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


NOTE:  Long telephone wait times and some on-line connection problems have been reported due to unprecedented volume during the COVID-19 emergency.  You can try to go to the website early in the morning or late at night. If you experience these problems, you can email questions to

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 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.

Links & Resources


Maryland People's Law Library: Unemployment Benefits Page

Maryland Legal Aid One-Pager on Unemployment:

Enoch Pratt Library Unemployment Services and Resources in Maryland:

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