The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and transitional services to help Massachusetts citizens get back on the road to re-employment. Unemployment Insurance is a temporary income protection program for workers who have lost their jobs but are able to work, available for work and looking for work.
1. Weekly Benefits
Claimants receive a weekly benefit of approximately 50 percent of their average weekly wage, up to the maximum set by law. The current maximum benefit rate is $722 a week (effective October 4, 2015).
The duration of benefits - the maximum number of weeks you would be able to collect benefits - is determined by the total amount of your wages paid and the amount of your benefit rate.
The maximum number of weeks a claimant can collect full benefits is 30 weeks. Under Massachusetts law, regular benefits are capped at 26 weeks (instead of the maximum of 30 weeks) whenever there is a program of extended benefits. However, many individuals qualify for less than the maximum weeks of coverage. The maximum benefit credit amount is $21,660, which equals $722 a week for 30 weeks.
If you are eligible for UI benefits in Massachusetts, you will receive a weekly payment for the prior week's benefit. If you have children, you may be eligible to receive an additional $25 per child per week up to a maximum of 1/2 of your weekly benefit amount.
2. Approved Training
Under Section 30 of the Unemployment Insurance Law, you can apply for approved training if you think you need training to help you find new employment. You may be eligible for up to an additional 26 weeks of UI benefits while you are attending approved full-time training. DUA does not fund your training costs.
3. Help Finding a Job
One-Stop Career Center Services
If you are unemployed or looking for a better job, the state’s network of One-Stop Career Centers can help. Conveniently located across the state, the One-Stop Career Centers offer employment services that allow you to work on your job search in an environment that is comfortable for you. Career Center staff members are committed to helping you land the right job by providing you with one-on-one counseling, workshops, written handouts, or all of the above – whatever best suits your employment search needs.
Hours of operations vary from center to center. To find a Career Center near you, go to www.mass.gov/careercenters.
The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program is a program funded by the US Department of Labor to help Unemployment Insurance claimants return to work faster. Permanently separated claimants are required to participate in the RESEA program.
Once you have received your first unemployment check, you will receive notification to participate in the RESEA program. You will be required to attend a Career Center Seminar (CCS) and meet other program requirements, which include completing a Career Action Plan (CAP), conducting labor market research, tracking your work search activities, providing a resume, and participating in ongoing reemployment services.
All of your program requirements will be explained to you at the Initial RESEA review, immediately following the CCS, where you will meet one-on-one with a Reemployment Specialist.
Failure to comply with the RESEA program requirements will result in a delay or loss of your unemployment benefits.
You can attend the Career Center Seminar at any of the One-Stop Career Centers across the state. Job seekers do not have to be unemployed to use Career Center services.
Schedule your Career Center Seminar at the Career Center of your choice by calling the Career Center or online through JobQuest. Plan up to three hours for the CCS and it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early.
The Career Center staff look forward to assisting you with a productive and successful job search.