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State: Massachusetts (MA)
Phone Number:617-626-6560; TDD/TYY number : 800-439-2370; Unemployment check status 617-626-6563 ; Unemployment claim wages : 617-626-5039;
Major Towns:Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, Lowell, Brockton, Quincy, New Bedford, Fall River, and Lynn
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Unemployment Questions



Will I be eligible for UI benefits if I am fired?
You may be eligible if you were fired for poor performance. However, if your employer is able to show that you were fired for deliberate misconduct or violation of a company rule, you may be disqualified.

Can I collect Unemployment Insurance if I have received severance pay?
In most cases you cannot collect severance pay and UI benefits for the same weeks. If you are disqualified from receiving UI benefits because of severance pay, your benefit year will be extended for the number of weeks for which you received severance pay. If your employer required you to sign a “Release of Claims” in order for you to receive your severance pay, you may be able to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits for the same weeks you receive severance pay.

My work hours have been reduced. Am I eligible to claim unemployment benefits?
If your schedule of working hours is reduced, you are typically eligible. You can receive a full benefit for weeks when there is no work or a partial benefit for weeks when there is less than the normal full-time schedule. Generally, you must experience a reduction of at least 1/3 of your hours/earnings in order to receive even a minimal benefit but a reduction of that much or more will usually qualify for receipt of some benefit. The greater the reduction the higher the payable benefit. Your actual eligibility cannot be determined until you file a claim.

How does part-time work affect my unemployment benefits in MA?
Individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits often work at part-time jobs while receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. In some cases individuals file claims when they are separated from their primary or full-time jobs but continue to work at a part-time job. In other cases individuals are able to obtain a part-time job after filing their claims. The law provides a mechanism for individuals to receive benefits while working in part-time employment. Once the amount of your weekly unemployment benefit is established, a formula is used to determine how much is payable to you for any week in which you work part-time. You can earn up to one third of your unemployment benefit amount and still receive your full benefit. Any earnings in excess of the one-third limit result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your benefit for the week.

Am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if I have worked for for non-profit organization?
Most workers are covered under law by the Unemployment Insurance program. However, workers in the following categories generally are not eligible to collect benefits: employees of churches and certain religious organizations; worker trainees in a program administered by a nonprofit or public institution; real estate brokers or insurance agents who work on a commission basis only; consultants working independently; elected officials and certain government officials in policy-making and advisory positions; and members of a legislative body or the judiciary.

I worked in another state. How do I file for Unemployment Insurance benefits?
If you worked solely in another State you will need to file your claim against that State. Some states allow you to file your claim by phone or Internet, while others require you to visit an office in person.

I was laid off twice in a year. Can I file twice?
Once your claim is filed, it remains the same for one year. Your claim can be opened and closed during that year depending on your employment and availability status. It is available until you exhaust all your benefits or until your benefit year has expired, whichever comes first.

Questions & Answers

  1. Question: Does unemployment benefits affect Social Security payments in the future?
    My wife is 59 years old, she has paid more than enough SSI credits. If she loses the job and collects unemployment paychecks, would this reduce her monthly social security payments in the future after reaching retirement age?
    Thank you.

    • Hi, Eugene – unemployment benefits do not count as earnings, so they have no effect on future Social Security benefits.

  2. I am receiving severance payment for a few weeks – when I claim weekly benefits, how do I report the severance payment? I understand this will disqualify UI benefit for a given week, but that I should file a weekly claim to be on record in order to extend benefit period after the payments are done, if I still have not found a new job. I didn’t see any way in the weekly claim form to report the severance payments for the week in which I didn’t perform work, but receive d the severance payment.

    • Eric,

      There should be an option in your account (after logging in) to report additional income including severance pay. Please check thoroughly.

      • There was no option to enter severance amount. The form first requested the number of hours worked. If I entered 0, then I could not enter any additional earnings amounts.
        Since the request has now been processed, but the severance earnings were not correctly reported, how can I revise the request?

        • Eric,

          Please check for relevant options after you login. Please also consider writing an email.

