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List of assistance for those in Maryland facing unemployment, utility and health insurance cutoffs because of the pandemic

| Aug 5, 2020 | bankruptcy |

Maryland officials have put into place a number of programs aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs or have seen their work hours and income reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryland extends unemployment assistance for 13 weeks

The Maryland Department of Labor will offer an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance to claimants who have exhausted the maximum amount of time they can collect benefits as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The state is providing the additional weeks of benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits Program, which is available to claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular benefits and 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

Claimants will receive an amount equal to the regular and PEUC programs, officials said.

Maryland Labor Department officials said they will send letters to those who are eligible and that Maryland residents can apply for the extended benefits program through the BEACON website.

Claimants also have the option of calling the state’s Labor Department and can do so seven days a week. Unemployment Insurance Claim Center hours have been extended to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The number is 410-885-1775.

No utility terminations during pandemic

Gov. Larry Hogan has extended the ban on utility shutoffs and late fees until Sept. 1. The ban includes gas, electric, water, phone and Internet services.

Maryland health insurers can’t cancel health plans for lack of payment during pandemic

Because of the COVID-19 emergency, health insurers in Maryland are not allowed to cancel or refuse to renew individual health benefit plan policies because the policyholder did not pay their premiums. The Maryland Insurance Administration has stopped individual and family health benefit plans from cancelling health insurance policies for non-payment of premiums until Sept. 30, 2020.

Rent assistance

Renters who live in state-financed properties and can’t pay their rent because of COVID-19 can apply for a voucher that will cover four months of their rent. Eligible renters can apply through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Assisted Housing Relief Program. Applications must be submitted via email and will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2020.

Tenants can also call 211 for help.

The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Ocean City and surrounding areas, Baltimore City and Baltimore county legal needs. A Baltimore/Ocean City attorney can help with the legal issues you are facing such as filing for bankruptcy in Maryland. The consultation is free. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 410-885-1775, the law office at 410-885-1775 or through the website for a free consultation.

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