How To File For Maryland Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Maryland. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Maryland Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Maryland unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits cannot be determined until you actually file an initial claim. If you are unemployed or working part-time, file your claim as soon as possible, as your eligibility begins the week in which you file your claim. Your claim becomes effective the Sunday of the week during which you apply for benefits.

You can file via the Internet at or by telephone using one of the telephone numbers listed on the Unemployment Insurance Home Page under "Claim Center Telephone Numbers."

Information needed when applying for Maryland unemployment

You will need to have:

  • Your name, Social Security number, address and telephone number
  • If you are claiming dependents, you will need their names, birth dates and Social Security numbers
  • The name, complete payroll address, telephone number and reason for separation for each employer you worked for in the 18 months prior to filing your claim
  • If you are not a citizen, proof of your alien status
  • If you were in the military within the last 18 months, your DD214, Member 4
  • If you worked for the Federal Government, your Form-50 or SF-8 if available

Determining unemployment benefits amount

The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount of money you may receive and is based on the amount that you were paid by all employers for whom you worked during the base period. The higher your earnings, the higher your weekly benefit amount up to the maximum allowed by law. The current weekly benefit amount provided by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $430.

Base Period

The standard base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed before you file your new claim for benefits. If you worked full-time during all four quarters, your weekly benefit amount (WBA) will be approximately one-half of your gross weekly wage up to the maximum weekly benefit amount in effect at the time. You must have earnings in at least two of the four quarters of the base period. View the Maryland Schedule of Benefits document.

Alternate Base Period

Under the law, if you are not monetarily eligible for any unemployment insurance benefits using the standard base period, outlined above, then an Alternate Base Period will automatically be considered for potential monetary eligibility. The alternate base period uses the most recently completed four quarters of wages.

Claimant responsibilities

Whether you are just now filing for or are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, you must:

  • Be able to work, available for work and you must make an active search for full-time work (unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part-time worker)
  • Report all wages earned each week
  • Report all monies received by you (e.g., vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, etc.)
  • Be available and/or contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance when directed to do so
  • Report to the Maryland Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning when required to do so
  • Accept suitable work as defined by law
  • File timely weekly claim certifications (request for payment)
  • To be eligible for benefits, you must make a minimum of three valid job contacts per week. Job applications or resumes must be submitted where accepted by hiring employers. Valid job contacts are as follows: a) in person contact with an individual with knowledge of the job; b) telephone contact with an individual with knowledge of the job; c) electronic transmission (e.g internet, email, fax); or d) other methods appropriate to the occupational classification or as specified by the employer
  • Whether you are filing on the internet or by phone you must enter your job contacts on the MWE-REX WORK SEARCH VERIFICATION LOG. You must also enter any wages for all work, including full time, part time, temporary, self-employment, tips or odd jobs. You must report these earnings during the week earned regardless of when you are actually paid. However, commission payments must be reported during the week paid. All earnings must be entered on the MWE-REX WORK SEARCH VERIFICATION LOG. The log can be found on the Reemployment Exchange (REX). Information submitted into REX will be retained as your permanent record job contacts and can be printed if you need a copy of your contacts. Failure to perform and record at least three contacts per week will result in the denial of benefit payments

Filing weekly claim certifications for payment

If you file an unemployment insurance claim against the State of Maryland, you must file weekly claim certifications for each week of unemployment for which you are requesting UI benefits. You may file your weekly claim certifications (request for payment) by Internet (Webcert) or telephone (Telecert). Each weekly claim certification covers a one-week period.

It is your responsibility to keep track of the weeks for which you are requesting payment and to file those weekly claim certifications by telephone or internet timely. Failure to file your weekly claim certifications timely causes a delay in benefits and may result in denial of benefits. If your weekly claim certifications are filed properly and have been accepted over the telephone or internet, you will receive a processing number. If you do not get a processing number, the weekly claim certification has not been accepted. If this occurs, you must contact the Claimant Information Service immediately in order to ensure continued payment of benefits. Don't wait. To be considered timely, your weekly claim certification must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on the Friday following the week for which you are requesting benefits.

How will I receive my unemployment insurance benefits?

The State of Maryland issues unemployment insurance benefit payments with the Maryland Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefit Prepaid Debit Card. This method of payment is mandatory.

How long can I continue to collect benefits?

If you remain totally unemployed and otherwise remain eligible, you may receive 26 times your weekly benefit amount. This is the maximum amount of unemployment insurance benefits payable under the law. Since Maryland has a weekly claim certification processing system, each payment will represent one week of benefits. The only time that benefits can exceed an amount in excess of 26 weeks times your weekly benefit amount is if a federal extension program is available. You will be notified if an extension program is in effect.

You may file claims for more than 26 weeks if you earn some wages and partial benefits are paid. However, if you file for more than 26 weeks of benefits, no more than 26 weeks of dependents allowance can be paid in a benefit year. If you have received all the benefits to which you are entitled (normally 26 weeks), then you may receive no more until the benefit year is over, even if you work again and become unemployed. The only time that benefits can exceed an amount in excess of 26 weeks times your weekly benefit amount is if a federal extension program is available. You will be notified if an extension program is in effect.

When will I receive my initial payment?

All payments made prior to receipt of your debit card will be immediately available when you receive your debit card. In order to receive subsequent payments, you must file your weekly claim certifications (request for payment) timely. These future payments will be available on your debit card by 5pm EST on the next working day (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) following the date your weekly claim certification is processed. This applies to both Webcerts (weekly claim certifications filed by Internet) and Telecerts (weekly claim certifications filed by telephone). For example, if you file your weekly claim certification on Sunday, it will be processed on Monday night and the funds will be available on your debit card on Tuesday by 5pm EST. The weekly claim certification filing dates will be available on the internet on the unemployment insurance (Webcert) page and on the Bank of America website.

The date and the amount of the last payment issued to you in the last 30 days may be obtained by calling the Claimant Information Service and choosing the payment information option or by accessing, clicking on "File Your WEBCERT" and selecting "Payment Information". You may not use the unemployment insurance website for payment information unless you use WEBCERT to file your weekly certifications. Do not inquire about your payment until at least 48 hours have passed after filing your weekly claim certification. Payments are processed at night on workdays only.

File an appeal

A claimant for unemployment insurance who has been denied benefits may file an appeal of that denial to the Appeals Division. An employer may appeal a determination granting benefits to a former employee. You may appeal and request a hearing. The appeal must be filed in writing and must be filed by mail, fax or in person within 15 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed. The address to file your appeal is:

Appeals Division
1100 N. Eutaw Street, Room 505
Baltimore, MD 21201
Telephone: 410-767-2421
Fax: 410-225-9781

The last date to file an appeal as well as the address to which the appeal should be directed is printed on both monetary and non-monetary determinations. Your name must be legibly printed and your signature must be included on the request for appeal. Appeals cannot be filed by E-mail. Do not file an appeal from an initial benefit determination to the boards of appeal.