If you were separated due to a layoff and you only worked in Massachusetts, it generally takes 2-3 weeks to process your claim.  If your reason for separation is disputed by your employer, it will take several additional weeks to collect the facts of the case and make a determination on your claim.  Once an eligibility determination is made, if you are eligible, you will receive back payments for the weeks you claimed.  You must request benefit payments while your claim is being processed, otherwise you may not be eligible to receive benefits for those weeks.

DUA Actions:

DUA will take the following steps to process your unemployment claim: 

  • DUA sends a request for wage and separation information to all the employers on your claim. Each employer has 10 days to respond. If after 10 days, a response is not received, DUA will contact the employer or you for needed wage information.
  • Once the wage information is obtained, DUA calculates your benefit entitlement and sends you a Benefit Determination Notice, detailing the amount and duration of potential benefits.
  • If the reason you are no longer employed by your most recent employer is other than lack of work, you and your former employer will receive a questionnaire asking for detail information about your separation from employment.  A determination of eligibility based on the law will be made using the information you and your former employer provide.  
  • Once you are determined to be eligible, your payment will be issued.  

Actions You Must Take:

  • Correspondence: Respond promptly to any correspondence you receive via mail or email.  
  • Request Weekly Benefit Payments: Beginning on the Sunday after you apply for benefits, you must request benefit payments for each week. By doing so, you certify your eligibility for benefits.  You can request weekly benefits payments online or by phone. 
  • Conduct Weekly Work Search: Federal regulations require that UI claimants conduct an active work search while receiving UI benefits. As a condition of continued eligibility, DUA requires that you do the following each week:
    • Engage in a minimum of three work search activities on three different days during each week. 
    • Keep a detailed written log of your work search activities.
    • Provide your work search information to DUA upon request.

Work Search Activity instructions and Work Search Activity Logs can be accessed here.


DUA Recommendations for Claimants:

Initiate Tax Withholding: Your UI benefits are taxable and you are responsible for paying federal and state taxes on your UI benefits.

  • If you would like to have federal and/or state taxes automatically withheld from your weekly benefit payment, access your account via UI Online or call the TeleClaim Center and indicate your tax withholding preference.  

Set up Direct Deposit to receive your benefits payments:

  • Direct Deposit is a fast, safe and reliable way to access your benefit payments. Sign up for Direct Deposit using UI Online or by phone at 1-617-626-6800.  If you do not sign up for direct deposit, you will be issued a debit card.

Apply for Approved Training: If you think you need training to help you find new employment, you can apply for approved training under Section 30 of the Unemployment Insurance Law.