You will be asked to provide more detailed information if there is an eligibility issue on your claim. A DUA service representative will make a determination on your eligibility based on the information you and your former employer/s provide.

An eligibility issue may arise when you file your claim or at any time while you are receiving benefits. Once an issue is identified, benefit payments will be delayed or suspended pending a determination on your eligibility.  DUA will issue a determination based on all the facts presented and on the requirements of the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law. You have the right to appeal any determination with which you do not agree.

If the determination is in your favor, you will receive benefits. If the decision is not in your favor, you may be ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits or your benefits may be reduced until and unless that determination is overturned on appeal.

It is important that you continue to request benefit payment until the issue is resolved, so that if it is resolved in your favor, your payment will be issued to you automatically.

When You Apply for Benefits 

There may be an eligibility issue on your claim that requires a determination if:

1. You or your employer indicate that you were separated from employment under circumstances other than a layoff.  An eligibility issue will be created for example if you quit or were discharged. 

Quitting your job or being fired does not automatically mean that you are not eligible for UI benefits, but it will create an issue that must be resolved by a service representative.

The service representative will obtain information from you and your former employer to determine whether you quit for a good reason attributable to your employer (or for an urgent, compelling or necessitous personal reason) or were discharged for good cause.

2. You would not be able to work if you were offered a job. The law requires that claimants must be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work.

Personal, domestic, medical or other reasons that would prevent you from accepting work on any shift that is customary to your usual occupation may disqualify you for the weeks for which you are not able to work or look for a job.

3. You are on a leave of absence from any employer. When you are on a leave of absence for instance, maternity leave, you are not eligible for UI benefits according to the law. This is because you have a job to which you can return and are not considered unemployed.

4. You are or will be receiving payments from your former employer such as such as severance pay.

5. You are receiving Worker's Compensation. You may qualify for benefits if you are on partial disability or when you are again able to resume an active work search and able to return to full-time employment.

6. You are a member of a corporation from whose employment you have been separated.

7. You have applied for or are receiving a retirement benefit, not including Social Security.

8. You are self-employed.

9. You are not a U.S. citizen and are not able to provide documentation of authorization to work.

10.You worked for a business within the last 18 months, which was owned or partly owned by you, your child, spouse or parent.

While You are Receiving Benefits

Whenever you request weekly benefit payment using  UI Online or TeleCert, you will provide eligibility information for each week you request benefit payment. An issue may be arise if your response indicate a change in eligibility status during any week claimed. If so, you will be notified that additional information is required in order to process your claim.  

A DUA service representative has the responsibility for collecting all of the relevant facts and making a determination on your eligibility. If the issue created on your claim involves an employer for instance, because of the conditions under which you left a job, the service representative will talk to both you and your employer before making a determination.  

You should be aware that:

  • Under certain circumstances, the DUA service representative may need to resolve discrepancies in the information obtained from you or your employer and you may be contacted a second time for information.  
  • The burden of proof rests with the party whose action resulted in your separation from your job. This means that if you quit your job, you will have the responsibility to prove that you had good reason for doing so. If you were fired from your job, the burden of proof is on your employer to show that the action was a result of your deliberate misconduct.

Prepare to provide information 

Be sure to prepare to provide information to DUA. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility for benefits. Be sure to give the information you think is most important, but that is also most relevant to the situation. You may also provide any written evidence that is relevant to your claim. Your service representative will complete fact-finding and make a determination on your eligibility. That determination will be issued to you. If you are disqualified, you have the right to appeal and to have a hearing.