In Montgomery County, 143,207 residents have filed initial unemployment claims since the first week of March.
Last week, 1,426 residents filed for initial jobless benefits, according to data released Thursday morning by the Maryland Department of Labor.
Across the state, there were 14,191 initial claims filed last week.
Initial unemployment claims are the ones people file for the first time. The state releases data on the number of initial claims filed each week as an indicator of recent job losses.
Last week, Montgomery County had the fourth highest number of initial claims behind Prince George’s County (2,180), Baltimore County (2,130) and Baltimore City (1,847).
During the last three weeks, residents have been able to file for extended unemployment benefits (EB), which are provided to residents who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance.
The federal EB program will offer an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that the state applied to have people get an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits. The application was submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) grant.
FEMA later announced on Wednesday that it approved the state’s application for the funds.
The money could be distributed starting in late September.
“While it will take some time to work with the federal administration to implement this new program, all claims will receive benefit payments retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility within the new program,” Tiffany Robinson, the state’s labor secretary, said Wednesday in a press release.
To get the additional $300 a week, residents must qualify for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed because of impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis. New applications aren’t needed to receive LWA benefits.
According to the release, eligible claimants will receive $300 per week in benefits retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1 and ending no later than Dec. 26.
Hogan said in the release that “far too many” residents are still struggling during the pandemic.
“With this critical funding, we can help those struggling Marylanders weather this storm, get back on their feet, and recover,” he said.
Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.