Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and the Maryland Congressional Delegation today called on Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) to fix the state’s Unemployment Insurance system and improve the delivery of critical financial benefits to Marylanders during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
We have previously weighed in with both the U.S. Department of Labor and your administration to urge you to address a myriad of problems preventing or delaying workers getting their benefits,” the lawmakers wrote. “We continue to hear from many constituents every day who are encountering problems, and that are, apparently, far from resolved. Some of these problems include errors processing weekly certifications, performance of the state’s BEACON online system, and inaccurate denials of benefits.”
The lawmakers continued: “Our offices have complied with the state Labor Department’s request to send daily reports to designated points of contact with information for constituents who have contacted us. The Department, in turn, has not provided clear information on when the constituents will be contacted, and what the average turnaround time is for completion of these inquiries. We are left unable to effectively respond to our constituents because the Department has been deficient in providing this information.”
The Members concluded: “In order to better coordinate the work by the federal and state governments, we ask that Secretary of Labor Robinson immediately assign a staff member to be the liaison to our delegation and task this individual with the responsibility of sending timely responses to, and resolutions of, Congressional casework received by the Maryland Department of Labor…. We look forward to working closely together to address challenges in the proper administration of the UI system… We will continue to work in Congress to enact additional urgent measures to provide assistance to state and local governments, businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations during this pandemic.”