      • I did not see any option – only to enter number of hours worked, and if I enter 0, I can not enter any additional income.

  3. Hi,
    I applied for unemployment pay and got approved in Massachusetts. In the meantime, I found a purely commission based job. Could I still claim the unemployment pay if I didn’t earn any commission for the week?
    Thank you!
    Lili

  4. In March 2020 I applied for unemployment assistance and was denied for lack of income. I applied to PUA and was receiving benefits until a letter on June 1 said I needed to reopen my original unemployment case and get a new determination of ineligibility. That is not possible as they do not have that option. PUA benefits were suspended and both UA and PUA want the other office to do something but neither knows what to do. I am unable to reach a supervisor as each time I am disconnected. Any advice on how to reach a supervisor. Any one have contact information for supervisor Hal Bent.

  5. I live in Massachusetts.

    I got laid off thru no fault of my own in April 2019.
    I was eligible for a pension but did not apply for a pension from my base period employer.

    In Massachusetts, does eligibility for a pension (as opposed to collecting a pension) reduce or disqualify you from collecting unemployment benefits ?

  6. Sam,
    Is it unusual to have to wait more than a month for an Adjudicator to review a case/claim in Massachusetts? I took some seemingly bad advice by correcting a net zero error on the first few weeks that I claimed unemployment back in August (I failed to report part time “earnings” thinking that I only needed to report the amounts I was paid on the weeks I received payment). The amount I earned for each of these weeks was under the maximum allowed before they would have had to deduct anything from my weekly UI benefit. However, I was instructed to rectify this (by updating those claims to reflect the earnings) by my MassHire employment adviser, even after expressing my concern that it might unnecessarily open up a can of worms. So I called UI in Boston and they made the changes manually on their end (as it could not be done through the website). I was told (by Boston UI) to fill out the online forms they sent me while on the phone with them (which I promptly did). However, this put all my future claims on hold (no pay outs). My UI account says I have done all I need to do, but need to wait for resolution by an Adjudicator. It’s been over 3 months without a check! I continue to look for work and file my claim every week, but I can’t afford to be waiting much longer. What should I do?

    • Scott,

      Thank you for writing to us. All I can ask you to do is keep chasing the adjudicator at regular intervals until they get to the end of it. It might be they have too many files on their system. Also subtly lookout for escalating the matter.

    • Clarification: The earnings that I failed to report were part-time self-employment. Thanks.

      P.S. I just hope that UI uses the FIFO (First In First Out) system for their order of claims review and is possibly just understaffed at the moment …because if not, it sure feels like my claim has been buried/lost, with no telling when it will get resolved.

  7. I was live in Massachusetts and was collecting unemployment from Massachusetts. i worked on a temporary basis in Rhode Island. That assignment ended after a month. What state do I now collect from? Do I re-open my claim with Massachusetts, or do I now have to apply for unemployment benefits from Rhode Island.

    Thank you,

    Steve

  8. I was forced to resign my position due to recent health issues Actually having surgery in a couple days. I was told I’d be fired if I didn’t resign. I now have no income. I’m fortunate to have state insurance. Will I be able to collect benefits after my recovery? Only couple weeks and I just resigned yesterday from a four week notice.

    • Virginia,

      This is a tricky situation for you. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about your eligibility post-recovery.

      Wishing you good health!

  9. I filed a claim 9 weeks ago and have not heard anything. I can not get through to a live person on the phone, What should i do?

  10. I took a temp to perm job and it was not a good fit. I reopened my claim and I have not been paid for over 10 weeks.

    What is the policy on a temp to perm job that dose not work out and you reapply for benefits?

    • Brian,

      Please go ahead and chase the Unemployment Office right away. It should not take so long. You can call the Claims Center over the phone until you have a concrete update.

  11. My job is being eliminated 5/3/19. I was offered a severance package. Can I apply for UI if receiving severance in MA? Also I have a part time also? How does this enter into the equation? Unable to get though to the UI office in Plymouth MA. Phone message just keeps looping – tried numerous times!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Need a resource or someone that can answer these questions. Thank you.

