June 9, 2021

Unemployment Benefits – House Economic Matters Committee Updates

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Updates from the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee – June 8, 2021

  • Starting July 3, Maryland will end its $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payments
    • Maryland is one of multiple states opting out of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Nationwide, benefits were are set to expire during the first week of September. Maryland will end the benefit two months early and forfeit $1.5 million in federal stimulus money
  • $12.3 billion in benefits paid since March 2020
  • Unemployment rate in MD is 6.2%
    • 12 consecutive months of job growth in the State
  • Dept. of Labor in touch with constituents about the end of federal packages
  • During the week of July 4, Labor will reinstate standard requirement for all regular state unemployment insurance claimants to actively search for work
    • Claimants required to complete 3 reemployment activities each week to maintain eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits
  • Many fraudulent claims are being entered, not going away
    • System is catching most of these claims
    • Relying on “checks and balances” system when regular UI applicants have wages
  • “Severe worker shortages”- business owners have been struggling to hire workers
  • 27 new apprenticeship programs established during the pandemic
  • Bipartisan budget agreement that includes $75 million in federal funding to apprenticeships, employment training programs
  • Different ways have been established to get Marylanders back into the workforce
    • Recruitments and job fairs
    • Job centers
    • Apprenticeships
    • Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program
  • Employers won’t be held responsible for any benefits that don’t apply to any of their employees


Q: Why the July 3 date? Has a carrot & stick approach been considered?
A: July 3 because of the number of people vaccinated, steady declining positivity rate, and businesses want to open back up to full capacity and begin running like normal; unemployment benefits are still available for those who qualify

Q: What is the number of total fraud claims flagged? What percentage is that of the total amount of claims?
A: 878,306 claims flagged, approx. 1.8 million total claims; Lexis Nexis is the vendor that will be looking at, flagging claims

In this instance, fraud is due to ID issues (stolen identities)
Q: Did Hogan consider economic research conducted when reaching July 3 termination date?
A: Governor Hogan did not make this decision in a vacuum; used national data regarding job openings


Sine Die 2024

Legislators in the Maryland General Assembly have spent the final days working on The PORT Act and other final pieces of legislation.

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