ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Labor has begun to accept claims and issue payments for extended pandemic unemployment insurance, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Tuesday.

“Just one week after the federal COVID-19 relief package was signed into law, Maryland is one of the first states in the nation to have already programmed and implemented all three of the extended unemployment insurance programs,” said Governor Hogan. “Our team has been working around the clock to bring this much-needed financial relief to unemployed Marylanders as we continue to navigate this public health and economic crisis.”

All claimants will get an email on whether they should file their weekly claim certification, reopen their claim or reapply for benefits for the week ending January 2, 2021 in their BEACON 2.0 portal. Everyone eligible to receive benefits, including regular claims, will automatically get the new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of $300 in their benefit payment starting the week ending January 2, 2021.

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Claimants, if eligible, should start getting payment this week, the governor’s office said in a release.

“After the federal legislation was signed into law and our department received the necessary guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, we were able to reprogram the BEACON 2.0 system as quickly as possible for our claimants,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “We are thrilled to announce that claimants can begin filing for the extended federal unemployment insurance programs and will not experience a gap in eligibility or delay in payment.”

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