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Updated : December 15th, 2020

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. 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.

    1. Anthony,

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

    2. 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

      1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. 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.

  3. I was on workers 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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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 .


  5. 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?

    1. 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.

  6. 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?

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

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  7. 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

    1. 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.

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

    1. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

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

    1. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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

  21. 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 or call me at 404-642-3541.

    Thank you,

    Dana Smith

  22. 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

    1. 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.

  23. 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?

    1. 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.

  24. 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,


    1. 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.

  25. 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?

    1. 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.

  26. 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?

    1. 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.

  27. I have a question. I have been on unemployment since last april and I started school in Jan. It goes until Dec of next year. I filled out the paper work for section 30 and was approved. My last claim ended on April 6th, and I was told to call and file a new claim. I have been working parttime but not going over the allowed money to make to lower my unemployment benefits, so why am I now being penalized when opening the new claim they are only taking my parttime earnings to give me unemployment which makes it go down to 121.00 a week! I never went over my allowed earnings on my part time job and I have section 30 which is suppose to kick in!! I will not be able to stay in school and be retrained. I just don’t understand this. Help please

  28. My hours at work were just reduced from 40hrs. aweek to 26hrs.aweek . Will i be able to collect a partial benifit or does it also depend on the hourly pay you are still getting , thanks .

  29. i am about to be discharged honorably from the us army 30 may 2013, what do i need to bring to start my claim.

  30. I am retiring in October in the state of Massachusetts, do I qualify for unemployment? I have heard yes and no, I want a concrete answer.

    Thank you for your support.


  31. I was laid of from my job as an overseas contractor. My home is in Lousinna. The company I worked for provided an W-2 from MA. I did not receive any income from my state of resident how do I apply fo un-employment ins. from MA.

  32. Hi, I graduated from Bachelor of Science in Health in July 2012. But I have been looking for a full time or part time job and cant find any. I currently have a perdiem job which means I only work as needed, sometimes I get called and sometimes i go without hours. Do I QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?

  33. Hi
    I only work per diem and did not work last week or this coming week. I did claim the week I worked two days and now when I call the teleclaim center I can’t claim for last week. How do I expedite my claim again

  34. I have been trying for 2 days to get thru to the unemployment office and cannot. I need a call back at 413 224 1831. Why cannot I get thru? And why can I not file me claim over the phone any longer?

  35. i would like to get a copy of my empolyment for the last 7 yrs for an application i am filling out for a federal job.

    1. You can normally receive unemployment if your hours or earnings are cut back by at least 1/3rd. You will obtain only partial benefit. The higher the cutback the greater your benefit. You must file a claim to see if you are qualified for the sum of your unemployment benefit.

  36. I was recently laid off from Fidelity Investments. Live in Mass and but work in NH. Job was transferred. Was annoucned that I am being released from work on June 30. I will obtain some serverance but need to know the rules on where to apply for unemployment insurance. Can you assist me? Thank you.

  37. I have hired a previously unemployed contractor who was receiving unemployment comp. this contract may end soon. After more than year can he go back on the previous employer’s unemployment comp?
    This is in Massachusetts .


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