Navigating the UI portal and applying for unemployment assistance can be a confusing process for many. My office is available as a resource for any questions or concerns you may have about unemployment claims and the Department of Unemployment Assistance's policies. My office does not have access to unemployment claims though.
DUA has modified a number of unemployment requirements and implemented new policies as a result of COVID-19. Please review the list below of frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question on the list, please visit mass.gov/dua or contact my office.
What is a "monetary determination"?
DUA asks all claimants to submit wages for the 15 months prior to their unemployment period. The determination lets claimants know if they are eligible, and how much they are eligible for. It is important to note: the monetary determination alone is not a confirmation of benefits.
I think my monetary determination is incorrect. What should I do?
Claimants have the option of completing a Wage and Employer Correction sheet. DUA will require proof of wages from you (W2 or paystubs) and the department will also contact your employer. If you believe the determination is still incorrect after this process, you have the right to file an appeal.
Is the $600 additional unemployment payment (a result of the CARES Act) taxable?
Yes; unemployment benefits are considered taxable income. If you elected to have taxes withdrawn from your unemployment, taxes will also be withdrawn from the $600. After taxes are withdrawn, the payment is $510. This money will be paid retroactively to March 29, 2020.
How do I reset my password?
*First time using UI:
There is a blue hyperlink on the portal that says "Forget My Password". Once you click on this, it will ask for a verification method; choose the option you prefer. The verification will be sent to your email or texted to your mobile device. Then you may change your password.
*Had an account prior to July 2013:
If you had an account with DUA prior to July 2013 and have not filed a claim since then, the security question will ask for your mother's maiden name. You will type in your answer with only four letters. (ex. Smith would be typed in as Smit)
*Had an account after July 2013:
If you had an account with DUA after July 2013 and prior to the State of Emergency, the security question will be whatever you originally chose. You will type in your answer as one word. (ex. Worcester High would be typed in as WorcesterHigh)
How can I satisfy the work search requirement during the COVID-19 State of Emergency?
The DUA is aware of the constraints many are facing as a result of COVID-19. The department has modified the work search requirement. The following satisfy this requirement: maintaining contact with your employer, modifying your resume, and searching for jobs online.
I am still employed, but my employer has reduced my hours as a result of COVID-19. Can I file for unemployment?
Yes, you may be eligible for partial benefits.
I was receiving unemployment benefits prior to the COVID-19 health pandemic. Will my benefits be extended?
After you have received benefits for 26 weeks, you are entitled to an additional 13 weeks (total: 39 weeks).
My claim has been approved, so why is the payment "pending"?
It may depend on the payment method you have selected. Direct deposits can take up to 9 days to process. On the UI portal, you can review payments in the "Payment History" section. This section shows payments you have already received, and payments DUA has issued, but are still being processed.
I am self-employed; do I qualify for unemployment during the COVID-19 public health emergency?
Self-employed, gig workers, and other contractors are not eligible for traditional unemployment assistance in Massachusetts. However, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available for Massachusetts residents. Claimants are asked to file at mass.gov/pua and not on the UI portal.