FEMA ap­proves Mary­land’s ap­pli­ca­tion for more $300 per week in fed­eral un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

The Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FEMA) has ap­proved the state’s ap­pli­ca­tion to pro­vide un­em­ployed Mary­lan­ders with an ad­di­tional $300 per week in ben­e­fits un­der the Lost Wages As­sis­tance (LWA) pro­gram.

The Mary­land De­part­ment of La­bor will now work with the fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion to im­ple­ment this pro­gram, with a plan to be­gin dis­tribut­ing the ad­di­tional ben­e­fits by late Sep­tem­ber.

“We sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ate FEMA’s quick ap­proval of our ap­pli­ca­tion so that we can pro­vide ad­di­tional re­lief to strug­gling Mary­lan­ders,” said Gover­nor Ho­gan.

“Our La­bor team will now work with the fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion to im­ple­ment this new pro­gram so that we can dis­trib­ute these ben­e­fits. It is im­por­tant to rec­og­nize that this is only a stop­gap, and we con­tinue to urge Congress to come to­gether and ap­prove fed­eral aid for the states to help sup­port our eco­nomic re­cov­ery.”

From March 9 to Au­gust 15, the Mary­land De­part­ment of La­bor’s Di­vi­sion of Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance paid a to­tal of $5,993,589,284 in reg­u­lar and CARES Act un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance ben­e­fits to claimants. The state’s ap­pli­ca­tion se­cures a min­i­mum of $431 mil­lion in ad­di­tional ben­e­fits for un­em­ployed Mary­lan­ders.

The Mary­land De­part­ment of La­bor’s Di­vi­sion of Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance will co­or­di­nate with the U.S. Depar tment of La­bor (USDOL) and FEMA to com­plete the pro­gram­ming, im­ple­men­ta­tion, and dis­tri­bu­tion of LWA funds, which is ex­pected to be­gin by late Sep­tem­ber. Per FEMA guide­lines, Mary­land’s ap­pli­ca­tion for the LWA pro­gram has been ini­tially ap­proved for a three-week pe­riod.

El­i­gi­ble claimants will re­ceive the $300 per week in ben­e­fits retroac­tive to the week end­ing Au­gust 1, 2020 and end­ing no later than De­cem­ber 26, 2020. To qual­ify for the ad­di­tional $300 per week, claimants must be el­i­gi­ble for a weekly ben­e­fit amount of at least $100 and must self-cer­tify that they are un­em­ployed or par­tially un­em­ployed due to dis­rup­tions caused by COVID-19. Claimants will not have to file a new ap­pli­ca­tion to re­ceive LWA ben­e­fits.

If claimants need to reach a live claims agent to file a new claim or in­quire about an ex­ist­ing claim, they should call 1-877-293-4125, toll free. Live claims agents are avail­able from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mon­day through Fri­day, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Satur­day, and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sun­day. Our claimants now have the op­tion to call us seven days a week.

If a claimant calls dur­ing busi­ness hours, they may pro­vide a call­back num­ber. When an agent be­comes avail­able, the sys­tem will call the num­ber pro­vided and con­nect the agent with the claimant. If the claimant stays on hold, they will be of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with a vir­tual agent to have their ques­tions an­swered via smart­phone.

To re­ceive up­dates and ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance pro­grams in Mary­land, visit MDunem­ploy­ment.com.

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