice of New Job Contact Requirement stating the same thing (0 searches). Now just today I received another revised one stating I need to make 2 searches. Did some thing happen that caused me to have to search?

  • Mike

    Can you file for unemployment and then take a temp job and then get back on unemployment?

    • Yes. You will need to call your state to REOPEN the claim when the temp job is finished. Be sure you keep in touch w/temp agency when job ends, or agency will call it a quit and state won’t resume benefits. Read this:

      Once you accept an assignment with a temp agency you are obligated to check with them for additional work upon completing each assignment before reactivating your Unemployment Insurance claim. By law, failure to contact them for additional assignments is considered “quitting” and can be disqualifying.

      This happens to people on temp work ALL THE TIME. Keep records of your contacts, phone calls, best do it via email so there is no dispute.

  • Robin talley

    The unemployment agency has employees working for them that are doing illegal activities, like denying employee who are Harding working citizen because big companies don’t want to pay out, and certain unemployment employees one in particular C.E. EDMOND are taking bribes, which is so heartbreaking and unfortunate as if life is not hard enough. When you work you are contributing to your fund. BUT he will pay for his wrong doing, I won’t harm no one but wrong doings don’t last. If anyone else have experienced similar problems with this unethical Freud of a person or anyone else, please respond because I would like to add your story to mines and others because it’s not fair, or if anyone knows of any other avenues that can be taking to expose these people, please let me know. P.s when you are a poor man you are looked over and stepped on in society but I know with all my heart that there are still honest good people in the world.

  • Zach

    If you are laid off with a return to work date does it take as long to get approval? Ballpark timeframe?

    • Time for approval will be the same. As long as you and company tell the same story and the company responds in a timely manner, you’ll get benefits relatively quickly – w/in three weeks of application earliest. A return to work date will not necessarily preclude you from doing work searches. If you are union, you may be exempt. Check w/MD on that.

  • Peter Murphy

    On the 6 of December I gave my boss my 2 weeks notice and he promptly fired me , my new job doesn’t start till the first of 2017 . Am I eligible for unemployment

    • You are entitled to benefits to at least your notice to quit date. It will take MD a few weeks to establish the claim, so absolutely apply immediately. You’ve been discharged. Most states will establish a claim and pay for those weeks between your discharge and actual notice to quit date. Some states will even establish a full 26-week claim when this happens.

  • Steven L

    My employer is planning to shut down the job for a week during the holiday season and not pay any hourly employees for the time. Those of us with insurance and 401ks with the company were told that if we filed unemployment that it would mess up our benefits and potentially cause a stoppage of them altogether. Is this true?

    The employer’s plan is to double charge us on the following week’s check to make up for the off week.

    • It is possible a formal severance of employment for even one week could result a lapse of insurance and mess up the company 401k calculations, although most health insurance plans are paid a month in advance so one week off wouldn’t matter. If your health insurance is paid in arrears, yes, there could be an issue. Not sure what you mean by “double charge” – but if that means the employer will pay you for that missed week when you return, you will be made whole. Getting money from the State of MD for unemployment benefits could take up to eight weeks – and once the employer pays you for that missed week, you are then in overpayment status with the State of MD and would need to return the money.

  • Samuel J Koulepis

    I was fired from my full time job that is 90% of my earnings. I have a part time job 1 night a week. Am I still eligible for unemployment?

  • Justin T

    I was fired from my job October 21st and did not file for unemployment until November 20th. Once approved, will I get benefits from the date I was fired or the date I filed?

  • Ronnie D

    I was asked to resign my job, in doing so I am to receive my vacation pay, and a good reference, as opposed to being fired and who knows what. What should I do. If I resign will I still be eligible for unemployment ?? FYI I did mess up once lately but was corrected almost immediately, but It has been going down hill since, seems I can’t do anything right now.

    • Your employer must pay your vacation pay. You don’t need to sign anything to be paid what you are owed. Essentially, if you sign this letter, it is quit in lieu of discharge aka forced discharge.

      Apply for benefits. Say you were discharged. Of course, your employer will say you quit and provide that signed letter. Your answer is you were forced to sign that letter or wouldn’t get your vacation pay and a reference. This is coercion and, agan, essentially, a quit in lieu of discharge which is the same as a discharge. MD may initially deny you, but you should be able to win benefits on appeal without a problem.

