20. File for jobless benefits quickly

If you lose your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Last month, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100600000000" title="Maryland" href="/topic/us/maryland-PLGEO100100600000000.topic">Maryland</a>'s unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 5.8 percent.<br>
<br>
File for jobless benefits as quickly as possible so that the state can determine your eligibility, says Thomas Wendel, executive director for Maryland's office of unemployment insurance.<br>
<br>
You can file by phone or online.<br>
<br>
"If you've been fired, or you quit, or it's a lack of work, we will try to determine whether under the law we could pay benefits or not," Wendel said, noting each case is unique.<br>
<br>
While you generally qualify for benefits if you are unemployed "through no fault of your own" and are willing and able to work, Wendel says his office acts as "the honest broker" between workers and their former employers to determine eligibility.<br>
<br>
Unemployment insurance is generally limited to 26 weeks.<br>
<br>
But the federal government approved two extensions, allowing qualified Marylanders to collect up to 20 more weeks.<br>
<br>
Benefits are calculated at 54 percent of your weekly check, with the maximum benefit of $380.<br>
<br>
Beginning Dec. 1, the state replaced paper checks with a debit card. Expect to file claims every two weeks for continued benefits, according to the state.<br>
<br>
Federal standards call for states to pay the first round of benefits within 21 days of the initial filing, though some take longer because of individual circumstances. Maryland has established a 95 percent rate on making payments on time, Wendel says.<br>
<br>
Workers who have been denied unemployment insurance may appeal within 15 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed.<br>
<br>
For more information, go to www.mdunemployment.com for phone numbers for claim centers across the state and to apply online.<br>
<br>
<i>--Hanah Cho</i>

( Getty Images / November 20, 2008 )

If you lose your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Last month, Maryland's unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 5.8 percent.

File for jobless benefits as quickly as possible so that the state can determine your eligibility, says Thomas Wendel, executive director for Maryland's office of unemployment insurance.

You can file by phone or online.

"If you've been fired, or you quit, or it's a lack of work, we will try to determine whether under the law we could pay benefits or not," Wendel said, noting each case is unique.

While you generally qualify for benefits if you are unemployed "through no fault of your own" and are willing and able to work, Wendel says his office acts as "the honest broker" between workers and their former employers to determine eligibility.

Unemployment insurance is generally limited to 26 weeks.

But the federal government approved two extensions, allowing qualified Marylanders to collect up to 20 more weeks.

Benefits are calculated at 54 percent of your weekly check, with the maximum benefit of $380.

Beginning Dec. 1, the state replaced paper checks with a debit card. Expect to file claims every two weeks for continued benefits, according to the state.

Federal standards call for states to pay the first round of benefits within 21 days of the initial filing, though some take longer because of individual circumstances. Maryland has established a 95 percent rate on making payments on time, Wendel says.

Workers who have been denied unemployment insurance may appeal within 15 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed.

For more information, go to www.mdunemployment.com for phone numbers for claim centers across the state and to apply online.

--Hanah Cho

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook
  • Home Delivery Home Delivery
New cars for 2015

New cars for 2015

Dealers are cutting prices on 2014 models to make room for 2015 models, many of which go on sale this summer. Here's a look at redesigned or...

Nielsen names 14 breakthrough consumer products

14 breakthrough consumer products

Here is market research company Nielsen's list of 14 breakthrough consumer innovation products, based on products introduced in 2012 that...

Which stores have recently opened or closed in the Baltimore region?

Which stores have recently opened or closed in Baltimore?

Keep up with the latest news about store openings and closings in the Baltimore area.

Who are Maryland's billionaires?

Who are Maryland's billionaires?

Forbes magazine has released its annual list of international billionaires --1,645 people with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion as of...

PHOTO GALLERIES