Skip to Main Content

Nearly 170,000 Unemployment Insurance Claimants Have Selected Their New Benefit Payment Method

Two Weeks Remaining to Make Selection By May 21
87% of Claimants Have Selected Fast, Safe, and Convenient Direct Deposit Payments

BALTIMORE (May 7, 2021) – Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson has announced that over 169,493 unemployment insurance claimants have already selected their new benefit payment method in their BEACON 2.0 portal just once week after the initial launch. 147,181 (87%) claimants have selected direct deposit and 22,312 (13%) claimants have selected paper check.

“We are thrilled that in just one week, nearly 170,000 of Maryland’s unemployment insurance claimants have already selected their new benefit payment method with the large majority selecting direct deposit,” said Labor Secretary Robinson. “While there are still two more weeks before the deadline on May 21, I strongly encourage claimants to visit their BEACON portal and make their selection as soon as possible to prevent a delay in benefit payments.”

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 as their payment method by Friday, May 21.
  • Benefit payment will not be automatically defaulted to paper check because claimants must first verify their address in their BEACON portal to prevent fraud.
  • If claimants do not make a selection by Friday, May 21, their benefit payments will be delayed.
  • Benefit payments will not be loaded onto existing debit cards and new debit cards will not be issued after Friday, May 21.
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