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NEW: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021`extended four pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs until September 4, 2021. The act also waives 2020 federal taxes on unemployment insurance benefits (up to $10,200 for individuals and up to $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, if each spouse received UI benefits) for households with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. Some limits apply; for complete details, click here.

Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

State and federal unemployment insurance benefits have been expanded in response to the COVID-19 emergency. If you are unable to work at your full- or part-time job due to the emergency, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits or increase your current benefit amount, if:


  1. Your employer temporarily closes and prevents you from coming to work;

  2. Your employer lays off employees due to loss of business caused by COVID-19;

  3. Your work hours and earnings have been reduced due to the emergency; 

  4. You are quarantined due to COVID-19 and ineligible for employer-paid sick leave;

  5. You leave your employment due to a reasonable fear of exposure or infection, or to care for a family member due to COVID-19;

  6. You relied on your child’s school or day-care, or an elderly household member’s day-care facility so that you could work, and those were shut down due to the emergency; or

  7. You were self-employed (gig worker, freelancer or independent contractor) and now are unable to work because of the emergency.


Note that many of the regular requirements for receiving benefits (for example, that you are actively looking for work) have been relaxed temporarily.


How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits


You can apply for Unemployment Benefits at the Division of Unemployment Insurance of the Maryland Department of Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). 


You can do this between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm on weekdays at:

Telephone:  Baltimore area or out-of state - 410-949-0022

Other Maryland locations - 1-800-827-4839


On-line at

The Maryland Department of Labor (LABOR) has launched a new BEACON One-Stop application which will help you quickly and efficiently file claims for all unemployment benefit types online.



  • Long telephone wait times and some on-line connection problems have been reported due to unprecedented volume during the COVID-19 emergency. You can continue to file weekly claim certifications while state offices are closed through the BEACON Portal. 

  • For questions regarding BEACON 2.0, please e-mail, file an inquiry using our new Inquiry Form or call an agent at 667-207-6520. 

  • Please include your full legal name, complete address, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of your Social Security number, claimant ID number, and/or a brief description of the issue you are experiencing. 

Information Needed To Apply

  • Your Social Security Number and mailing address.

  • A telephone number where you can be reached.

  • The name, birth date and Social Security Number of all dependents under age 16.

  • If you are not a citizen, proof of your alien status.

  • The business name, address, and dates of employment for all employers within the last 18 months. A copy of your W-2 form, 1099 form, Income Tax K-1 Schedule may be helpful. 

  • If you seek work through a union, the hiring hall number is required.

  • If you were in the military within the last 18 months, your DD214, Member 4.

  • COVID-19 related correspondence, such as 

    • Letter from your employer stating that you were to begin working, however cannot now due to COVID-19;

    • Correspondence from your employer stating that COVID-19 caused the business to close;

    • Correspondence from your child’s school or childcare facility that COVID-19 caused them to close;

    • Documentation from medical personnel showing that someone in your household was diagnosed with or sought treatment for COVID-19.

Links & Resources

Guide to Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the State of Maryland Access to Justice Task Force:



Maryland People's Law Library:

BEACON user guide:

Maryland Legal Aid One-Pager on Unemployment:

Enoch Pratt Library Unemployment Services and Resources in Maryland:

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