      The other alternative is not to resign and wait to be fired. That would be the quicker way to benefits. One warning for an error is not disqualifying. Only you can know if the letter of reference is worth the wait. Chances are the reference will go out the window when you apply for benefits and the employer will accuse you of misconduct, which also will require an appeal to overturn.

      Expect if you need to appeal, it might be two months earliest before benefits are paid.

  • J B

    I lost my primary job and got a part time (weekends )still . I took the PT beCan One’s refusal to work on Sundays deny then umenployment benefits ?

  • J B

    I lost my primary job back in June but had a PT job ( weekends ) where there is no public transportation .
    On two occasions I had to sleep out in my car after it broke down . My car is 9 years go and not reliable . I reduced my hours to just 14 hours ( Saturdays ) when I can use family car . Then I got an opportunity to work over time with the same agency at a location closer to home . Prior to accepting to do the Over time I called unemployment and I was told that if I went back to my regular hours , I could call and open my claim or refile . My part time employer says that I asked for reduced hours .. and you unemployment stopped .
    Can you please post the law or direct me to the page where I can get the unemployment laws ?

    • You voluntarily reduced your hours, even though later you increased them. That reduction in hours was not the fault of the employer, therefore you aren’t eligible for benefits. You need a good cause quit or the employer to discharge you. Cutting your hours b/c of transportation or other personal issues disqualifies you from benefits.

  • fatmandown

    I’ve been collecting unemployment since September 2016. I started a new job today however the job is not what I expected, am very uncomfortable physically with the work, and plan on resigning after only 1 day of employment.
    I understand if I don’t report this earning I will be committing fraud, so if I do report this earning will I be denied unemployment next week?

    • If you don’t report these earnings and this quit, you are committing fraud. Sooner or later, MD may find out about it when employer reports those wages. Employer also has your name/SSN on its ‘new hire’ list which is filed weekly with the state.

      A better way when you claim for this week would be to report the earnings, and report this as a job refusal. You had ‘physical’ reasons for the quit – I assume b/c the work was ‘unsuitable’ and not within your former experience and skill set.

      Yes, MD will suspend benefits while it conducts an investigation on this job refusal. Don’t call it a quit – basically you went in there for a ‘try me’ – and found the work unsuitable. If employer misrepresented the job duties, that, also, is an excellent reason for the refusal.

  • Rocky

    How long does it take to get your debit card? It’s been over a week now and bills are piling up. I’m freaking out

    • If you applied only a week ago, it’s way too soon to be expecting monies. Benefits aren’t normally paid until 3-4 weeks after application, earliest. If there is any question on why you lost your job (misconduct, poor performance), it could take much longer.

      • Rocky

        I have already been approved. There’s over $1000 balance. The unemployed rep said it would be here in 2 days. That was last Wednesday. I’m only waiting on the debit card. I know it takes time I’m just freaking out due to bills. I was let go for wrongful termination. Long story

  • Jow do I file for an extension? I haven’t recieved any information about my funds. Just found out I’m out of unemployment. What do I do. Cannot speak to anyone.

  • Wayne Cannon

    I am 67 years old and last year (2015) I was told by Maryland State Unemployment that I was exempt from the weekly work search requirements because of my age. Is that still true for 2016?

    • MD states on its website:

      14. Can I be exempt from the regular work search requirements?
      You may be eligible for a type of work search exemption if you are:

      On a temporary layoff and your employer has provided you with a definite return to work date of 10 weeks or less;
      A member of a union and are only permitted to get your work through the union hiring hall;
      In a training program approved by the agency;
      Serving on a jury;
      Participating in the Work Sharing program.

      Nowhere in the above is age mentioned. You need to reverify this directly with Maryland.

  • Jessica

    On September 29th, my employer changed my job position for a reason that was no fault of my own. I even had my yearly review recently stating I performed above and beyond. My location, title, duties, and hours were changed. The hours were 10am to 6pm, they are now 11am to 7pm. The position I was changed to is not a position I was hired for, desired to ever do. Also, I was never trained, and today I was literally being yelled at in front of coworkers that I “am failing miserably, and not performing the minimum requirements”. I have told multiple people numerous times that I was not trained, and to please come to me with any issues so that I can fix my mistakes. My employers solution 2 weeks ago, was for me to come in on the weekends and evenings to train, on top of my new current schedule. I am emotionally and mentally exhausted. Would this be grounds for “Good Cause”, and if so approximately how long would it take to start receiving benefits.