    • Christine,

      If the severance payout is a one-time payment, please consider applying for UI benefits immediately after the payout. When you get to the application process online, there should be an option to declare your income from a part-time job.

  12. What do I do if offered a job but it doesn’t start for a month or certain time period out? Do I keep applying?

  13. I was informed on 2/5/19 that my plant was closing on 4/5/19 I was informed a week later by a representative from unemployment that the benefit length was 30 weeks I have since been informed that if a claim is not opened by 3/31/19 that the term is now being cut to 26 weeks
    is this true and can I open a claim early or be grand fathered in to take advantage of the 4 addl. weeks if needed since this has been in the works for the state mandated 60 days notice and unemployment has been aware of the situation ( we had a rep on site )

    • Ted,

      As much as I am aware, it’s up to 26 weeks in any state. You may call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  14. I applied for benefits January 28th 2019. I reported severance pay and paid time off pay I received. I was told to claim every week after that which I have. last week I received my monetary amount but still have not been been approved. I called today and was told it can take a while but its going on 5 weeks already!! has this happened to anyone else? is this normal? im behind in my rent and bills now..

    • Hello Margaret…I am in the same boat. I applied on 2/14/19 and was told today it could be another 3-4 week before they even tell me if I am approved or not….very frustrating!

    • Margaret,

      It’s a government office and there might be a genuine delay. All I can ask you to do is to chase at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  15. BEEN TRYING FOR A YEAR NOW TO HELP GET ANOTHER CHECK SEND TO ME FOR OVERPAYMENT IN 2004,RECIEVED CHECK LAST YEAR,IT WAS FOR 120.50,THE CHECK WAS NEVER CASHED,WENT THRU WASH CYCLE,CANNOT FIND ANY NUMBER ON HERE TO CALL,GET SAME MESSAGES EVERY TIME THEN HUNG UP ON,PLEASE SOMEONE CONTACT ME OR GIVE ME A NUMBER TO CALL,THANK YOU

  16. Can someone in Massachusetts collect unemployment if they only worked at their job for 1 week?

    Sincerely,
    Debbie McDonald

    • Debbie,

      To qualify as a claimant, one should have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  17. The unemployment benefits calculator estimates a weekly benefit amount of $962. However, the Massachusetts Profile on this same webpage states Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount: $679. Which one do I believe?

  18. My last day of employment was 12/31/17. I applied on 1/1/18 and got email notification to go to Unemployment online on 1/2/18. I noticed that they listed the first week to request benefits as 12/24/17 to 12/30/17. I had clearly told them I worked 24 hrs that week and got paid for Christmas for a total of 32 hours. I have been trying for the last week to talk to someone at Unemployment and keep being told high volume and then I get disconnected. One time I was offered to have call back only to be told there are no times available. How can this be fixed? I am not going to lie and say that I was not employed the week of 12/24/17.

    • I just applied on line for unemployment in Massachusetts and told them my last day of work was Thursday Aug 30 and that I earned $500 in gross wages. They have my claim starting w/e 8/25 and emailed me that I’m required to request payment for that week. I worked that week so can’t even use it for waiting period week. Also I read that when you put the earnings you made that week it causes your claim to close and you have to go through the nightmare and reapply. You can’t reach anyone by phone (It hangs up on you). Also they have all my wages wrong. I grossed over $650.00 or more weekly and my weekly benefit is $257.00. I live in RI and worked in MA and RI and I spoke with RIDLT and they told me if I file in RI will only receive $130 weekly but if I file in MA I will get approximately $340-$370 weekly. I can’t understand how i only qualify for $257 weekly when I made over $680-$750 gross weekly. Its like a slap in the face. Believe me, I will never work in MA again. P.S. I live in RI

      • Donna,

        If you feel the determination is not justified, please file an appeal against the decision. You can find further details about the Appels Process on the official website.

    • Anthony,

      I hope the issue is resolved now. You can always make claims and answer mandatory questions online for hassle-free payments.

  19. I gave my 2 weeks notice and then ended up resigning before the 2 weeks was up. is their anyway I might be eligible for un-employment?

    • Judy,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office.

