July 16, 2020

Governor’s Briefing Recap: July 15, 2020

On July 15, 2020 Maryland Governor Larry Hogan gave a press conference in which he offered updates on fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, Coronavirus cases and positivity rates, and education. Find key takeaways below, or view the briefing in its entirety here.

Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims

  • Maryland has uncovered a massive criminal enterprise involving over 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims totaling more than $501 million dollars.
  • State officials exposed the scheme and notified federal authorities, which shed light on related fraudulent criminal activity in other states.
  • After detecting an unusual increase in out-of-state Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, the Maryland Department of Labor discovered more than 47,500 fraudulent claims using stolen identities and personal information acquired from previous national data breaches.
  • DOL notified the Maryland U.S. Attorney as well as the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General and has been coordinating with them on this ongoing investigation.
  • Maryland DOL has not experienced any breach of the state’s unemployment insurance system, and Maryland claimants’ personal information has not been compromised in any way.
  • DOL has processed more than $4.3 billion in federal unemployment insurance benefits payments to more than 489,000 Marylanders.
  • DOL has processed 96.4% of all claims and their backlog is down to just 3.6%.

Coronavirus Update

  • The daily positivity rate dropped to 4.26%, and the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 4.49%.
  • Positivity rate among Marylanders under the age of 35 is now 83% higher than Marylanders 35 and older.
  • Increasing number of coronavirus cases are connected to noncompliance with public health requirements, particularly in bars and restaurants.
  • Marylanders are advised to refrain from traveling to areas that are experiencing rapidly escalating numbers. Any Marylander who has traveled to, or is returning from travel out of state should immediately get tested.

Education Update

  • State school officials have been meeting with local school officials to collaborate on recovery plans for all Maryland public schools.
  • Counties are still working on plans to be submitted by August 14.
  • State schools Superintendent Karen Salmon will join him for a press conference next week to provide an update on MSDE’s progress.

Watch the Governor’s full address on Youtube, or reach out to us with questions or concerns directly at 410-321-8200.

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