How To Apply For Unemployment In Massachusetts

The Department of Unemployment Assistance in the State of Massachusetts recently migrated their website to the cloud, so they have extended capacity to process unemployment insurance benefits claims. To apply for unemployment benefits, you must provide the names and contact numbers for former employers from the most recent five quarters (fifteen months). Additional information on Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance is available below.

Eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance benefits are that you’ve earned at least $5,100 during the last four calendar quarters, are legally authorized to work in the United States, willing and able to work, and are unemployed through no fault of your own.

Eligibility Requirement: MassHire Career Centers

In addition to the income and identification requirements, you will also need to register for work search with the MassHire Career Centers. This valuable resource center is a place where you can seek out available employment opportunities and find links for job training and educational programs. MassHire offers the following:

  • Career Centers for Job Seekers
  • BizWorks for Small Businesses
  • Veterans’ Job Programs
  • Training Provider Information

Massachusetts is also a proud recipient and supporter of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program. TAA was put in place to provide training for workers displaced by foreign trade. The TAA Trade program is administered by the Department of Unemployment Assistance, in conjunction with the MassHire Department of Career Services.

Payment Calculations and Maximum Number of Weeks

The maximum number of weeks you can receive unemployment insurance benefits payments is thirty, but that number is capped at twenty-six weeks during times of extended benefits or when unemployment is low and job prospects are plentiful. You will be required to search for work and submit three work search opportunities for each weekly claim.

Your weekly benefit amount will be roughly 50% of your average weekly income during the previous four quarters. The current maximum weekly benefit payment allowed is $823 per week. To calculate your exact weekly payment, use the Benefits Determination Calendar on the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance website.

Weekly Requirements to Maintain Unemployment Insurance

To avoid interruption in your weekly unemployment insurance benefits payments, you must request them every week. You can do this online or by calling TeleCert at (617) 626-6338 between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM daily. You’ll need your social security number and TeleCert pin number to submit weekly claims by phone.

In order to qualify for continued weekly payments, you must remain unemployed, but continue to search for new employment. You also have to remain willing and able to work if new employment is offered. Violation of any of these terms will result in the closure of your unemployment insurance claim. Failure to file a weekly claim will also result in closure.

Appeals Process for UI Claims Denials

If you’ve been denied unemployment insurance benefits and would like to appeal the decision, you can file for an appeal online in your UI Claimant Portal or send a request in writing by mail to Department of Unemployment Assistance, Hearings Department, 19 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114. Include your phone number, claimant ID, and signature on your appeal.

Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Program

  •  Coronavirus update: Massachusetts is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here: Visit Website
  •  To file a UI claim online: Visit Website
  •  General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: Visit Website

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