Legislation enacted during the 2011 session provided an extended 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to Maryland’s long-term unemployed who have exhausted all of their State and federal emergency unemployment benefits. The Federal government provided 100% funding for private employers, but the State and many local governments are self-insured and were required to pay these benefits directly to any former employees who qualify. After expressing concerns with the fiscal effects of the bill, MACo worked with the Administration and members of the House and Senate Committees on a compromise whereby $1.64 million would be set aside in an “Extended Benefits Fund” to reimburse counties and municipalities for a portion of their net costs associated with providing these benefits. Net costs refers to the total extended benefits paid less tax revenue payable for providing these benefits. Counties with a negative net cost would be reimbursed at a minimum of 60% of associated costs and municipalities with a negative net cost would be reimbursed at a minimum of 80% of associated costs. Funds to reimburse the counties and municipalities would be generated through State tax revenues in excess of the direct costs to the State for extended employee benefit payments.
Now that the extended benefits have expired, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation is reconciling the costs of the program and providing reimbursement to local jurisdictions whose net costs are negative. Payment requests have been submitted to the Comptroller’s Office and if your jurisdiction meets this criteria, you should see payment in the next couple weeks. Letters will be sent to each counties’ budget or finance officer explaining the purpose of the reimbursement.