DUA does not pay for training. However, on May 8, 2009, President Obama announced that customers receiving UI benefits will receive special consideration for financial aid to help defray the cost of education and/or job training opportunities. This action by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Labor will enable more workers collecting UI benefits to pursue job training to assist them in developing their skills while the economy recovers.
The Pell Grant program is a post-secondary, educational grant program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). The grants can cover up to $5,350 in education and training expenses and are accepted at nearly all universities and community colleges and many trade and technical schools. All Pell Grant awards are based on need and other factors. If you do not qualify for a Pell Grant, you may be eligible for other financial aid.
Please note: Pell Grants are only available for individuals enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree or certificate program. Pell grants are not available to individuals who have already received a bachelor's degree.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Applying for financial aid and finding training opportunities is not difficult. The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor have created a single web site, www.opportunity.gov, where you can find helpful information. If you are interested in pursuing these opportunities, here are some helpful steps you should take:
- Decide what type of education or training best meets your needs. You may want to visit www.careeronestop.org , or visit your local community college or One-Stop Career Center for help in identifying potential opportunities. To locate the nearest One-Stop Career Center, you can visit www.mass.gov/careercenters or call the toll free number: 1-877-US-2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627).
- Apply for financial aid. An application is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Note: If you need the 1099G form to apply for financial aid (FAFSA), you can print the form by accessing your account online.
- After you've applied for financial aid and the education or training program of your choice, contact the program's financial aid office. You will be able to bring this letter to a financial aid office for up to 90 days from the date of this letter to verify your status as an unemployment insurance beneficiary. After the 90 days has expired, please contact our agency at (617) 626-6800 to receive current documentation of your unemployment status.
- Make sure to contact your local One-Stop Career Center to assist you in starting the Training Opportunities Program process that will determine if you can continue to receive UI benefits while enrolled in the program you have chosen. Although the President has strongly encouraged states to allow more kinds of training in their unemployment programs, not every training program excuses you from the requirement that you must be seeking and available for work in order to receive unemployment benefits.
- Finally, if you are seeking other types of financial assistance through the Career Centers, please note that additional eligibility requirements may apply.