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Unemployment Insurance For Individuals

If your employer shuts down operations, lays off employees, or reduces hours due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment insurance is for individuals who are unemployed or working reduced hours due to no fault of their own; however, you must file a claim to confirm eligibility for benefits.

Learn more about unemployment insurance in Maryland with the following links from the Maryland Department of Labor.

Expansion of Benefits under the CARES Act

The federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which includes an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits through three programs:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) adds $600 per week on top of regular UI benefits, effective March 29th, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extends UI benefits by 13 weeks, including the $600 of FPUC.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extends benefits to individuals who are not usually eligible, including the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers.

For more information about eligibility for these programs and the CARES Act, read the Frequently Asked Questions page from the Maryland Department of Labor.

File a Claim Online

You can file for unemployment benefits through Maryland's Unemployment Insurance Initial Claim System using a NetClaims application. To be eligible for benefits, you must make a minimum of three (3) valid job contacts per week, unless you are exempt from work search.

You can contact a Claim Center from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm by calling (410) 949-0022. Please note The Division of Unemployment Insurance is experiencing a high volume of calls resulting in longer than usual wait times. To report problems placing a call or accessing the website, email

Maintaining Benefits

You must register with Maryland Workforce Exchange and upload or create a current resume to maintain eligibility for benefits. For help writing a resume, check the Job Seeker’s Toolkit.

You must submit weekly claims to maintain unemployment insurance benefits. Due to the declared state of emergency, the Maryland Secretary of Labor has ordered a ten week exemption from the requirement that claimants search for work every week to receive benefits. However, claimants are encouraged to complete Reemployment Activities through the Maryland Workforce Exchange. For more information, see the Maryland Department of Labor's FAQs.

Searching for Work

Many companies are still hiring at this time.

Resume & Career Help Online

While the Enoch Pratt Free Library is closed, you can receive resume and career help via email. If you have questions about your resume, cover letter, or job search resource, please email If you are asking for feedback on your resume or a cover letter, please include the following information:

  • Resume or cover letter attached as PDF or Word document
  • Information about the type of job you’re applying for or specific job ad
  • Any specific questions you have

Inquiries will be answered in the order in which they’re received. Due to limited staff and uncertain demand, we can not guarantee a response time.

Brainfuse Adult Learning Center

Find resources and get feedback on your resume or cover letter through HelpNow, an online service powered by Brainfuse. You must have a library card to use this service.

Other Benefits & Services

There are multiple agencies and websites to help you identify which government benefits you may be eligible for, and how to apply for them.

Maryland Department of Human Resources

Search for and apply for benefits on myDHR. Benefits available through DHR include:

2-1-1 Maryland

Call 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898-211, or visit to get connected with health and human services across Maryland, including:

Federal Agencies

Find information and eligibility requirements for government benefits and services through, the official benefits website of the U.S. Government. This online resource is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor with collaboration from multiple partner agencies.

Find benefit information and resources for:

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Job Seeker's Toolkit

Looking for a job in Baltimore? This toolkit is designed to support job-seekers and those who assist job-seekers.

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Job & Career Center

Job Coaching

JobNow supports you along every step of the job search process, from interview prep and resume help to online coaching.

If you would like to know more, try our Live Chat with a Librarian service, or contact us.