Massachusetts Unemployment Benefit Questions

How much am I eligible to draw in weekly benefits?

You may collect about 50% of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $674 per week.  There’s an additional dependency allowance of $25 per dependent child if you provide whole or main support for your child/children.  You must have worked in Massachusetts and earned at least $3,500 during the last four quarters and at least 30 times the amount you would be eligible to collect weekly in UI benefits. After you start a claim, you will receive a Benefit Determination Form indicating your weekly benefit rate.

Do Social Security benefits, pensions and other retirement payments affect my Unemployment?

Receipt of a Social Security retirement benefits will have no effect on your eligibility or reduction in weekly benefits.

Your benefits may be affected by any pension benefits you are collecting.  You must report to DUA (Department of Unemployment Assistance) that you are receiving a pension. You will also need to provide documentation to DUA.  The DUA service representative who makes a determination on your claim will explain the law as it applies to you.  You will be asked to provide the amount and source of any type of pension or retirement payments when you file your claim. The DUA service representative who makes a determination on your claim will explain the law as it applies to you.

In all cases, you must be able to work, available for work and looking for work in order to collect unemployment benefits.

If You Have Moved from Massachusetts, When, Where, and How to File an Interstate Claim?

When you move out-of-state, you must contact the nearest unemployment insurance office in your new state of residence to file a claim against Massachusetts.

Some states let you to file your claim by telephone, while others require you to visit an office in person. In order to make sure that you obtain the full benefits to which you are entitled, it is suggested that you file your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment, just as you would in Massachusetts.

Instead of calling the DUA TeleClaim Center, you will have to contact the DUA Interstate Department with questions about your claim. The telephone number is 617-626-6140.

More Questions?? —-> Read Q&A Benefits Section

  1. Hi,
    I was recently laid off from a seasonal/golf course job.
    I picked up a job for the winter, after 2 weeks I realized its not going to work out. if I leave now, did I lose my opportunity to collect?

    1. Jim,

      Seasonal workers are generally not eligible due to the nature of employment. Please check with your employer if they remitted unemployment taxes and apply accordingly.

  2. I live in Massachusetts and put in for unemployment 6 weeks , but the claim is still pending. I am behind on my rent and have received shut off notices for both my internet and phone. I already exhausted all means of finances and need to know what to do next. I may get evicted and my credit is going to be ruined.

  3. I left my job in Mass for a job in Illinois. I left my Mass job voluntarily but I was laid-off from my Illinois job. Unemployment in Illinois is telling me to file in Mass but unemployment in Mass is telling me to file in Illinois. I am being told there are exceptions for bon-a-fide work that would qualify me for Mass UI. However, I can’t find them anywhere. Can someone help?

  4. I was let go supposedly for performance reasons, but I was offered to continue part-time (25% cut in hours) for a set period, after which I will no longer be employed – I have to accept this, for fiscal reasons. Should I file now (since I did receive an official email) or should I wait until my total employment ends after the part-time is up?

    1. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  5. Hi, am trying to complete the questionnaire for first week Massachusetts unemployment and I need advice. I am being prompted that my reason for discharge is Discharge – Other. Can you tell me what that means? Also, there is a provided link with a 10 numbers – I am told to go to the link to review my employer’s document. I try to access the link and it is impossible. Any guidance? I tried the telephone number but the choices don’t seem aligned to this situation. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. Will

    1. Will,

      I am not sure what that means. The best way to get an answer around this would be to contact the Unemployment Office. You can visit the official website to find out additional ways to contact and also to get an answer to your questions under various ‘Resources’.

    2. Will, I believe the 10 numbers is the code from your job you had last. You will need to get that from your previous employer.

  6. I was told I have to change shifts and will be losing 60 dollars in shift differential. I live pay check to paycheck and this is going to be a huge difference. What can I do about lost wages? Thank you for any help.

    1. Joann,

      The state pays UI compensation for partial loss of employment (cut hours). I am not sure if they will compensate for income loss. Please call the office for clarification.

  7. Hi I had a phone hearing on 2-05-19 it is now 3-13-19 and haven’t heard anything back what is going on?? I Have a 4 year old another on the way in a month I’m past this months rent and behind on all credit cards and currently drawn all blinds staying quiet cause I think Rent a center’s coming for my TV. I been looking for work that pays my worth cause I don’t want to get myself in a position where I work to still come up short and have no home life with my family. This whole system is destroying what little faith I had left in Humanity and I am starting to have thoughts I will not mention. Please Help.

