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Employment Law Alert: MARYLAND, VIRGINIA and DC – It’s Easier to Get Unemployment Benefits…

April 6, 2020

MD Dept. of Labor Suspends Work Search Requirement for Unemployment Insurance Benefit Recipients


Due to the state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor of Maryland, and the labor conditions across the state of Maryland, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor (MDDOL) has ordered, effective March 20, 2020, a temporary exemption from the work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits.  The exemption applies for 10 weeks to both current and new recipients, and it means that unemployment recipients in Maryland do not have to search for work.  It is important to note however, that the change does not exempt recipients from the requirement to file weekly claim certifications.  Recipients are advised to still respond accurately to the work search question in the certification.   In light of the above-mentioned exemption, answering “no” to the work search question will not prevent the receipt of benefits.  Although not required, employers may wish to advise terminated and furloughed employees of this critical suspension of the previous requirement.

Employers and affected employees are encouraged to review the Division of Unemployment Insurance page on the MDDOL website for additional information.  MDDOL has also provided specific Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the exemption from the weekly work search requirement here.  


Virginia Governor Northam Suspends One Week Waiting Period and Weekly Requirement to Search for Employment


Effective, March 15. 2020, individuals will no longer have to wait the usual one week period (post-termination) to file for unemployment benefits.  In addition, and also effective March 15, 2020, applicants will no longer need to certify that they have been actively searching for work on a weekly basis.

Virginia workers looking to file or re-open an application for benefits, or seeking other related information are encouraged to do so here.


DC Employees Now Encouraged to File for Unemployment Benefits On-Line


In response to the significantly increased demand and applications resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 virus, and Mayor Bowser’s modification of the DC government’s business operations, all DC employees may now – and are encouraged to – file for benefits on-line here. Individuals in DC seeking more information regarding how to file may also look here.


Shulman Rogers attorneys are available to discuss any questions you have regarding this change to the Maryland, Virginia or DC requirements for recipients of unemployment insurance benefits.


Gregory D. Grant

Meredith “Merry” Campbell

Joy C. Einstein



The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.