Maryland Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
September 04, 2017

A Guide to Maryland Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

If you’re a Maryland resident who has found yourself unemployed, through no fault of your own, it’s likely that you can qualify for and receive unemployment benefits. Maryland unemployment benefits can help you cover living expenses while you search for a new job, and until you begin receiving paychecks from a new employer.  Maryland unemployment eligibility depends on several factors.

State of Maryland unemployment benefits are available to workers who have lost their job, but for reasons that are not their fault. In most cases, this temporary source of income can be utilized by workers who have been laid off, placed on a mandatory leave of absence, or are missing work due to a labor dispute.

To avoid confusion, you should know that Maryland calls its unemployment benefits “Unemployment Insurance,” but despite having a different name, offers the same assistance as many states offering unemployment payments. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation handles all Maryland unemployment claims.

Newly unemployed?

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How Unemployment Works in Maryland

And How To Get Unemployment in Maryland

  1. As soon as you've lost your job, it is important to file a Maryland unemployment application with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. This can be done through the Maryland unemployment website, over the phone, or in-person at a Maryland unemployment office.
  2. After your Maryland unemployment application has been filed and approved, you will receive either an approval or rejection from the Maryland unemployment department. If approved, you must wait one week before beginning to receive benefits.
  3. Maryland unemployment requirements dictate that you must search for new work and submit proof of job hunting activities. You will be required to show proof of this during the Maryland unemployment claim filing process.
  4. After filing a weekly claim, you will receive your benefits on a state-provided debit card. In Maryland, unemployment amounts range from $50 to $430 per week depending on how much you made at your last job.
  5. Maryland unemployment laws dictate that you can only collect benefits for up to 26 weeks, although your Maryland unemployment weekly claims will no longer be filled if you find new work before then.

Do I qualify for Maryland unemployment insurance?

If you choose to apply for Maryland (MD) unemployment insurance benefits, the State of Maryland requires you to meet several eligibility requirements. Because these benefits are meant as a temporary aid following a layoff or other kinds of job loss, you must:

  • Be able to work
  • Be actively searching for a new job
  • Have lost your previous job through no fault of your own
  • Have worked in the state of Maryland

To meet Maryland unemployment eligibility requirements, uou must also meet wage requirements for a certain period of time — also called a base period. In Maryland, your base period is the last four of five quarters that you worked, and you must have earned a minimum amount to be eligible. Maryland requires you to:

  • Have earned at least $1,176 in wages in one quarter prior to losing your previous job
  • The total for your entire base period must equal at least 1.5 times the earnings of your highest paid quarter — at least $1,764

If you meet all of these requirements, you likely qualify for unemployment insurance in Maryland. Though, you should know that some special circumstances could lead your application being rejected. Some examples of common rejection reasons include:

  • The type of work you did
  • Your previous employer chooses to contest your application
  • Your reason for being out of work does not meet Maryland unemployment qualifications

Understanding qualifying reasons for unemployment

Maryland requires every person seeking unemployment benefits to have lost their job through no fault of their own. But what does that really mean?

In most cases, becoming unemployed by “no fault of your own” means that you lost your job because of factors not related to your job performance. Some common “no fault” reasons include:

  • You were laid off, either temporarily or permanently
  • Your previous employer made unreasonable changes to your work duties or conditions that you were no longer able to meet
  • Your employer fired you because you were a poor fit for the job or lacked the important or necessary skills to do the work you were hired for

Are you unsure of being “at fault” for your firing? You may not qualify for unemployment benefits if you lost your job because of workplace behaviors, attitudes or other issues. An employer can contest your application for unemployment benefits if you were fired for:

  • Failure to follow safety and workplace rules
  • Damaging employer property or theft
  • Lying on a job application
  • Repeatedly arriving late or having multiple unexcused absences
  • Failing a drug-screening test
  • Regularly not meeting reasonable workplace standards or benchmarks

If you believe that you were not at fault for losing your job, it’s likely that you can qualify for unemployment benefits. You should know that your previous employer will be contacted to verify your unemployment status, and that it’s not wise to lie or file for unemployment benefits if you were justly terminated (at fault for losing your job).

In most cases, if you were not at fault for losing your job, your application should move quickly through the process. Even if an employer does contest your unemployment application, Maryland offers an appeals process that allows you to state your case for benefits, showing evidence as to why you should receive unemployment insurance payments.

How do I file for Maryland unemployment?

You can apply for Maryland unemployment benefits online or over the phone, depending on what is most comfortable for you. Before starting the process, be sure to gather all the information you’ll need to file for unemployment (listed below).

It’s important that you file for unemployment benefits as soon as you lose your job, because the state does not provide any backpayments, meaning that you’ll only receive financial assistance for the time after your application has been approved.

Applying online:  Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation allows you to apply for benefits online through its website, (also called Webcert). The online application walks you through the process, and you can log in to check the status of your application while it is processing.

Applying over the phone: Choosing to apply through the Maryland unemployment phone number (also called Telecert) can help if you would like someone to walk you through the process, or if you want to speak with an unemployment representative. Unemployment Claim Centers operate Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET, excluding state holidays. The Maryland unemployment number you call will depend on where you live.

If You Live In
Your Claim Center Is
Call This Number
Calvert County
Charles County
Montgomery County
Prince Georges County
St. Mary’s County
College Park Claim Center301-313-8000
Allegany County
Frederick County
Garrett County
Washington County
Cumberland Claim Center301-723-2000
Caroline County
Dorchester County
Kent County
Queen Anne’s County
Somerset County
Talbot County
Wicomico County
Worcester County
Salisbury Claim Center410-334-6800
Anne Arundel County
Baltimore City
Baltimore County
Carroll County
Cecil County
Harford County
Howard County
Towson Claim Center
Eligibility Team
Written by
Eligibility Team
We are a team of experts dedicated to finding the right government programs for you. Our mission is simple: help people quickly and easily understand which programs they might be eligible for—all in one place. Our team is dedicated to researching and providing you with the most relevant information. We compile only the most trusted information from government sources into one place so you can find the facts you need and skip what you don’t.
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