  20. I was on workers comp.in 2016 for the whole year. Went back to work April 30th.2017 and I’m getting laid off Oct. 15th. 2017,am I eligible to receive U.I.benefits?

    • Peter,

      To be eligible to claim UI benefits, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for guidance.

    • You must have set it as a verification question at the time of signing up.

      Please answer or speak to a representative for further instructions.

  21. I have a question regarding my eligibility to collect employer from one of my employers . I have two jobs and one is part time (I do not want to collect from it )but I would like to collect from the other one , because they significant reduced our hours due to lack of work . Should I list both of the employers or just the one that I like to collect from it .

    Elena

  22. I am currently a NH resident and a W2 employee of a MA employment agency. I am physically working in NH (but paid by the MA agency). Am I eligible for MA UI when my work stops?

    • Contract workers are generally not eligible to claim UI benefits.

      Please check with your employer and apply accordingly from the state where taxes are remitted.

  23. I had lost a couple days off work for a foot injury outside of work and I also had mechanical issues with my vehicle that caused me to loose a couple more days out of work between breaking down on my way to work and borrowing a freinds car to get to work, had my vehicle fixed but still had another problem getting it to run the next day, was stuck and could not borrow a freinds car so missed another day.I live in ct, and work in mass so become hard to get to my job.I made every effort to get to my job. If I am fired can I collect unemployment benefits?

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may not be eligible to draw benefits under such circumstances.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  24. I am a CNA and have medical issues with my back from my job with a note from my Dr can I leave my job and collect benefits and get training for a new line of work

    • You will not be eligible to receive unemployment since the medical condition puts you off work for some time. If the injury was work related, please explore workers compensation scheme.

  25. I lost my job in 2015 when my boss retired. I found a part time job and collected partial unemployment but that has been stopped as of 10-29-16. I did not use the total amount of my monetary determination and am still waiting to be hired full time at my current job. Can I get an extension of benefits to collect the remaining amount of my monetary determination?

    • You may call the Unemployment Office to determine the availability of benefit weeks in your account and apply accordingly. Otherwise, there is no extension in benefits available.

  26. I have applied for unemployment online last week and went into telecert to finish whatever needs to be done. I just went into telecert again this week but have still not heard anything from unemployment as to whether I am eligible to receive the unemployment benefits. Am I missing something? Do I have to do anything else and will someone contact me?

    Thank You

    • If you do not get an update on the claim status in about 7-10 business days from the time of filing, please chase by calling the Claims Center.

  27. I have a perdiem job and they recently cut my hours may I be able to apply for unemployment in Massachusetts.

    • Please check with your employer if they pay the relevant taxes into the system and apply accordingly for the lost hours.

  28. I filed online for benefits. I receive a pension from an employer that I had 15 years ago. When I answered ‘yes’ to the pension question it told me to add the employer name. When I went to the page to add the name it asked me for names of employers I’d had in the past year only. I went back and changed the pension answer to ‘no’ but I think that’s wrong. How do I correct my application online? It’s already being processed. I requested benefits and answered ‘yes’ to the pension question. It told me to correct my application but I can’t find out how to do it online. I want to be truthful. I tried calling many times (on the right day) but it always tells me they are too busy to take my call. How do I correct this problem?

    • Well, the only way you can correct this is by calling the claims center for further information. Please try during off peak hours.

  29. I was laid off in June. Began working again in Sept. Can I claim for that period now that I am working again? The MA UI Online site does not allow it.

  30. As an employer in MA, if I hire someone for part time work who is currently collecting, and who will continue to collect while working part time as an employee, do I have to pay extra into their current claim?

  31. I physically worked in Ma but was payed by a company based out of cleveland. Other than this position I have not had a job in MA. Is there a way to portray this on the application and recieve MA bennifits?

    • If the company reported your wages to MA you would file with them. Call either state’s unemployment office – they can tell you which state the wages have been reported to.

  32. I live in Florida and worked out my home for A company in MA for 6 months, do I file for UI in FL or MA….UI was paid by the company in MA

  33. I think I need to be more clear in my question. If I am demoted with substantial pay decrease to a position that goes from managerial to non-managerial position with a needed skill set I no loger have, can I turn down that position and apply for unemployment benefits.

