Maryland Unemployment FAQs



When is the best time to file for unemployment?

Since you cannot receive your benefits until you have successfully filed your unemployment claim, the best time to file is as soon as you are discharged from your previous place of employment. You cannot collect benefits until the week in which you file your claim, so the faster you apply for unemployment, the quicker you receive your benefits.

Will I be paid for my dependents?

First and foremost, Unemployment Insurance Law only classified children younger than 16 years of age as dependents. Therefore, if you have anyone in your care older than 16 years of age, your benefits amount will not increase. Maryland unemployment insurance allows $8 per dependent for up to five children. Additionally, only one parent can claim an eligible child for unemployment insurance during a one-year period.

Are there exemptions from work search requirements?

Yes, there are exemptions from work search requirements, but most of them are temporary. You may qualify for a work search exemption if you are on a temporary layoff and will be permitted back into your place of employment within 10 weeks. Additionally, those participating in an approved training program or Work Sharing program can also be excluded from taking part in the unemployment work search requirements. Last but not least, unemployment claimants who are serving on a jury or as a member of a union that only allows work to be obtained through its hiring hall can also file for an exemption from the work search requirements.

What are the different ways I can utilize my unemployment benefits debit card?

Just because your benefits are paid to you through a debit card does not mean you are restricted to using the debit card. You have the option to withdraw cash from the debit card with a bank teller, ATM, or cash back device should you prefer to have cash on hand. Additionally, you have the option of transferring you benefits to your personal bank account, like direct deposit, as long as you have an email address to confirm the transfer.

What happen to my prepaid debit card if I go awhile without benefits?

Your prepaid debit card is valid for up to three years. Therefore, if you go a certain period of time without filing, you can use the same debit card if you end up refiling within the three-year time frame. The Division of Unemployment Insurance will still have your information on record, so they will know which debit card account to load your benefits onto.

What happens if I need to change my contact information?

The best way to change your contact information, including your address or phone number, is by calling the Division of Unemployment Insurance and have them update your information for you. If you were able to file online, you can also access the online portal to update your account information.

What should I do if I worked in multiple states over the past 18 months?

You have a couple of different options for filing for unemployment if you worked in more than one state in the last 18 months. First, you can file an unemployment claim separately for any state in which you meet the monetary eligibility requirements. You can also choose to combine the wages of the different states you worked in when you establish your wage claim. The second option may result in a higher benefit amount.

Do unemployment benefits differ by state?

Yes. States are granted the liberty to make their own provisions to Unemployment Insurance Law, therefore benefits and eligibility requirements may vary. Typically, you will notice a difference in the maximum and benefits minimum each states offers to its beneficiaries per week.

What happens if I skip a week in filing my weekly claim certification?

If you do not complete your weekly claim certification, then your claim will be closed. In order to continue receiving benefits, you will have to reopen your claim and verify that you are still of the same circumstances in which you filed your initial claim.

Do I have to report my unemployment insurance benefits on my taxes?

Unemployment benefits are taxes and therefore must be reported as part of your gross annual income when you file your state and federal taxes. The Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) will send you IRS form 1099-G displaying the total amount of unemployment benefits you received during the previous year. To make filing taxes simpler, you can opt to have taxes deducted from your weekly benefits. In order to do this, you must sign and submit a W-4 form to the DUI before any taxes can be withheld from your payments.

What kind of income should be reported when I file my initial claim?

You should report any wages you have earned from working over the last 18 months and let the DUI decide if that income will affect your weekly benefit amount. Every week, upon filing your weekly claim certification, you will be asked to report any wages you have earned. Thus, your benefit amount can fluctuate depending on your income. Other types of income you must report include pensions, severance payments, bonuses and other special payments.

What Is Unemployment Insurance in Maryland?

Maryland residents can receive unemployment benefits which provide financial assistance to unemployed workers during their job search. This financial assistance program is provided by the government and is not a permanent solution, but a temporary aid for unemployed individuals. To learn how you can apply for unemployment benefits in MD and how to proceed after you submit an application, download our comprehensive guide.

Is Everyone Eligible for Maryland Unemployment Compensation?

Not everyone can receive unemployment benefits in Maryland. There are eligibility qualifications you must meet to enroll in the assistance program. For example, you and your family must meet income and resource criteria in order to be eligible. You can learn all about the various necessary qualifications by downloading our guide here.