What is Unemployment Insurance (UI)?

What is an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Self Service Employer Account?

Who needs to have an Unemployment Insurance Employer Self Service System Employer Account?

How do I know if unemployment benefits have been charged to my Employer Account?

How does an application for unemployment benefits affect my UI Employer Account?

Why can't I treat my workers as independent contractors?

What records does an employer need to keep? How long do I need to keep them?

How do I notify you of a change in my business?

What if my employees perform services (works) in more than one state?


Question: What is Unemployment Insurance (UI)?

Answer: Unemployment Insurance is a federal program that is administered by state agencies. The U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program is designed to provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and meet certain other state eligibility requirements.

The Federal Unemployment Contributions Act, along with the Commonwealth's unemployment system, provides for payments of unemployment benefits to workers who have lost their jobs.

The funds to pay unemployment benefits are provided by UI contributions paid by employers who have employees performing services in the commonwealth. The employer is directly responsible for paying the UI contributions; deductions are not made from an employee's wages to cover these contributions.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts UI Liable employers pay a quarterly UI contribution based on gross wages paid to each employee, up to the contributions usable wage base for that year. The contributions are deposited into the Federal unemployment Trust Fund on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is used to pay unemployment benefits to eligible applicants who are unemployed.

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Question: What is an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Self Service Employer Account

Answer: A DUA Employer Account Number (EAN) is an account number assigned by the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to every employer even those non-subjects to the UI law to be able to submit wage detail reports. For UI Liable employers it is the number assigned to their UI account.

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Question: Who needs to have a Massachusetts DUA Employer Account?

Answer: Any organization or individual that employs or pays wages to anyone living or working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must have a Massachusetts DUA Employer Account regardless of their subjectivity for payment of unemployment taxes.

The Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law, Chapter 151A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, places certain obligations on all employing units- individuals, firms, organizations and governmental units, which employ one or more persons. [HH1] Your responsibilities fall into two general areas: financing the unemployment insurance (UI) program and participating in the determination of eligibility.

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Question: How do I know if unemployment benefits have been charged to my Unemployment Insurance Employer Account?

Answer: After the end of each calendar month a Benefit Charge Statement is generated. This report lists each former employee who has collected unemployment benefits and the amount of benefits paid. This report is available on-line and will be delivered according to the employer selected correspondence method. Charges may be protested either on-line or via mail.

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Question: As a contributory employer, how does an application for unemployment benefits affect my Unemployment Insurance Employer Account?

Answer:

Unemployment Benefits are one of the factors used in both the determining the rate schedule to be used in the coming year and the calculation of the individual's contribution rate. Each year, you will receive a "Notice of Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rate" with your annual rate and the data used to calculate it.
For most employers, the contribution rate is determined by your experience rating account balance. The ending balance of your account is updated each October as DUA takes into account the following:

  • Your ending account balance from the previous rating period
  • Plus the contributions you paid
  • Less the benefits charged to your account
  • Less the statewide "solvency assessment" charged to your account. (See explanation below.)

This net balance is kept on a cumulative basis and is compared annually to the portion of your payroll subject to the Unemployment Insurance Law to yield your "reserve percentage." This reserve percentage is used to determine your contribution rate by applying it to the schedule in effect for the calendar year.


The state maintains a solvency account to finance benefits that cannot be charged to a specific employer - such as dependency allowances, approvable voluntary separations and benefits paid against accounts whose reserves have been depleted. Your account balance is adjusted upward or downward with an annual "solvency assessment." Similar in concept to "no fault" insurance, this mechanism distributes the account's deficit or surplus proportionally among all employers. Interest earned on the trust fund balance is credited to this account. If you believe a computation error has been made in your contribution rate, you may request an administrative review of the rate determination from the DUA Experience Rating Department. This request must be made in writing, within 60 days of receipt of the rate notice. If you have any questions, contact the Experience Rating Department at (617) 626-6895.

Question : As a non profit employer which elected payment in lieu of contributions ( Reimbursable) how does an application for unemployment benefits affect my UI Employer Account?

A condition of the Reimbursable election is that you pay all unemployment costs on a dollar for dollar basis.

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Question: Why can't I treat my workers as independent contractors?

Answer: Under Section 430 CMR Code of Massachusetts Regulations of the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law individuals performing services shall be deemed employees until and unless a determination is made by this agency classifying the individuals as independent contractors. To request a worker status determination logon to your ui online self service employer account mass.gov/uima or contact the Employer Liability Unit at 617 626 -5050

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Question: What records does an employer need to keep? How long do I need to keep them?

Answer: 

1.   Every employing unit shall keep sufficient records: 

  • To enable it to prepare accurate reports with respect to its employment as may be required by the Commissioner; and 
  • To enable the Commissioner to verify any report submitted by the employing unit; and 
  • To make it possible by an inspection thereof to determine with respect to each worker: 

i.   Wages earned by calendar weeks. 
ii.   Whether any week was in fact a week of less than full‑time work. 
iii.   Time lost, if any, by such worker due to his unavailability for work, or inability to work. 

2.   Any employing unit found to be in default with respect to the requirements of 430 CMR 5.01(1) will be duly notified in writing and failure to correct such default shall subject the employing unit to the penalties set forth under M.G.L. c. 151A, § 47. 

3.   Payrolls, working sheets and other records from which information is assembled for the preparation of reports and the duplicate of reports filed with the Department shall be preserved for a period of four years from the date on which the report was filed.

 

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Question: How do I notify you of a change in my business?

Answer: You can report business changes online at mass.gov/uima or by phone at 617-626-5075 for employers who do not have access to the Internet.

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Question: What if my employees perform services (work) in more than one state?

Answer: The Employer Liability Staff of the DUA will issue worker status determinations upon request. The Employer Liability Staff of the DUA will issue worker status determinations upon request. Refer to MGL Ch 151 A, Section 3(Commonwealth Localization Law) Service within and without commonwealth included in "employment"

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-151a-toc.htm

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