    • Your employer has made material changes to your employment contract. A one hour change in your work schedule is not that significant, but the changes in job title, duties, responsibilities, skills required are – and possibly location if that location requires you travel an unreasonable distance.

      Essentially, you were discharged from the position for which you were hired and offered a whole new job. Before you quit, you need to – in writing – address the grievance with the employer stating exactly what you have posted here and requesting reinstatement to your old position.

      If you’re lucky, employer will discharge you. If not, you certainly have grounds for a quit. It is unlikely, given the circumstances, you will receive an approval when you first apply. More likely, you will receive a denial and will need to appeal to adjudicate the material change, discharge, offer of new work – before MD will pay benefits. This process could take two months at least, possibly three.

      Read USDOL UIPL 41-98 on this issue:

  • Lisa B

    How are calendar quarters calculated for the base period? I was laid off two weeks ago. Prior to this, I had worked since Feb. 2016. I had previously been laid off from industrial slow down at roughly the same time last year. I am concerned this won’t be enough weeks to be eligible… or is it based on amount also?

    • You should be eligible. MD requires you have earnings in two quarters of your base period. If you file now, MD will use wages July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 – which will include earnings Feb.-June, 2016 and meets the two quarters minimum. MD explains eligibility, here (see #5 & #6):

      Chances are with four/five months’ earnings you’ll qualify under the standard base period, but not for more than 12-13 weeks’ benefits – MD’s weekly benefit schedule here;

      If you don’t qualify under the standard base period, MD will use earnings under its Alternate Base Period to September 30, 2016 – but generally the ABP is not used if you first qualify under the Standard Base Period.

      A way around this, if you can wait and are still unemployed at the time, is to file in January 2017 for benefits. At that time, MD can include wages through 9/30/2016.


    I am handicap 74 years of age male who works at a golf course as a cashier. I am sitting
    85 % of the time. It is a seasonal job. The course closes Dec. 1st, 2016. I just found out a new policy is in effect. I need to have a return date of 10 weeks or less from layoff. Plus I would have to seach for 3 jobs per week. How in the world is anyone going to hire someone like me who when April 1st rolls around, I go back to work? What employer would even think about that much less 3 a week, plus being disabled and 74 years old???

    • Forget about whether or not you are hireable. It doesn’t matter. All that matters for you to receive benefits is that you SEARCH for work. Just submit online applications for any job, go for interviews if asked (unlikely). When April rolls around and the golf course opens, you can go back to work.

      • Rachel-contributor

        number 18, Joseph E. Makes me cry. What is this man saying?: He is smart, articulate, and cannot afford to live on what he makes in MD on disability and with the income he has
        for part year. Daphne you tell him “play” the system (file and get unemployment). Is this all that MD has to offer him at 74, working, and getting the highest pay available federally as “disabled”?. I do not expect a reply, because it is to sad.

        • That’s all most states have to offer – especially in the south. At his age of 74, he should no longer be collecting Social Security Disability. At age 65, he should have been transitioned to Social Security and perhaps Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If his income is low enough, he might qualify for food stamps (SNAP), but Congress has also cut that program back considerably.

  • Laura h.

    I have worked full time for the past 30 years. I want to move out west to be with family due to health reasons. Would i qualify for unemployment until i got a job or decided about disability?

    • You will need to provide Maryland with compelling medical evidence that this quit and move “out west” is medically necessary. Don’t count on benefits being readily forthcoming or quickly paid. Plan for worst case – Maryland will initially deny benefits and you will need to appeal. Even then, depending on your medical issues, you may be denied. That said, the process could take three or four months.

      Further, even if approved, benefits are only paid if you are Able and Available – searching for and fit to accept work if offered. Maryland will want proof of medical fitness, as well – either in MD or in your new location – even though you quit for health reasons. If you are too sick to work, you are ineligible for unemployment benefits.

  • NeedHelpASAP

    I recently quit my job that I was at for over 7 years. I finally got the courage after taking all of the verbal/mental/emotional abuse from my employer. Also, I was working full-time and out of the blue my employer changed my work schedule to 3 days / on call. I went from salary to a much lower hourly pay. Can I file for unemployment?

    • Your basis for a quit is the material change in employment contract – reduction from full-time to part-time, and resultant loss of earnings. Effectively what your employer did was discharge you from your full-time job and offer you new, unsuitable, part-time work. Don’t get into the harassment issue. You have grounds under federal law for this quit.

