Md. unemployment website goes down but now working slowly

The State of Maryland’s BEACON unemployment-insurance portal was taken offline Sunday for what the Maryland Department of Labor called technical issues. The site was not accessible until the early evening.

The site was designed to help residents, including gig workers, apply for expanded unemployment benefits that have been provided in response to the coronavirus-driven economic crisis in Maryland. It was overwhelmed within minutes of its launch at 7 a.m. Friday. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said that afternoon, “I’m sorry people had difficulties with that. It is now fixed.”

The labor department said shortly after noon on Sunday that they had “a team of professionals working hard” to address the problem, but that the site needed to be taken down for maintenance.

Tim Smith, of Germantown, Maryland, said his wife had a frustrating experience while trying to file for unemployment Sunday.

“It just kept going around in circles and circles … and ultimately crashed,” Smith said. “She ended up spending probably 45 minutes to a good hour trying to re-log in and go through the process four or five times.”

The site remained down for a large portion of the day. Around 7 p.m. Sunday, the Maryland Department of Labor tweeted that the site was back online, but was working slowly.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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