    1. James,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do have access to your claim details. I strongly recommend you keep chasing the office at regular intervals until payments normalize. It’s a govt. office and there might be a delay in processing hundreds of files.

  8. I am being treated for cancer. My employer shifted me off payroll to Short Term Disability this week for the next three months at 60% of my current salary. I will also be responsible for paying my own insurance for the next three months. It’s a Massachusetts company. Am I eligible to collect unemployment during this time?

    1. Kevin,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Claims center for clarification.

      Hope you get well soon!

  9. I missed the deadline to file for an extension on my claim because of 1. looking for work and 2. moving can I still apply and have a chance of being approved even though it is past my filing deadline?

  10. I was told my current position is being posted and will be filled with someone else other than myself. I will be let go. Am I eligible for unemployment bennifits?

    1. Shawn,

      If you’re being asked to leave due to involuntary reasons (not performance related), you can claim UI benefits until you find another job.

  11. Do you I need to claim lottery winnings with UI as unearned income? Will this effect my benefits? AND if I have to claim with UI where & how do I do that online?

    1. You’ll be required to declare all types of income during the application process. Please call the Claims Center for further assistance on how it affects your benefits.

  12. I live in Massachusetts My pay check comes from Toys R US Delaware Inc. One Geoffrey Way Wayne, NJ 07470-2030. I worked for Babies R Us for almost 15 years in their store in Salem New Hampshire. The company went out of business and my store closed on June 30, 2018 and that was my last day worked. Do I file for unemployment in Massachusetts?

    1. Ann,

      Please consider filing from the state where your employment was based. You may want to check with your employer once before filing.

  13. My daughter moved from Florida did not work there. got a job at smith and Wesson was laid off after 5 months because of low sales. Applying for jobs no luck yet can she collect unemployment

    1. Bill,

      She may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Performance issues are considered voluntary.


    1. The weekly benefits amount depends on many factors. The claimant can collect up to 26 weeks of regular UI benefits depending on how much you’re approved for.

    2. I don’tget any job yet i have been aply for job i do 3 interview i don t recive any call but ritgh now i have been struggle may i willy need to work but no luck yet

  15. I am currently employed full time in Massachusetts age 61.
    I have a pension benefit from a previous employer, who is offering an incentive to convert to an annuity at this time – “early retirement”
    My current employer is re-organizing and I expect to be involuntarily laid off before I am 66 1/2.
    Will the pension Payments from my previous employer impact my ability to claim unemployment compensation when my current employer closes my division and lay’s me off.

    1. Peter,

      The earnings from your pension will have a say in UI benefits. For further details, please contact the Unemployment Office in your state.

  16. For last three years, I have lived (localized) and worked overseas and was layed off end of April. I was required to pay MA taxes during this period. I have returned to live in MA.
    I can only collect benefits in the foreign country via residing there but without job it becomes difficult.
    What is my status for possibly collecting in MA?

    1. You should be able to collect UI benefits from the state where your employer pays taxes.

      I suggest you contact the Unemployment Office in MA and get further instructions.

  17. I have a 3yr old that was diagnosed with a type of cancer and I was fired For lack of work and I made about $2500.00 can I apply for unemployment?

    1. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  18. I am collecting UI benefits in MA, while attending college full time. Can I request benefits while on break between semesters?

    1. If you’ve not notified the Unemployment Office about your job, please do so since full time college ceases you from being considered qualified.

      Please speak to the authorities over the phone.

  19. I left a contract job that I worked from 5/19/14 to 6/30/14 since it was due to end 7/19/14 because of lack of work. My next contract was in NH where it’s contract just ended. I am trying to qualify an UI claim on the weeks worked in Mass from 5/19/14 to 6/30/14 but the online claim says I am probably not eligible but can go forward with the claim? I live in Massachusetts.

    1. That is strange. Please call the claims center/customer service for further details on your eligibility.

      The phone numbers would be available on the official website.

  20. I retired 2 years ago on a voluntary reduction in workforce. I am currently collecting a pension. My former employer has asked me to come back to work as a pensioner rehire. Once rehired, if I am let go after a 3 to 6 month stint with the company, am I eligible for unemployment in Massachusetts?

    1. Some states allow provision of both pension and unemployment. Not sure of how it works in MA.

      You can contact the Unemployment Office and get further details in this regard.

    1. Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

      We’re not associated with the labor authorities in your state.

  21. I qualified for Massachusetts UI last year because I worked there the year before. I do not reside in Massachusetts but I believe the company I work for is based there. The actual job was in Louisiana this past year. Will I be able to qualify for an interstate claim through Massachusetts if I did not perform any work in Massachusetts?

