Important News for ALL who reside in MD : Unemployment Benefits

For shoppers who are MD residents....important information.
MS MANAGERS: Please pass this information on to all of your shoppers and/or schedulers and/or editors who are Maryland residents !!!

If you go to the MD Unemployment Insurance website and read a TON of information, you will eventually see the part that states that independent contractors, like us, should just submit our email addresses so that when the State has updated their system to accept claims under the Federal CARES Act, they will send out emails to us. If you apply before the system has been updated, you will be declined and told that you are not eligible, because, under the old system you would not be.

The GOOD NEWS is that, once we can successfully make a claim, MD has NO WAITING period. Benefits will be payable in arrears for the time between when our work ceased and when we are able to file successfully. And, MD has accepted ALL of the possible options for payments to independent contractors that the CARES Act offers.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.

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Thanks so much for posting this information. I live in Virginia, but the information you posted helps. I don’t see anywhere on our unemployment website to put in an email address. I’ve tried calling the Virginia Unemployment Office and the Department of Labor. Just get a busy signal and the phone cuts off. In the meantime, waiting sounds better than being denied.
I heard yesterday from a VA shopper who said he had successfully signed up there. Perhaps there is an online application ?

Every state is different, since UI is a fed/state partnerships thing.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2020 04:08PM by walesmaven.
Thank you wales!!!!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Nearly all of my MS in 2019 was reimbursed shopping, so my net income from mystery shopping in 2019 was very low...would this make a difference? thanks
Probably, yes. The reimbursements are not considered part of your net income.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I think for most shoppers, the $600 stimulus payment included with unemployment would be the majority of payment received...so even if you qualify for $5 weekly, it then becomes $605.
Looks like a good explanation. MD is not requiring you to look for work for another 8 weeks. After that you will have to apply for work weekly to keeping receiving benefits. Maryland will verify what you were earning. You must have earned a certain minimum monthly over the period they use to qualify as actually being unemployed. If you have another job you are currently working at, they deduct your earnings from your maximum award amount.

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My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2020 11:16PM by isaiah58.
MD sure is slow in getting this implemented.....I keep hearing about other states who are onboard with the IC changes, but nothing yet from our state.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
Nothing yet in Massachusetts. The end of April this might happen.

Massachusetts is up and running PUA

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2020 05:34PM by shopper8.
I do not think any states should require you to look for work. It is really dangerous out there in the working world especially in the types of jobs that are now abundant where there is a lot of contact with others such as grocers, and places where you must be in confined and close quarters without adequate protection. The exemptions I have read about in my state are if you have to care for your children or someone diagnosed with covid19. That does not include the strong possibility of bringing covid 19 into a household that includes high risk elderly and those with pre existing conditions. Good for you Marlyland.
FYI from MD Department of Labor via email:

Subject: IMPORTANT - Update from the Maryland Department of Labor's Division of Unemployment Insurance
The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance sincerely apologizes for the difficulties surrounding applications for unemployment insurance benefits. The launch of the new online BEACON One-Stop application was intended to offer Marylanders the opportunity to quickly and easily file all types of claims and weekly certifications entirely online 24/7. The launch of the site has clearly fallen short.
We share your frustration, and are committed to ensuring the site is fully functional and operating without capacity delays as quickly as possible. We understand the dire financial situation that many of our Maryland families, friends and neighbors are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not take this responsibility lightly.

In order to implement the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) programs in a timely manner, we recently partnered with Sagitec, an outside benefits administration program vendor. If we had attempted to program our older system to accept applications for the CARES Act, it would have taken weeks, if not months. This was not an option. We want to make sure that all eligible Marylanders receive the benefits they need and deserve as soon as possible.

We were hopeful that our partnership with the vendor would provide rapid solutions. Instead, it has caused a series of challenges for applicants. The vendor’s platform could not sustain the volume of visitors to the site. This was not acceptable, and we are taking immediate actions to fix these problems.

As a result, we will be taking the application down nightly between the hours of 1:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. until the problem is fixed to perform maintenance and resolve any ongoing technical issues. While the website will be unavailable to customers during those early morning hours, this time was selected to impact the fewest number of claimants possible.

In order to prevent the overload of the system that users have experienced, we have introduced a virtual waiting line. By entering this system, you will be able to see how many individuals are waiting for site access, receive an estimated wait time that is constantly updated, and sign-up to receive an email when the system is ready for you to access the platform. This will provide more certainty about when you will receive assistance, but, more importantly, it will help ensure the capacity problems the platform experienced in the past do not reoccur.

