The Massachusetts unemployment compensation (UC) program can connect in-state workers with temporary financial assistance after they have lost their jobs. In order to claim unemployment benefits, applicants must be out of work due to circumstances that were out of their control. Moreover, they must be actively searching for new work opportunities. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is responsible for overseeing this public benefits program.
UC, which is also referred to as unemployment insurance (UI), provides workers with financial assistance while they are without jobs. The sections below will explain the program’s eligibility for unemployment requirements. Furthermore, additional portions will outline what types of documents petitioners need to bring when they file their claims, where to apply and what to do if they are denied benefits.
What is unemployment in Massachusetts?
Unemployment in Massachusetts is a short-term program that individuals may enroll in for a maximum of 26 weeks. During this time, the highest weekly benefit amount (WBA) claimants may receive is $769. Applicants’ WBAs are determined based on how much money they earned during the period before they became unemployed. Thus, participants may use unemployment insurance funds to cover their living expenses. However, there are specific requirements enrollees must meet in order to maintain an unemployment claim. Even after the DUA approves beneficiaries to receive unemployment insurance benefits, these enrollees are responsible for maintaining their cases and meeting all UC stipulations.
What are the requirements to get unemployment in Massachusetts?
There are various eligibility for unemployment requirements that enrollees must meet in order to receive UC benefits. These stipulations relate to financial and non-financial matters. Regarding financial unemployment insurance eligibility in Massachusetts, the DUA examines whether applicants made enough money during their base periods to qualify for UI. Specifically, the department will check if applicants:
For UI purposes, the base period refers to the first four of the last five most recent calendar quarters that applicants have worked in. This calculation totals a year, and it also excludes the quarter when claimants apply for UC.
Qualifications for unemployment in MA also involve non-financial criteria. Specifically, the program examines:
How can I sign up for unemployment in Massachusetts?
Candidates may wonder how to apply for unemployment online, over the phone or in person. In Massachusetts, all of these options are possible. However, submitting an online application for unemployment in MA is the quickest method to apply for UC. Regardless of how petitioners apply, they must provide the following information:
All petitioners who file for an unemployment claim are required to include this information in their applications. In addition, claimants who fall into these categories must submit the following additional information:
Finally, candidates who file for unemployment in Massachusetts must denote in their applications how they would like to receive their funds. The DUA distributes all funds electronically, either via direct deposit or through a state-issued debit card. When completing the unemployment registration process, applicants who elect to use direct deposit must include their bank names, as well as their account and routing numbers.
How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Massachusetts?
The DUA may request an unemployment phone interview with petitioners after they submit their applications. These conversations vary in length and by topic, but the unemployment interview with claimant in MA is an important step in the enrollment process. Interviews are necessary when DUA representatives notice potential areas of concern or ineligibility in petitioners’ applications. Therefore, candidates must prepare for the unemployment insurance interview and understand what they will be discussing with the DUA.
The questions asked during unemployment interview in Massachusetts vary on a case-by-case basis. In most instances, however, petitioners should expect to discuss the circumstances that led to their job loss. The DUA may also request an unemployment interview with employer, should it need additional background information before issuing a determination.
Instead of worrying, applicants must instead focus on gathering relevant information that will support their claims. In order to prepare for the UI interview, petitioners must instead:
How do I claim unemployment benefits in Massachusetts?
Claimants are responsible for maintaining their unemployment benefits claim in Massachusetts even after they have been accepted into the program. Every seven days they receive UI benefits, enrollees must request their weekly benefits. Recipients may do this over the phone or online. When petitioners submit their petitions to claim unemployment benefits, they must include:
When claiming unemployment benefits in MA, candidates must also fulfill the program’s weekly work search requirements. The DUA requires all enrollees to complete at least three work searches every week they receive benefits. Additionally, beneficiaries must accomplish these tasks on separate days. To maintain their UI benefits claim, petitioners must keep a log of their efforts. On this log, enrollees must denote:
What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Massachusetts?
When applicants are denied unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, they may either file an appeal online or through the mail. Regardless of which method they choose, petitioners have 10 days to submit their requests. Employers who disagree with the DUA’s decisions also have the right to file appeals. Once the DUA Hearings Department receives a denied unemployment appeal request, the department will respond by sending two notices. The first notice confirms that the state has received the appeal. The second letter is the Notice of Hearing. This document informs petitioners:
During the unemployment denial appeal hearing, claimants and their former employers may submit new evidence for the state to review. Similarly, either party may have witnesses testify for them. Finally, either party may have a lawyer represent them throughout the trial. Once the hearing concludes, the Hearings Department will send its denied UI appeals decisions between two and four weeks. Depending on what the claimants selected beforehand, the candidates will receive these decisions either electronically or through the mail. If either the petitioners or the employers disagree with these determinations, they may appeal these decisions to the Board of Review.
How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Massachusetts?
During periods when there are many unemployed workers in a state or throughout the country, Congress may authorize a federal unemployment extension. When offered, the unemployment benefits extension in MA allows candidates to enroll in UC benefits beyond the state’s 26-week limit. These claimants must have already exhausted their claims. However, petitioners must remember that an unemployment extension is not common. As a result, beneficiaries whose claims are about to expire must typically look for alternative support besides a UC extension.
How do I contact the Massachusetts unemployment office?
An unemployment office in Massachusetts is located in various communities throughout the state. To contact the UI office, petitioners must either call or visit the location in person. The Boston unemployment office is located at:
210 South Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02111
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When do I file an unemployment claim in Massachusetts?
No matter what state you are filing in, you should apply for unemployment insurance as soon as possible. The time between when you are fired and when you apply for unemployment benefits is not taken into consideration when you apply for benefits.
How can I contact the unemployment office?
You can contact the Maryland Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by calling any of the phone numbers listed below:
TeleClaim Center (617) 626-6800
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Voice Relay 711
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
TeleCert Line (617) 626-6338
To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
Employer Customer Service Line (617) 626-5075
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
What happens if my employer protests my claim?
If you file for unemployment and your former employer protests the claim, your entitlement to benefits will be in question. Once this happens, your case will be reviewed and you and your employer may be contacted in order to provide information regarding the issue.