Maryland’s BEACON One-Stop unemployment benefits portal is terrible

Maryland's BEACON One-Stop unemployment benefits portal is terribleMaryland’s BEACON One-Stop unemployment benefits portal is so bad, I can’t help but think it was designed to be that way. One does not accidentally create something this bad. The Baltimore Sun published an article on Friday claiming that independent contractors could see unemployment payments as soon as this weekend. Sure.

From the article:

“The newly eligible PUA and PEUC claimants who applied on the BEACON One-Stop may begin to see their approved payment amount in their Beacon online account this weekend,” said Fallon E. Pearre, a state spokeswoman.

I wish Lorraine Mirabella, the Sun reporter who penned the article asked Pearre, the Director of Communications and Media Relations at the Maryland Department of Labor, where a person can see their “approved payment amount” in the BEACON One-Stop portal. Here’s a screenshot I took earlier this morning from the BEACON One-Stop portal:

Where is the “approved payment amount” Pearre was referring to? Is it the same thing as Weekly Benefit Amount? If so, why use two different terms?

I hate the BEACON One-Stop system with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns

I don’t think the two are the same thing. I’ve been all over the BEACON One-Stop system and I haven’t found anything where the word “approved” appears. Everyone who applied for unemployment benefits under the PUA program has $176 in the Weekly Benefit Amount column. Speaking of things that are the same, everyone who has applied under PUA has the same claim number, 202002.

Furthermore, why doesn’t it show that PUA applicants will also be receiving $600 a week from the CARES Act?

I think I know the answer to that. I think the Maryland Department of Labor is withholding that fact because they want people to think it’s not even worth trying for unemployment benefits. People will get so desperate they’ll go out and get any low-paying job. Even if there’s a chance they will get sick from COVID-19. Desperate people often do desperate things.

In conclusion

Even if I don’t get the unemployment benefits promised to me in the CARES Act, my wife and I will be okay. Her job is essential. She even has a letter from the Treasury Department stating she is an essential worker. Even though I’m not generating income from rideshare driving, I’m still making money. I’m selling WordPress plugins and doing WooCommerce integrations. We also have money in savings. A lot of my fellow Marylanders are not so lucky. A lot of people are hurting right now. Maryland’s Department of Labor making it difficult to obtain unemployment benefits is making things so worse for thousands of people.

 

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