  • king6186

    I was granted unemployment benefits recently after a 10-week disqualification period. I was told to continue to file my webcert in the meantime. Will I be granted the benefits that were not given during the disqualification time period?

  • Hi I was just wondering how to find out if you were approved for unemployment or not ?? And if you do become approved for unemployment then how long would it take to receive your card and the money on your card?? We live in baltimore md so I hope it dosent take a long time to receive your first weekly check !!!

    • Do not expect to see an approval any earlier than three weeks after you apply – and that would be only if there are no issues with your job loss, employer responded to MD’s inquiry immediately. If MD needs to investigate the separation or there are other issues, approval and payment of benefits can take much longer.

  • Caroline

    i have just lost my job and plan for file for unemployment benefit. I am studying for my real estate license and do not expect to earn anything, once qualified, for a while. once qualified I need to affiliate with a broker on a self-employed basis. Can i still claim while I’m not earning – I intend to continue to apply for full-time jobs in my current field during this process. I also just published a website with the idea of maybe generating some consultancy work, but don’t have the time to promote/do anything with it – could this adversely impact my unemployment claim?
    Thanks for any feedback.

    • Provided you are able to search for and will accept full-time work if offered while studying for your real estate license, you should be fine. The website is irrelevant as long it doesn’t generate income and/or interfere with your job search.

  • Rachael

    I’ve been collecting MD unemployment but I was just given the opportunity to apply for a two week, temporary position that pays well. Do I still file on webcert during those two months and will this make me ineligible for continuing to collect my unemployment benefits?

    • Unemployment benefits are paid when you are unemployed. If you file for benefits while working, you are required to report your gross earnings each week you work (not when you are paid). Full-time work or earnings equal to your weekly benefit automatically precludes payment of benefits. When benefits are not paid, the claim closes. Therefore, since you will be working full-time, you stop filing claims. When this job ends, you call MD to REOPEN the claim. MD will want to know the circumstances of why the job ended before it will resume benefits.

  • Nick

    Can i receive the back pay from unemployment if i recently became a part time worker

    • If you’re talking about an hours cut which already took place, the answer is NO. You can file a claim. Benefits do not begin accruing until you actually file the application. MD will determine a weekly benefit. If you continue to work part-time, all but $50 of your earnings will deducted from this benefit. In most cases, if you are working 20 hours instead of 40, it is unlikely you’ll collect more than a few dollars a week, if that. Partial benefit formulas in most states are very punitive.

      From MD FAQS:

      When you file your weekly claim certification, you must report all gross wages (all wages earned before taxes and other deductions) 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 are handled differently. Commission payments must be reported during the claim week in which you receive the commission payments.

      The first $50 in earnings will not be deducted from unemployment insurance benefits. However, you must report all earnings, even if under $50.

      Any earnings over $50 per week will be deducted from your benefit payment on a dollar for dollar basis. Earnings are considered payment, in any form, for any work or service performed, including self-employment, tips and odd jobs.

  • Melissa

    If your old boss threatened your life with a comment and you fearing for your life insulted her which is why the company let you go can you receive unemployment??

    • Apply for benefits citing discharge. State hostile work environment, your life was threatened. MD will initially deny benefits because employer will cite misconduct. You will need to appeal to present the exact chronology of events. Make the effort. You have a good chance of winning if you are credible.

  • Kim

    Will Maryland award me unemployment benefits if I quit my job or take a leave of absence to care for my terminally ill brother in Texas?

    • You may be granted a claim if the quit is recognized for good cause due to compelling domestic reasons. However, you will not be paid benefits until you are again Able and Available to search for work. MD will not pay you benefits while you care for your ailing brother. You will need to assure MD that you are able to search for and accept work NOW.

  • Nick

    I have been waiting for unemployment for a while my last employer was security in which i  worked full time for about 5 to 6 months the contract i was working had ended without warning wasnt told by my job that i will be out of work for awhile.  After two to three weeks pass i was called to work training for three days for a site that would only be for two days a week.  My complaint thinking that i would be eligible because my position is i  am being cut from full time to part time i am losing my benefits and going from working 40+ hours a week to only working 16 hours a week, so during the time out i was seeking new employment and when i found out about the new and better opportunity with another employer so i quit.