  34. Am I eligible for unemployment if I am demoted from present job and offered another job at lower pay and different jobs requirements that I do not want?

    • If there is a significant decrease in the number of working hours, you can go ahead and apply for partial benefits.

    • Depends on why you were fired. If it was for “willful misconduct”, “misconduct” or “aggravated misconduct”, you are mostly ineligible. But, if you can prove that there is no fault of yours and have proof to back it, then you can appeal.

  35. I’ve been collecting unployment a little over a month however why is the questionnaire so confusing to the point I haven’t received a check in 2 weeks. The system is so screwed up. The state has also delayed for 3 weeks my ex wife hasn’t received any child support. I don’t have a nber to call when I call the claims dept. the system needs to be fixed!! This state has to stay on top of this because its half the reason why my stress level is thru the roof. The claims dept tells me there’s a break in the week in which I have claimed. Where’s the number the automated system should give you!! I need help and a check before I get kicked out my apt thanks!

  36. Last year my job was outsourced(warehouse worker) and I was put into a job that I am not qualified to do and that I am uncomfortable doing(mechanic and gas room operator). I have tried over the last year to learn it and stick it out but I still feel uncomfortable doing. If I was to leave my job, would I be able to collect. I did read something about that maybe being a reason. Could someone help me find out.

  37. Two checks were issued for unemployment on July 1st and July 7th 2013. I have yet to receive both checks. I am unable to get through to a live representative, what are my options?

  38. I would like to be able to access my account on line, but when I try to log in it says that the information doesn’t match what you have on file. I need to know who to contact to correct that information. I would also like to be able to provide whatever additional information is needed to review my case as it has been almost 10 weeks since I originally filed.
    Thanks in advance –
    Katie Kornitsky

  39. Hello,

    My name is Dana Smith, I have been separated from active duty military in Georgia June 30, 2013 and I would like to know if I qualify to file an unemployment claim in the state of Massachusetts, due to my previous employment in the Army. Please contact me at [email protected] or call me at 404-642-3541.

    Thank you,

    Dana Smith

  40. I live in mass, I had to leave my job to take care of my mother, have been waiting 9 weeks to hear on my approval of benefits, how long do you have to wait to receive an approval or denial of benefits

    • Hi Linda,

      You might want to check with the unemployment office as it should not take more than a week or two to receive a determination letter.

  41. I’m 61 years old. After working at a Temple for more than 10 years, they fired me for what they claim was a violation of their policy concerning nepotism. My attorney thinks that it is more likely because of my age. Am I able to collect unemployment benefits?

    • Hi David,

      If you can prove that you were fired for no fault of your own, then there is a possibility to receive benefits. Please not that you should be able and available to work. Please check for other eligibility requirements before proceeding to apply.

  42. I have been unemployed since Dec 2011 I applied for unemployment a year later and got denied. I’ve exercised all my savings including my 401K to pay for rent and utilities the last 2 years and wanted to know if I can apply for unemployment again, and if so are there any chances I get approve this time.

    Kind Regards,

    Yves

    • Hi Yves,

      I doubt if you are eligible to receive benefits. You might want to check with the unemployment office for a formal verdict on your eligibility.

  43. I started work in Mass April 3rd and got laid off April 23rd. I have just exhausted my unemployment claim in Minnesota and am wondering if I can open a claim in Mass?

    • Hi Bruce,

      You can check by applying in Mass. There is a possibility where you may not receive benefits as you have not worked sufficiently before getting laid off.

  44. My adult daughter is pregnant and due to deliver in October,2013. Her workplace allows 8 weeks leave, without losing her job, but she will not be paid. Since she cannot receive any pay for her time off will she be able to collect Massachusetts unemployment benefits during this time?

    • Hi Scotty,

      Your daughter might not be allowed to receive unemployment benefits as it is necessary to be able and available to work while receiving unemployment benefits. She can check if she qualifies to receive temporary disability benefits. All the best.

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