Unable to file unemployment claims, jobless Maryland residents are fed up with tech issues

Frustrations are growing as Maryland continues to struggle with the technology to accept unemployment claims.

Jacqueline Dubin and her husband, a disabled veteran, have a newborn baby, and she said both lost their jobs in March in an email to WTOP.

“Neither of us have received our unemployment benefits and in fact, can’t even get in to the ‘new and improved’ website to file our weekly claims. No one responds to our emails or phone calls from unemployment, IT or the governor’s office,” Dubin wrote.

On the Maryland Department of Labor website, its Division of Unemployment apologizes for the difficulties surrounding accessing unemployment benefits.

The Beacon One-Step application process, which the state thought would speed up the process, continues to be overloaded, according to the website.

It is taken offline for maintenance for two hours overnight each night, according to the Department of Labor, but from the customers’ perspective, Dubin feels that hasn’t solved any of the technological issues.

“I’m sure so many others are going through similar situations and it is unacceptable to treat your citizens this way,” she wrote.

New this week, the department is instituting a virtual line for customers and implementing a gating system.

Now, only customers filing weekly claims can get access to the Beacon system Sundays and Mondays, to ensure timely payouts. New claims can be filed Tuesday through Saturday.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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