While unemployment applications continue to surpass 1,000 a week in Frederick County, many applicants are still not receiving their benefits.

Congressman David Trone (D) said about 600 people have come to his office to request help with their unemployment requests since the beginning of the pandemic. Some of those applications are never approved. Other times, they are approved but the applicant never receives their check.

“I think the most simple thing you can say is the unemployment system in Maryland has been a failure,” Trone said. “And we’ve got to get help to the people as fast as possible.”

The applicants began approaching him for help in April, when the nationwide unemployment rate was approaching 17 percent. He still has 529 open cases, he said.

He doesn’t blame the Maryland Department of Labor for the issues, and is in close contact with Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson. He knows problems with technology and needing to take on more staff to process the requests has not been easy for the department to handle.

“We’ve seen over 40 million people across America apply for unemployment benefits. It’s kind of like you’re driving a car at 5 miles an hour and all of a sudden you’re going 100,” Trone said. “And it’s really been hard.”

Applications for unemployment insurance surged from 100 claims in Frederick County during the week of March 14, to 1,729 claims the following week, according to data from the Maryland Department of Labor.

The claims reached a peak in the week ending on April 4, when 4,555 people filed for unemployment in Frederick County.

While the numbers have dropped off since then, they are still significantly higher than they were before the coronavirus pandemic began. During the week ending on June 6, 1,479 people filed for unemployment insurance, almost as many that did the first full week of the state shutdown.

In total, 27,287 applications for unemployment insurance have been filed since the week ending in March 14. That does not necessarily mean 27,287 people applied, since some may have reapplied under the Pandemic Unemployment Aid (PUA) after being rejected for regular UI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits.

The Maryland Department of Labor has processed 86 percent of unemployment claims as of June 6, according to a press release. There are currently 70,804 claims pending adjudication, all of which have “one or more issues that are blocking claimants from receiving payment.”

These issues include having conflicting reasons for separation from their previous employer.

Trone said knowing how to fill out the forms can be complicated, since many people were laid off, but others chose to leave due to personal health reasons. His office can help on that front, as his staffers are in close communication with the DOL.

“So we’re just trying to get the whole casework organized, all the right boxes checked so ... they can get paid,” Trone said. “That’s the mission.”

A new system should be rolled out by the Maryland Department of Health this week that will reduce the pending claims by 78 percent, according to the press release.

Those who are denied UI can then apply for PUA, which is a more streamlined and quicker system, wrote Fallon Pearre, director of communications of the Maryland Department of Labor.

Trone encouraged anyone who has been having trouble with their unemployment claims to contact his office via email or telephone.

Follow Erika Riley on Twitter:

@ej_riley.

(18) comments

FrederickFan

Hogan keeps telling people that unemployment has been fixed. But, it has continued to be.a disaster for a lot of people. Hogan owns this failure. He could have put staff and other resources to fix it.

KR999

And yet, yesterday I received a notice from the state that I "did not qualify for unemployment insurance benefits." Interesting, considering I NEVER APPLIED FOR THEM. I've been working all along during this Chinese Virus problem and getting a paycheck. Yet, someone took the time to tell me something I didn't need to know instead of helping someone who needed help. This is what happens when Democrats are in charge. If anyone asks me what state I live in, I reply "A sorryass state."

awteam2000

Notifying you that you don’t qualify for benefits in the PPP before you go through the trouble in applying, is a bad thing? The pandemic, the shut down may not have impacted you, your employment, your income.

Your experience has been different then the many self employed.

So, should the next PPP stimulus package include you from a “sorryass state” that you are part of? I guess that makes you one of the 🙄.

phydeaux994

There are 49 others. Take your pick CD. And take your phony story about receiving a notice with you.

bosco

Looks like the left's bully tag team is working overtime with KR999 and with no first hand knowledge about whether he received a notice or not.

What have the two of you done today to make the world a better place?

[ninja]

phydeaux994

You first CD!!

KR999

Yep bosco, the LWBTT (Left Wing Bully Tag Team) is out in force. As well as their hypocrisy. What gets me is their questioning my getting the notice. I'd be curious to know why they think I would make something like that up, unless it's just another way for them to show their hate. Again.

ecco123

Yes, He looks like he got his, we got ours to get.

What are these people doing that never got their checks?

ken_and_cheryl

I applied on April 17 and got a few notices in the mail that they got my claim, but since then, NOTHING! I filled in a survey expressing my extreme displeasure with the system and actually got a call from someone named Barbara in the Governor's office in late May. Since then, NOTHING from either her or the Unemployment Office. I continue to try to call and e-mail for updates. I've about given up that I'll get anything at this point.

rpkrauss

[sad]

lilysue22

He voted for this, bailout the wealthy and let the rest of us lose our jobs and overwhelm state unemployment systems. But now the FNP is painting him as our hero. Very cool!

joelp77440

That picture and the title of the text could use some work. Looks like he is laughing that people are getting their checks. We know that is not true but FNP should know better.

Dwasserba

They always use that photo. He looks like an evil jester.

bosco

You're right. I missed that one, but often notice the relationship between the photo and the text and wonder if there is a subliminal message intended, but usually decide they just used a stock photo. [ninja]

gabrielshorn2013

Looks like they heard you joelp and changed the photo.

bosco

[thumbup][lol][thumbup][lol][ninja]

niceund

I haven't agreed with Mr. Trone on much. However, his office has been very helpful with unemployment claims. He does seem to have the best interest of Marylanders at heart. I appreciate it. I just wish those who really need the unemployment assistance could get it. It's still is unbelievable that the unemployment office is so unorganized and such a failure. First thing that should have been done was 24 hour shifts. I realize the employees are under an enormous amount of pressure but to limit the number of hours that Marylanders can access assistance remains ridiculous. Governor Hogan has helped in so many ways but you would think he would see the problem and fix it. I appreciate that Mr Trone is doing all he can to help.

rpkrauss

[thumbup]

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