The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act came into effect on March 27, 2020, significantly increasing the number of Marylanders eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The Maryland Department of Labor and Sagitec partnered to expedite the rollout of BEACON One-Stop to get Marylanders benefits under the CARES Act while continuing to provide benefits to Marylanders who qualified for other programs.
The Maryland Department of Labor is one of the very few states accepting claim applications for those who are now eligible under the CARES Act–including self-employed, owners of sole proprietorship's, and “gig” workers, among others. As the Maryland Department of Labor has stated, the retired system—Maryland Automated Benefits System (MABS), could not have been programmed quickly enough to support the unprecedented number of newly eligible applications under the CARES Act. Payments to those individuals would have been delayed by weeks without the implementation of BEACON One-Stop.
“Maryland is the only state to modernize their entire claim intake process during this pandemic,” said David Minkkinen, Senior Partner at Sagitec. “These technology improvements will better serve the citizens of Maryland for many years into the future.”
The BEACON One-Stop system is now processing UI claims for all Marylanders who qualify for unemployment benefits - from those that were laid off to owners of businesses and all eligible employment types in-between.
This means the new system is processing claims for far more citizens than the prior system in the midst of the pandemic when Marylanders need it the most. Since implementation, the new system has processed the following results:
Cumulative statistics since go-live (April 24-May 27):
|Total Account Activations||358,758|
|Total Initial Claims||311,384|
|Total Weekly Certifications||2,005,360|
Claimants use BEACON One-Stop to file ALL claims for regular unemployment benefits, including those who were previously required to file their claim by phone. BEACON One-stop also allows claimants to file claims at any time, from anywhere and from any device. During the first week of implementation, 47% of claimants filed from their phones, tablet or, other mobile devices.
We know many Marylanders experienced slowness and technical issues during the first several days of using BEACON One-Stop. We also understand that user experience is extremely important. This is why we have worked without ceasing to continuously improve that experience for Marylanders over the last week. Sagitec and the Maryland Department of Labor have worked tirelessly to address reported issues, comments, and support emails.
Our work has proved fruitful. Wait times for claimants have reduced to zero and we expect it to remain that way.
“We will remain vigilant and ready to further improve and maintain a positive experience for all Marylanders,” said Minkkinen.