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Maryland’s unemployment office is a failure | READER COMMENTARY

Joseph Jeffers, who lost his job as a chef during the pandemic, is one of many Marylanders frustrated due to problems with the state's unemployment benefits website this week. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun).
Joseph Jeffers, who lost his job as a chef during the pandemic, is one of many Marylanders frustrated due to problems with the state's unemployment benefits website this week. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun). (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

I am 68 years old and have worked since I was 15. Due to the pandemic, my employment stopped as of March 31, 2020. I picked up some work again from September through January, and then it stopped again. I have never been able to sign in to the BEACON system, have never received a dime, and was unable to pay taxes as I’m now living on my Social Security retirement payments (”Here’s what’s going on with Maryland’s unemployment system after a change left many unable to submit weekly claims,” June 7).

The state representative who has tried to help me has been flat-out lied to. I get occasional emails assuring me that the Maryland Department of Labor is working on my claim, yet I have no claimant number supplied by them, so who knows. I did get an email telling me they were checking my application for fraud. Since they have never gotten a single piece of information that would constitute an application, as I’ve never been able to fill out a form or speak to a human, that’s an astounding and perplexing statement.

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If anyone wants to see how insanely screwed up and useless this “system” is, please go visit the Facebook page, Marylanders Unemployment Community, and see the daily absurdity of a system so bad it is actually unbelievable that a group of adult humans could foul things up this much. I had a superb credit rating a year ago. I am now getting calls from creditors. I don’t even look at my credit score, because it will only add to my depression and hopelessness. I owe friends $5,000 I’ve had to borrow to make it through.

I would attempt to get food stamps to help me get through this madness, but I can’t stomach the idea that I would begin getting more emails about being investigated for fraud or assuring me how hard they’re working on my request. Gov. Larry Hogan should consider himself lucky that he doesn’t have to face the electorate again, because there are thousands of Marylanders who have suffered firsthand from his duplicity.

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Elizabeth Broughton, Adelphi

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