We anticipate that, despite the waiting time, the process of filing your claim and certifications will proceed more smoothly because of the limitation on the number of people able to file at a given time.

We are also implementing a new gating system to increase the number of customers who are able to complete their filings with minimal hassle and frustration:

• On Sundays and Mondays, ONLY our customers who are filing weekly claim certifications will be able to file, in order to ensure that Marylanders can receive their payments timely and when needed. If you are unable to file your weekly claim certification on Sunday or Monday, you are not restricted from filing it on any other day.

• On Tuesdays through Saturdays, our customers can file new claims as well as complete all other activities.

The Department of Labor is working around the clock to improve this situation, and we will keep you updated on a regular basis, through e-mail and on Facebook and Twitter. During these trying times, you deserve openness, clarity, and transparency from us, and we will do better.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
So, late night or early morning, but NOT Sunday or Monday look like prime times to be able to get into the new MD system to file. I LOVE that they will send an email when you reach the head of the line!!!

There are problems but they are still way ahead of many states. And, I love that they address us as their "customers." Let's hope that once we get into the system it treats us, as the magic assessment of MS customer relations states, "like a valued customer."

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I've been in the virtual line since 2:30pm. At that time, there were over 200,000 people ahead of me to file a weekly claim.

Also, the new system is not recognizing my current log in credentials.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I'm still in the virtual line. Now the system has gone down for maintenance. It's been over 10 hours!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
If you are trying to create your initial application, try as early as possible. Maybe 5am ish.

If you have already applied and just need to file a weekly claim:

I used the main toll free number yesterday, got thru after about 10 tries. I filed my claim by Telecert.

The online portal is messed up. The programming found my closed claim from December, I had been employed again from January thru March. The Webcert made me close out a week from the closed claim. After that it would not show me my current claim. A number of people have issues with the Webcert on the new portal.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
All States vary. Massachusetts is up and running, PUA Pandemic Unemployment Application
Based on Individual circumstances from what I see on this forum.
There is no tax on the $600.
April 4-July 25 I will receive the $600. All payments are retroactive March 8. Fill out form weekly or you will not receive payment for that week. I have been paid to date. I check daily.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2020 05:40PM by shopper8.
This thread is Maryland specific to help keep it manageable. We all understand every state is different. There is a large thread on this subject that is not state specific.

PUA is still subject to your state approval. Maryland notifies applicants to use a specific link to help determine their PUA qualification. Most that see an initial denial are provided the link. Unfortunately many do not read the response or understand why they were directed to it

@shopper8 wrote:

All States vary. Massachusetts is up and running, PUA Pandemic Unemployment Application
Based on Individual circumstances from what I see on this forum.
There is no tax on the $600.
April 4-July 25 I will receive the $600. All payments are retroactive March 8. Fill out form weekly or you will not receive payment for that week. I have been paid to date. I check daily.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
About a week ago Maryland updated the instructions. They added that the Federal Assistance may be granted for self employed persons regardless of what your situation was. Applying has been integrated, just follow the instructions.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
I was able to file my weekly claim online. The sytem was clunky, but it worked.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Have any Marylanders actually received any money yet?

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
Yes, I did via my unemployment debit card on Saturday.

If you sign up for alerts, it will send you a text when funds hit the card.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I was already in the system so other than working around glitches have continuously received my weekly claim.

My daughter is Active for over a month but something is stuck. She can file weekly claims but no money has been paid out yet

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
I finally got into the system about 10 days ago. I have now filed for weekly benefits, retroactive to mid-March.

But, I know that there are tons of delayed entries to this system that are ahead of me fr processing their first payments. Fortunately, I have a good "rainy day fund."

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2020 05:05PM by walesmaven.
FWIW I got my debit card at the beginning of this week despite their weird, unexplained paperwork requirements and no other communication. It came loaded with everything I was eligible for over the weeks I claimed, so whenever they get to your application and send the card you should get a nice lump sum.
Hurrah ! My MD UI debit card arrived today with several weeks of benefits loaded onto it !

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

Hurrah ! My MD UI debit card arrived today with several weeks of benefits loaded onto it !

So frustrating to those that have been filling for 4 plus weeks and are still waiting. This week they did state that they identified all the accounts waiting cards/payments and have resolved the issues. They also said that they will have double the people answering phones.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
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