1. How do I apply?
2. What information do I need when I apply?
3. How do I claim my benefits?
4. I received severance pay. Can I file for Unemployment Insurance at the same time?
5. Can I file if I receive a pension, or other retirement payments or social security benefits? 
6. I worked in another state. How do I file for Unemployment Insurance benefits?
7. I was laid off twice in a year. Can I file twice?
8. How do I close or reopen my claim?
9. I need to travel for a week during my unemployment claims period. What should I do?
10. What do I have to do to maintain my eligibility?

1. How do I apply?
You can file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits using UI online or by calling the Unemployment Insurance TeleClaim Center at 1-877-626-6800 from area codes: 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978 or 1-617-626-6800 from any other area code. You may file your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment—to delay may cost you benefits. Step-by-step guidelines are provided on How to File Your Initial Claim.

2. What information do I need when I apply?
When you are separated from your job, your employer will provide you with a pamphlet How to File for Unemployment Insurance Benefits PDF. It will give you information on how to file your claim.

You should have the following information when you file, whether you file online or by phone.

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth (month, day, year)
  • Home address, telephone number, and email address (if available)
  • Whether you have filed a UI claim in Massachusetts, or in any other state during the past 12 months
  • The names and addresses of all employers you have worked for during the past 15 months, and the dates you worked for each employer. If you are reopening a claim, be prepared to provide the same information for any employment you have had since your claim was last active.
  • Your Military discharge papers – form DD-214, member 4 (if you were separated from Military service with any branch of the U.S. armed forces within the past 18 months)
  • If you were employed by the federal government within the past 18 months, the SF-8 and/or SF-50 form given to you by your government employer at the time of your separation
  • The reason why you are no longer working or why your hours have been reduced
  • Last day of employment
  • The names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of any dependent children that you plan to claim as a dependent
  • Alien registration number or verification that you were legally eligible to work in the United States, and that you are currently eligible to begin a new job
  • Bank account number, and the routing or transit number of your bank (if you would like to receive your payment by direct deposit)

3. I worked in another state. How do I file for Unemployment Insurance benefits?
If you worked solely in another state you will need to file your claim against that state. Some states allow you to file your claim by phone or Internet, while others require you to visit an office in person.  

4. I was laid off twice in a year. Can I file twice?
Once your claim is filed, it remains the same for one year. Your claim can be opened and closed during that year depending on your employment and availability status. It is available until you exhaust all your benefits or until your benefit year has expired, whichever comes first.

5. How do I close or reopen my claim?
If you wish to close your claim, do not call and request weekly benefits. That will close your claim automatically. If you wish to reopen your claim, you can do so using UI Online or call TeleCert at 1-617-626-6338, or the TeleClaim Center at 1-617-626-6800 or toll free 1-877-626-6800 from area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, 978.

6. I need to travel for a week during my unemployment claims period. What should I do?
If you are not available and not actively seeking work, do not claim that week. When you return, you can reopen your claim using UI Online or TeleCert, or call the TeleClaim Center. If you are out of town because of a job interview(s), just request weekly benefits as usual and keep track of your work search

Review additional FAQs related to:

>General unemployment questions
>Issues with claims
>Disqualification due to the receipt of severance pay
>Direct deposit/debit card
>Assistance with job search