You may supplement your UI benefits with part-time work if you continue to conduct an active work search and you report your earnings to DUA.
Earnings are payments in any form for any work or service you perform, including self-employment. Even if you have not been paid for this work when you are requesting benefit payments, you must report the amount you earned during the week for which you are requesting benefits.
DUA will adjust your benefits according to a formula set by law. You are allowed to earn up to 1/3 (one-third) of your weekly benefit rate (not including dependency allowance) each week before deductions are made from your benefit payment.
Any earnings in excess of 1/3 of the weekly benefit amount are deducted from the benefit amount until the benefit amount is reduced to $0. If your weekly benefit rate is $270 a week, you can earn $90 a week without deductions from your UI benefits. If you earned $120 a week, $90 would be disregarded and $30 would be deducted from your UI payment. You would receive $240 in benefits, plus any dependency allowances.
Part-time earnings should be reported when requesting benefit payment for the week during which they were earned, NOT the week when they were paid. If you work in a position where you earn commissions such as real estate agent, insurance or auto sales, contact the TeleClaim Center for instructions to report your earnings.
Working Full-Time During Your Benefit Year
If you work a full-time schedule of hours, regardless of your earning amount, you are not entitled to UI benefits and should not request benefit payment. If you accept temporary full-time work, you can reopen your claim once the temporary work ends. This can be done easily by accessing UI Online or calling the TeleClaim Center.
What You Should Know Before You Accept Work
It is important for you to understand that once you accept employment, you are held to the same eligibility requirements as you were when you filed your initial claim. This means that if you quit a job without good cause or are fired for misconduct, you can be disqualified for the remainder of your claim. This applies even if you work for a very short period of time and the employer reports that you quit or were fired for deliberate misconduct.
If this happens, an issue will be established on your claim, and you will need to speak to a service representative. If you are disqualified, you have the right to appeal.
Protecting the integrity of the UI Trust Fund, into which employer contributions are deposited to pay for employees' benefits, is a responsibility DUA takes seriously.
Numerous actions are taken to prevent the fraudulent receipt of benefits. A comparison or "cross match" program comparing wage records from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and the UI database is aimed at ensuring that claimants who work part-time while collecting unemployment insurance benefits report those earnings to DUA.
The Department of Revenue also provides DUA with a report of new workers added to employers' payrolls. This report is also matched against UI records to check that claimants who return to work do not continue to collect benefits. Remember: Eligibility for benefits ends on the day a claimant starts full-time work.
To prevent fraud, DUA also matches records with those of other state and federal agencies including the Social Security Administration, the state Department of Corrections, and others.
The DUA Fraud Hotline can be reached toll-free at 1-800-354-9927 to report claimants who are collecting benefits while working full-time and to report employers who are paying workers and not reporting wages.