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Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance Claimants Can Now Enroll in the New Direct Deposit Benefit Payment Program

Fast, Safe, and Convenient Way to Receive Benefit Payments
Options and Resources Available for Claimants Without Bank Accounts

BALTIMORE (April 30, 2021) – Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson has announced that beginning today, unemployment insurance claimants can log into their BEACON 2.0 portal or mobile app to select direct deposit or paper check as their preferred benefit payment method. The transition from Bank of America debit cards to direct deposit comes as a result of a new contract with Wells Fargo.

“Our department is excited to provide Maryland’s claimants with the ability to have their unemployment insurance benefit payments transferred directly into their personal bank account through the fast, safe, and convenient direct deposit program,” said Labor Secretary Robinson. “There are many resources available to help Marylanders obtain bank accounts so they can not only receive their benefits via direct deposit, but also quickly and easily receive their paychecks upon gaining employment.”

Claimants should pay close attention to the following timeline and take the necessary actions by the deadline:


Claimant Action Needed

April 30 - May 21
  • Beginning Friday, April 30 through Friday, May 21 claimants will be prompted to select either direct deposit or paper check as their payment method through their BEACON portal or mobile app.
  • Please note that claimants cannot select a new payment method through the IVR phone system.
May 21
  • Claimants MUST select direct deposit or paper check by Friday, May 21.
  • Benefit payments will not be loaded onto existing debit cards and new debit cards will not be issued after Friday, May 21.
  • Please note that there is not an automatic default option, so if claimants do not make a selection by Friday, May 21, their benefit payments will be delayed.
May 24
  • Beginning Monday, May 24 all unemployment insurance benefit payments will be made by either direct deposit or paper check to eligible claimants who have made their selection in BEACON.
August 1
  • If claimants have a balance on their Bank of America UI debit card after Friday, May 21, they will have until August 1, to withdraw, transfer, or use these funds.
  • After August 1, Bank of America UI debit cards will be deactivated.
  • If claimants have been issued a Bank of America UI Benefits Debit Card and cannot locate that card, please contact the Bank of America Customer Service Center at 855-847-2029.

All claimants will receive a series of emails throughout the transition reminding them of these critical deadlines and the actions they need to take. Each time a claimant logs into their BEACON 2.0 portal, they will see a pop-up window providing instructions to select their preferred payment method. While a claimant can postpone making a selection if they need additional time, the department strongly recommends that claimants choose their payment method as soon as possible to prevent a delay in benefit payments.

Claimants are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit if they have a checking or savings account and their financial institution is able to receive direct deposits. If claimants do not have an account with a financial institution, but would like to select direct deposit as their payment method, they should consider opening a bank or credit union account now. There are many options in Maryland.

To learn more general information about bank and credit union accounts, read the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation’s Frequently Asked Questions. To learn about some of the many bank account options available for Marylanders, visit the CASH Campaign of Maryland’s Bank On Maryland program. Claimants may also contact a financial institution of their choice. Please note it is a consumer’s responsibility to thoroughly research and review any information provided by any of these entities before opening an account.

For more information about the transition to direct deposit, please read the Direct Deposit of Benefit Payments Frequently Asked Questions or visit

Fallon Pearre