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File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

Were you recently separated from military service and are seeking Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits? You may qualify for temporary income to support you while you look for a new job
You should apply for benefits during your first week of total or partial unemployment after your separation date on your DD-214. 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

Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

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

The Details of File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

What you need for File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

To apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI), you need to provide personal information including your Social Security number, birth date, home address, email address (optional), and phone number. As a recently separated service member, you need to be physically present in Massachusetts in order to file a claim for benefits.

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 worked for the federal government — your SF8 form (optional)

As a member of the military, you need to submit your DD-214 Member 4 form. If you don’t have it, you can request your DD-214 online.

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 apply File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

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. Follow these instructions to reset your UI Online password.

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.

You can 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.

Next steps for File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

  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 for File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

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.

Your eligibility for unemployment benefits will be primarily based on the information provided from the military and/or on your DD-214 including your length of service and separation reason. 

If you need assistance looking for a job, contact a Veteran Employment Representative located in all of our career centers.

Downloads for File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

Contact for File for unemployment benefits as a recently separated service member

Phone

Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

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

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