ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Any Marylander who’s without work due to the coronavirus epidemic can immediately apply for unemployment benefits, even if their business closed only temporarily.

During a press conference Monday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan discussed the resources available to those who may have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you’ve been laid off, you can immediately file a claim through phone or email or by submitting an application online,” Hogan said.

Coronavirus Latest: How To File For Unemployment In Maryland

Unlike other states, Maryland has no waiting period to file claims, so claims can be filed right away.

Pratt Libraries are also offering help to those finding themselves without work.

There’s an unemployment guide for those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19. Workforce Librarians available to help anyone one-on-one, just email gojobs@prattlibrary.org

The state is also launching a COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which means there’s now $7 million available to help small businesses retain their employees through this crisis. Maryland small businesses can apply for up to $50,000 in flexible funding to help continue operations and keep their employees on payroll.

Business owners can go here for more information.

Hogan said Congress passed a second stimulus package last week, which included paid sick leave and paid medical leave for workers, enhanced unemployment insurance and enhanced food security programs.

This week, lawmakers are debating another stimulus package that would include grant money for small businesses to cover payroll and other expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Hogan said he’s not waiting for the feds to pass needed legislation.

Three weeks ago, Hogan said he submitted a supplemental budget to supply an immediate $10 million in resources to aid the state’s response with COVID-19 and two weeks ago he submitted legislation to tap into the state’s rainy day fund to help address this crisis.

On Thursday, Hogan signed a bill into law that provides relief for Maryland workers to collect unemployment insurance if their business has been closed due to COVID-19, if they’ve been quarantined or if a family member has been quarantined.

“Today, we’re taking major steps to protect Maryland small businesses and workers,” Hogan said, launching a $175 million comprehensive business relief program. “This will bring together resources from two of our key state agencies: The Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor — to help hard-pressed Marylanders and small businesses get through this difficult period.”

You’re eligible for benefits the week you apply. Benefits are based on a person’s pay and top out at $430 per week.

With so many people in need, the Division of Unemployment said its website and call centers are seeing “unprecedented” volume which may result in long wait times.

Learn more about how to file for unemployment here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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