BALTIMORE, MD (November 5, 2020) – The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) today provided an update about the significant progress the department is continuing to make in the processing and payment of unemployment insurance claims during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly 95% of Claims Processed, Vast Majority of Pending Claims Require Investigation
Of the 796,276 complete claims filed from March 9 to October 31, 754,954 (94.8%) have been processed with 637,596 (80.1%) receiving benefit payments and 117,358 (14.7%) being denied for not meeting state or federal program requirements. Of the claims that have already been denied, the large majority were denied because claimants had issues related to the separation from their most recent employer or were determined to be monetarily ineligible.
In total, 41,322 (5.2%) claims are pending. 40,627 (98.3%) of these pending claims are disputed and pending further investigation. Under the law, these claims cannot be processed until they are investigated due to conflicting information provided by the claimant and the claimant’s previous employer. This leaves 1,419 claims (0.2%) that are being evaluated for other issues.
Paid Over $7.8 Billion in State and Federal Benefits
From March 9 to October 31, Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance paid a total of $7,846,328,268 in state and federal unemployment insurance benefits to claimants. This total amount includes $3,704,090,545 in regular benefits, $3,889,611,412 in PUA benefits, $228,596,907 in PEUC benefits, and $24,029,404 in Extended Benefits.
New Illegitimate Traffic Detected and Fraudsters Blocked This Week
With fraudsters continuing to target unemployment insurance programs across the country, Maryland must maintain the heightened security measures in place to protect taxpayers and the integrity of the state’s program. Earlier this week, the BEACON 2.0 system detected illegitimate traffic and blocked fraudsters attempting to file tens of thousands of new claims on the website using real Social Security Numbers and addresses.
Additional Fraudulent Claims Flagged
With aggressive security measures in place, Labor continues to investigate potentially fraudulent in-state and out-of-state claims. With over 84% of claims flagged and investigated being confirmed as fraudulent, it is critical that the department reviews and verifies documentation manually.*
- Of the 107,125 out-of-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 98,184 (91.6%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- Of the 80,035 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 59,005 (73.7%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- There are currently 4,969 (2.6% of all claims marked as potentially fraudulent) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending manual review and verification by a team of specialists.
*Note that these numbers are subject to change as the department continues to flag potentially fraudulent claims. Labor continues to coordinate its investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.