  22. Having trouble figuring out how to get me and my two children health insurance recently lost my job and stil waiting to recv unemployment but don’t understand the insurance

  23. My company is offering a Voluntary Retirement Program. The package includes salary for a year plus. Am I eligible for unemployment under Massachusetts law, during this time or after it? Thanks.

    1. After the severance package payout is over, you can qualify for unemployment insurance if you are actively looking for employment.

  24. I applied for unemployment March 17th, I still have not received any checks, I was unemployed for 4 weeks, found full-time employment the 5th week. When will I received a check for the 4 weeks I was laid off.

  25. My company is moving a couple of towns over. I live in NH and drive 45 minutes one way. Once we move my commute will increase to over an hour. I would like to ask my company to lay me off so I can look for another position. Would I be able to collect?

  26. If I was working full time and my hours got reduced to part time, can I collect unemployment insurance for the difference in pay?

  27. My job will be eliminated and I will be receiving a pension. How will this pension affect my weekly unemployment benefits.

    1. In some states, pension may be a hurdle when you apply for UI benefits. Please discuss this with the customer service team of the labor dept in your state to check how it is treated there.

      Remember, you need to be actively looking for a job and must be ready to accept a suitable job offer.

  28. I have been receiving unemployment while going to college full time. Last week I was in a very bad car accident, sustaining 3 limb fractures. I am unable to continue going to school, or look for work. Is there any unemployment program where I can still collect, since I was hurt while on unemployment?

    1. I am sorry to hear about your situation.

      You may not be eligible for UI benefits at this time but you can explore the Workman’s compensation scheme.

  29. I have been working for a company for 9 years and had a set schedule. Recently people have been fired and employees have quit. My director wants to add days on to my shifts which I cannot work because I am obligated elsewhere. My employer tells me it is company policy for everyone to work a weekend day. I want to know if I refuse, I will probably be fired. Will I be elegible to collect unemployment benefits.

    1. Depends.There are many eligibility factors and it all depends on the way a claim is processed.If you quit and file for UI benefits,chances are that your employer may contest the claim.

  30. I’m currently collecting unemployment. My unemployment runs out at the end of May. I may have an opportunity to pick up work as an independent contractor for 1 month… let’s say the month of March. How will this effect my claim? Do I stop my claim in March and refile in April, or do I do something else. Then, what happens if I get another independent contract opportunity?

    1. If you are deriving income out of the contractor ship,please do not file for the specific period. You can also speak to the customer service/claims center of the labor dept to see how it would affect.

  31. I work in mass my company is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERP). which will pay me my weekly salary for 11 months.will i be able to collect during or after this benefit is paid

  32. I opened a claim march 24 2013 but went back to work 2 weeks later
    I’m getting laid off febuary 5 2014 is the claim I opened still good

  33. What are the options for going back to school AND getting unemployment benefits at the same time? The schooling is for bettering myself in the same field.

  34. I wanted to add to my comment from 11/6 that I am waiting for an answer on. There are 2 different states involved, does that make a difference?

  35. I worked for 7 years and got laid off. I was able to land a job, but unfortunately it is not working out. Have I lost all my rights to unemployment?

  36. I have two kids under 18 and their dad and I have 50-50 legal and physical custody. I applied for the dependency allowances but both were denied. Is it because he gives me child support making them more financially dependent on him over me? I am confused because back in 2011, I received dependency allowances and nothing has changed financially since. The only thing that changed is I opened an existing claim last time in 2011. This one I am writing about is a new claim though I believe I answered the dependency questions the exact same way.

    1. This is not the unemployment office. I have no access to your account in order to even guess why you are not getting your benefit. Did you get a financial determination saying you were eligible? What if you contact your state re-employment center and discuss details with them or contact your local unemployment office – call, online, or fax (always include your name, phone #, and social security number on each page).

  37. I will be layed off on Sept 30th, which is a Monday, Do I apply for benefits that week, or do I have to wait until the following week ?

  38. My one-year period of eligibility is set to expire in about two weeks. However, I have been working as a full-time temp for the past 6.5 months so my eligibility was placed on hold during this time and I did not collect any benefits. Now that my temp assignment is set to expire, am I still eligible to collect any benefits and do I need to file a new claim?

  39. My benifits ended in January 13,2013- I returned to
    work again in May as a temporary employee for Walmart
    and Under Armour for Summer only. How can I find or
    reapply to reopen my claim? Is it only by phone?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer a simple Math question: *