June 3, 2021

As Economic Recovery Continues, Maryland to Discontinue Enhanced Pandemic Unemployment Benefits—But Montgomery County Executive Elrich Disagrees With Move

Governor Larry Hogan has announced that the State of Maryland will discontinue enhanced pandemic Federal unemployment benefits and reinstate work search requirements early next month. However, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said he disagrees with the decision.

To date, 24 states have announced that they will discontinue enhanced pandemic Federal unemployment benefits. According to recent U.S. Department of Labor data, there are a record 8.1 million job openings nationwide.

County Executive Elrich said at his weekly news conference on June 2 that he disagreed with the Governor’s decision and thinks many people will need the additional benefits well past July. The County’s Executive’s comments can be viewed as part of his news conference at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9x71GRHeOM.

Earlier this week, Maryland provided the Federal administration with the 30 days’ written notice required by law for opting out of the following programs—effective Saturday, July 3:
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 per week
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Discontinuation of Enhanced Benefits: Claimants will no longer be able to submit new applications for the Federal programs after the end date on July 3. The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) will process all Federal claims received prior to July 3. If claimants are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of these four Federal programs, the department will ensure that they receive all payments owed to them for all weeks prior to July 3 that they are determined eligible for.

Reinstatement of Work Search Requirements: Beginning the week of July 4, Labor will reinstate the standard requirement for all regular State unemployment insurance claimants to actively search for work by engaging in three reemployment activities each week. If claimants do not complete three reemployment activities each week, they may be determined ineligible to receive regular State unemployment insurance benefits. Examples of reemployment activities include submitting a job application through the Maryland Workforce Exchange, completing a workshop at an American Job Center, attending a job fair and more. Additional employment opportunities and services can be found by visiting labor.maryland.gov/employment.

In addition to these actions, Maryland has urged Federal officials to make more H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program visas available to help the State’s seasonal businesses. The State has also prioritized the reopening of child care centers: as of Monday, 92 percent of licensed providers in Maryland are open and operating.