My Maryland unemployment was denied. Can I appeal?
The latest unemployment numbers for Maryland find us sitting at around 7.5%, up nearly 4% since February 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic forced closures of “non-essential” businesses, it not only brought our economy to a grinding halt, but thrusted millions of Americans into a period of financial insecurity. Bills were passed in an effort to boost unemployment programs across the country, but that only lasted for so long. Once everything shut down, labor departments in the United States, including Maryland’s Department of Labor, were inundated with high volumes of unemployment filings. On top of that, in July of 2020, the Maryland Department of Labor detected a massive unemployment scam in which fraudsters filed more than 47,000 fake claims in our state alone.
Perhaps it’s the added volume or the fear of another scam, but the added scrutiny on unemployment claims has led many to have their claims denied. What can you do if you find yourself in a situation—out of work, bills to pay, mouths to feed—where your last hope for income has been shut down by the state? Read on to learn more about how to file an appeal if your unemployment claim has been denied.
Unemployment Programs & the CARES Act
The CARES Act, passed by Congress back in March in hopes of avoiding a complete economic collapse, included new provisions to unemployment programs within the U.S. These provisions expanded unemployment eligibility to groups of employees who were otherwise disqualified under state laws. This includes those who are self-employed or who didn’t have enough work history under their state’s laws.
If your claim was denied, but you believe you are eligible under the CARES Act, you may be able to file an appeal through the Lower Appeals Division of the Maryland Department of Labor.
Why was I denied in the first place?
The Maryland Department of Labor will send you a Notice of Benefit Determination if your unemployment claim was denied. This notice will include the specific reason(s) why your claim was denied and provide steps on how to appeal. Below you’ll find a list of common reasons your claim may have been denied
- You failed to meet earning requirements
- You quit your last job
- You were fired for misconduct
- You refused suitable work while unemployed
How do I file my appeal?
You must submit your appeal within 15 days of the postmark date on your Notice of Benefit Determination. However, due to large claim volumes as a result of COVID-19, the Maryland Department of Labor is reviewing appeals filed late on a case-by-case basis. Do your best to submit within that 15 days, but be sure to follow up if you fall outside that window as it is still possible for your appeal to be reviewed. You can submit your appeal in-person, via mail, fax or email.
An appeal submitted in-person, via mail or fax must include the name of the claimant legibly written along with a signature of the person submitting the appeal. If you are submitting your appeal via email, be sure to include the following:
- Claimant’s name as it appears on the benefit determination notice
- Last four digits of claimant’s social security number
- The date of the determination being appealed
- Brief statement of why you disagree with the determination being appealed
Once your appeal is submitted, a hearing will be scheduled with the Hearing Examiner, who will issue a written decision. That decision is appealable as well, but the process is a little different.
For more information, including addresses and phone numbers for submitting your appeal, check out the Lower Appeals Division website.
Don’t go at it alone!
It may be worthwhile to hire an attorney to assist you with the appeals process, especially if your employer gets involved as they will likely have an attorney present at the hearing. The skilled attorneys at Ferrante, Dill & Hisle, LLC have decades of combined experience representing “the little guy” in many types of cases- including matters of unemployment! Give us a call today at (410) 535-6100 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!