Maryland will join two dozen other Republican-led states whose governors have decided to end enhanced unemployment benefits, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has announced.
The move, which takes effect on July 3, will end the $300 supplemental weekly payment that some out-of-work residents have been receiving under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.
The governor cited health and economic recovery metrics, and the state having reached a milestone of 70% of its residents having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.
Also, Hogan sent a letter to the federal administration with the 30 days’ written notice required by law for opting out of the following programs:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 per week
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
The governor’s office said claimants would no longer be able to submit new applications for the federal programs after July 3.
Beginning the week of July 4, the state’s Department of Labor will reinstate the standard requirement for all regular state unemployment insurance claimants to actively search for work by engaging in three reemployment activities each week. If claimants do not complete three reemployment activities each week, they may be determined ineligible to receive regular state unemployment insurance benefits.
“There have been many thoughtful decisions made by Governor Hogan during this pandemic. This is not one of them,” said Senate President Bill Ferguson in a statement.
“This rash and rushed decision will hurt Marylanders who have been hit the hardest during the pandemic, having lost jobs through no fault of their own. It feeds into a hard right-wing narrative that denies human dignity, puts profits over people, and puts politics over sound economic research.”