File for unemployment benefits

Have you lost your job? You may qualify for temporary income to support you while you look for a new one.
You should apply for unemployment benefits during your first week of total or partial unemployment. Most claims are processed within 21-28 days after filing. It may take longer if there is an issue with your claim.

Department of Unemployment Assistance

Phone

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

To check your claim or benefit payment status

The Details of File for unemployment benefits

What you need for File for unemployment benefits

To apply for unemployment, you need to provide personal information including your Social Security number, birth date, home address, email address (optional), and phone number.

You also need information about your employment history from the last 15 months, including:

  • Names of all employers, plus addresses and phone numbers
  • Reasons for leaving those jobs
  • Work start and end dates
  • Recall date (if you were laid off but have a set date to return to work)

You may need additional information in certain situations:

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen — your Alien Registration number
  • If you have children — their birth dates and Social Security numbers
  • If you’re in a union — your union name and local number
  • If you were in the military — your DD-214 Member 4 form. If you don’t have it, you can request your DD-214 online.
  • If you worked for the federal government — your SF8 form (optional)

To receive payments by direct deposit, you’ll also need your bank name, account number, and routing number. Otherwise, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will send you a debit card.

How to file File for unemployment benefits

To file a claim online, you must create an account on the UI Online portal. Please follow the steps below to create your UI Online account.

If you have never filed a Massachusetts unemployment claim:
  1. Go to the UI Online login screen.
  2. When prompted, you will be asked to enter your Social Security number twice.
  3. Proceed with the application by following the computer prompts.
  4. You will eventually be prompted to set up a password as well as a security verification question in case you forget your password. You will use the password you created every time you log in to UI Online.
If you have previously filed for unemployment benefits and forgot your password:
  1. Go to the UI Online login screen.
  2. When prompted, you will be asked to enter your Social Security number twice.
  3. Click the Forgot password button.
  4. You will be prompted to enter in verification information including:
    • Your Social Security number
    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • The answer to your security question (if you can't remember the answer to your security question, you must contact DUA to confirm your identity)
  5. You will be prompted to set up a new password. You will use the password you created every time you log in to UI Online.

Don’t have a computer? Visit a Career Center where you can use one of theirs to file your claim and get help finding a job.

To avoid long hold times, you have the option to schedule a callback from the TeleClaim Center to file for unemployment benefits by phone. You may select any time from the available slots for us to return your call.

You can also file for unemployment benefits or get help with your application by calling the TeleClaim Center. The number you call depends on your area code:

  • (877) 626-6800 from area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978
  • (617) 626-6800 from any other area code
  • 711 for Voice Relay

The TeleClaim Center hours are 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday. Please follow the call-in schedule below:

Last digit of your Social Security Number:

Assigned day to call the TeleClaim Center:

0, 1 Monday
2, 3 Tuesday
4, 5, 6 Wednesday
7, 8, 9 Thursday
Any last digit Friday

 

You can visit the Boston walk-in center located at 19 Staniford St., Boston, MA 02114 to get in person assistance with a member of our staff.  The walk-in center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Next steps for File for unemployment benefits

  1. Request weekly benefits

    You must request weekly benefits every week that you are unemployed. You will make your first weekly benefit request the week after you file your claim for unemployment benefits.

  2. Begin your work search

    You must begin searching for work immediately (3 work search attempts on 3 separate days). Track your search for new employment by using the Work Search Activity Log.

  3. DUA will review your application

    DUA will review your application and confirm details of your application with your former employer. If you provided an email address when you filed your claim, you will receive an email from DUA asking you to verify your email address.

  4. DUA will send a Monetary Determination

    This notice tells you how much you’ll potentially receive in unemployment benefits.

  5. Respond to questionnaires from DUA

    If there is a question of eligibility, you'll receive a fact-finding questionnaire from DUA requesting information from you. You must respond to this questionnaire by the deadline specified. Failure to respond may result in a disqualification from receiving benefits.

  6. DUA will send a Non-Monetary Determination

    This notice tells you whether you’ve been approved for unemployment benefits. If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision within 10 days.

  7. Receiving your benefit payments

    If determined eligible, you will receive your first benefit payment in the form of a paper check approximately 3-4 weeks after applying for benefits. After your first payment, you will receive benefits via the debit card unless you set up for direct deposit to a checking or savings account.

More info about File for unemployment benefits

It can take a few weeks to process your claim. You should continue to request weekly benefits after you apply even if you haven’t heard back from DUA yet.

Downloads for File for unemployment benefits

Contact for File for unemployment benefits

Address
Boston Walk-In Center
Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston, MA 02114
Phone

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

To check your claim or benefit payment status

Phone

To check your claim or benefit payment status

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