Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs and Additional 13 weeks of State Extended Unemployment Insurance

Governor Hogan announced earlier today that the moratorium on utility shutoffs has been extended to Sept. 1. At a time when people are still struggling to make ends meet – particularly with federal help running out shortly – this was an important and necessary step.  

The Maryland Department of Labor also announced today that Maryland has begun offering an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program. Under federal and state law, the Extended Benefits program is available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance. 

Upon exhausting both regular and PEUC benefits, Labor will issue written notification to all potentially eligible claimants informing them they can apply for the Extended Benefits program in their BEACON One-Stop portal. If a claimant is determined to be eligible, the weekly benefit amount will be the same as the claimant received under the regular and PEUC programs. 

Maryland is able to offer the 13-week Extended Benefits program because it met the federally mandated requirement that Maryland’s insured unemployment rate (IUR) exceeds 5.0 percent and be at least 120 percent of the corresponding average rate in the prior two years. 

With the additional federal benefits set to run out and Congress stalling with a new stimulus deal, this extension of benefits is an absolute necessity and I am glad to see Maryland taking swift action.

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