    • Are you working now? Sounds like your security job ended, you didn’t work for 2-3 weeks, then you were called back for two days a week but have since found a new job. Please clarify exactly your status. For what period of time are you wanting benefits. Have you applied for benefits? Benefits are not paid retro. So, if you are working now and have not yet applied, MD may grant a claim, but no benefits will be paid until you are once again unemployed.

      • Nick

        I am now unemployed, and have been recently denied because md has states that left my job without good cause but i am trying to understand why is it not good cause to leave a job for better even if it doesnt work out

        • Because Maryland has what is called the 18-month rule which prevents payment of benefits when you quit one job for another within the past 18 months. No interviewer at the initial stages will determine whether your new job was better. That decision is left to the Appeals Tribunal. You need to appeal the denial, and prove at appeal that the new job was substantially better than the one you quit. MD claimants have been successful at appeal. So, make the effort.

  • How long does it usually take to receive your first payment or card after your initial filing for unemployment? And how do you know if you have been approved to receive benefits? Does the letter stating that the amount you will receive indicate your approval?

    • No, the letter stating that the amount you will receive does NOT mean an approval. The circumstances of your job loss determine how long to approval. If you were discharged/fired, MD will interview you and the employer to determine there was no misconduct. Generally, if an investigation is necessary, you probably won’t be receiving an approval and benefits for at least four-five weeks.

  • Joyce Rimback

    If you were terminated while on short term disability, can you still file for unemployment

    • Absolutely, you can file for benefits. It is very common for employers to discharge people on disability and FMLA. MD will establish the claim on the basis of the discharge, assuming there was no misconduct.

      MD will pay benefits, however, only if you are Able and Available – which means you are searching for and able to accept full-time work.

      If you are still disabled, open the claim NOW, and begin claiming when your doctor says you are fit to return to work. MD will want medical evidence from your doctor that you are, in fact, A&A.

  • M. F. McDougal

    I worked for a company for TWO week, I quite because when I saw the first check I was dazed because no taxes were deducted. I investigated and learned, when time for me to file taxes in 2017 for 2016; I would be responsible for paying IRS Federal taxes, Sate axes, Fica and even “self employed” taxes. I supplied the gas in my vehicle, mileage on my car, wear and tear on my car.
    It would have boiled down to me getting paid per hour a substantial amount less then what I was receiving.

    I still have my f/t job, but with very few hours. When I worked those two weeks, I did not file unemployment so I LOST the opportunity to file because now I do not know If I can file a claim or not.

    • Yes, you can file. An endeavor where you pay all taxes is self-employment/independent contractor. It is NOT a job. If you still have the full-time job, but are no longer getting full-time hours, apply for MD unemployment benefits because of these reduced hours. Do not report that two-week stint as a part-time independent contractor. It is not relevant. MD will establish a claim on the basis of your work history over the past 15-18 months. MD will allow you to keep $50 of your GROSS part-time earnings and deduct the remainder from your weekly benefit. At present, Maryland’s maximum weekly benefit is $430. Your high quarter earnings determine your weekly benefit.

  • Lynn Moore

    If you get fired from a job that you have been workin at for 15yrs, and if I get unemployment, Can it be transferred to another State. If I move durin the time of gettin unemployment will I still get it?

    • You absolutely can continue to claim benefits from Maryland – even if you move to another state. Notify Maryland of the change of address. Continue to claim benefits through the State of Maryland website. Continue your work searches in your new state.

  • Andrew Petry

    I have been trying to get ahold of a human being for 2 weeks now to help me with my claim. Everytime i call to do telecert it says im trying to file a claim for week ending 12-5. and i wont go any further. when i try to speak with someone it says no one is avail and try back later. i have been unemployed now for almost 4 weeks and need to get some money coming in. i would like to keep my house. Please contact me asap at my email

  • What if you have been working 6 days a week (for over a year) getting between 28-35 hours per week and suddenly you are dropped to 2 days a week with only ten hours Would you be eligible for partial unemployment for the difference between 10 hours and the 28-35?

    • Absolutely. You also have grounds for a quit due to material change in terms of employment, get full benefits, and search for a better job. Otherwise, if you continue to work at reduced hours, MD will allow you to keep $50 of your GROSS part-time earnings and deduct the remainder from your weekly benefit. At present, Maryland’s maximum weekly benefit is $430. Your high quarter earnings determine your weekly benefit.

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