How to Sign Up for Unemployment Insurance in Massachusetts
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Massachusetts residents who have lost their job through no fault of their own are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. To apply for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, the unemployment petitioner must submit a claim either online or in person at the local WorkOne office.
- Where to Register for Unemployment Benefits in Massachusetts
- Required Information for Unemployment Registration in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Unemployment Registration Process
Unemployment applicants wondering, “How can I sign up for unemployment?” or wanting to know where to sign up for unemployment in their area should read through the sections below.
Massachusetts Unemployment Resources
Where to Register for Unemployment Benefits in Massachusetts
File for an unemployment claim as soon as possible once you become unemployed. Your claim will begin on the Sunday of the calendar week in which the claim is filed. This date is known as the “effective claim date.” Waiting more than a full week for requesting unemployment benefits will delay the start of your claim and benefits will not be paid for the weeks that passed prior to the week you filed.
Regarding where to apply for unemployment in MA, you can either submit an online application for unemployment or apply over the telephone by calling the TeleClaim Center. To understand how to apply for unemployment online, follow the prompts. If you do not have access to a computer, you can visit your local library or One-Stop Career Center to use free, publicly-available computers.
Required Information for Unemployment Registration in Massachusetts
To fill out the MA unemployment EDD application, the claimant will need to provide the following information:
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Home address, telephone number, and email address
- Paperwork showing a history of other UI claims filed in Massachusetts or in any other state during the past 12 months, if applicable
- The names, addresses and dates worked for all employers during the past 15 months. If the application is a re-opened unemployment claim, then this information should cover any employment the applicant has had since the claim was last active
- Military discharge papers, such as form DD-214 or member 4 if separated from the military service with any branch of the U.S. armed forces within the past 18 months
- If employed by the federal government within the past 18 months, the SF-8 and/or SF-50 form given by the government employer at the time of separation
- The reason why the applicant is no longer working or why working hours have been reduced
- The names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of any children that applicant plans to claim as a dependent
- Alien registration number or verification that the applicant was legally eligible to work in the United States, and that he or she is currently eligible to begin a new job
- Bank account number and routing and transit numbers if the applicant would like to receive payment by direct deposit
Applicants who choose to file for unemployment and have dependent children that they support financially may be eligible to receive an increase in their weekly benefit amount as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). This allowance is referred to as the Dependency Allowance (DA).
Under MA unemployment registration rules, in order to claim a dependent child, the applicant must be the parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian of the child. Additionally, the child must be under 18 years of age as of the effective date of the UI claim, or over 18 and be unable to earn a wage because of a permanent mental or physical disability, or between the ages of 18 and 24 and a full-time student at an educational institution.
To qualify for the Dependency Allowance, the applicant’s child must reside in the United States or its territories or possessions, must currently receive or have been receiving their whole or main source of support from the applicant during the 15 months prior to applying for benefits, or be under a court order to receive child support from the applicant. No other claimant may receive a dependency allowance for this dependent during the same weeks of UI benefits.
If the unemployment applicant worked in Massachusetts and moved to another state, he or she may still be eligible for benefits under UI law. This type of claim is known as an interstate claim. The applicant can apply for an interstate claim using UI Online or by calling the TeleClaim Center.
Massachusetts Unemployment Registration Process
After petitioners apply for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, DUA sends a request to all employers listed on the claim for information regarding past wages and reasons for employment termination. Each employer has 10 days to respond. If the employer does not respond within 10 days, DUA may contact the applicant or the employer again for any missing wage information.
Once the employee wage and termination information is complete, DUA calculates the amount of benefits the applicant will receive and how long the applicant will be eligible to receive them. Once the claimant has applied for benefits, he or she must continue to request to renew benefits every week that he or she is unemployed or working reduced hours.
If eligible, the applicant will receive payments for the weeks that were previously claimed, except for the one-week waiting period. In the event that the claimant does not request benefits while the claim is being processed, then he or she may not be eligible to receive benefits for those weeks. If there are no issues with the claim, DUA will issue the first benefit payment in three to four weeks.