ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Marylanders relying on unemployment benefits amid the COVID-19 pandemic may see a delay in getting their money but will not see a gap in eligibility as the latest federal relief law takes effect, the state’s labor department said Thursday.

President Donald Trump signed the latest COVID-19 relief bill into law on Sunday, a day after unemployment benefits lapsed for an estimated 12 million Americans, CBS News reported.

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On Thursday, the labor department said it has reviewed the law and is working with its vendor to prepare for four new and extended programs included in the legislation, but until it gets guidance from the federal government it cannot proceed.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

“States cannot move forward without this critical guidance (from the U.S. Department of Labor) and it is likely that guidance will be issued early in the new year,” the Maryland Department of Labor said. “As this guidance is received, Maryland will modify the BEACON system and implement each program as quickly as possible to bring much-needed relief to eligible claimants.”

As for when Marylanders can expect to see the money, the answer remains unclear.

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“Please note that while there will be no gap in benefit eligibility because the PUA, PEUC, FPUC and MEUC programs are retroactive to the week ending Saturday, January 2, 2021, for eligible claimants, there may be a delay in the receipt of payment,” the state’s labor department said. “However, rest assured that eligible claimants will receive ALL benefits they are owed backdated to their earliest date of eligibility within the extended and additional programs.

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The Department of Labor reported 18,100 unemployment insurance claims were made the week ending on Dec. 26.

That’s up from the previous week when 17,734 claims were made.

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MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DIVISION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
TOTAL CLAIMS FILED BY COUNTY
Week Ending – December 26, 2020
Claim Filed By:  Regular UI PUA (New) PUA (Reclassified)* PEUC Claims**
Allegany 151 30 90 32
Anne Arundel 786 223 803 176
Baltimore City 1,100 342 1,699 325
Baltimore County 1,708 457 1,835 361
Calvert 121 20 111 20
Caroline 78 10 47 8
Carroll 240 48 143 32
Cecil 199 42 112 17
Charles 283 98 234 56
Dorchester 73 23 62 9
Frederick 355 68 270 63
Garrett 71 12 27 8
Harford 377 80 372 75
Howard 421 160 315 92
Kent 82 11 29 7
Montgomery 1,444 329 1,084 248
Non – Maryland 1,597 425 784 158
Prince George’s 1,651 673 1,553 275
Queen Anne’s 73 10 61 15
Somerset 38 16 42 6
St. Mary’s 98 29 88 27
Talbot 60 16 46 9
Unknown 1,041 5 14 5
Washington 316 52 181 45
Wicomico 182 70 166 26
Worcester 163 23 110 25
Totals by Type: 12,708 3,272 10,278 2,120
Total Regular UI Claims: 12,708
Total New PUA and PEUC Claims: 5,392
Total New UI Claims: 18,100

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.

CBS Baltimore Staff