Overview and Implementation Details
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government acted by passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) implemented three new programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
The Continuing Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act, effective December 27, 2020, extended benefits under the CARES Act to March 14, 2021, and added a new program, Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), signed into law on March 11, 2021, extended benefits under the CARES Act through September 4, 2021, and provided new qualification requirements.
Federal UI benefits, including FPUC, PUA, PEUC, and MEUC ended September 4, 2021. No weeks are payable even if a claimant has a balance or remaining weeks on a claim.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Effective 2/2/2020 – 9/4/2021, PUA provided up to 79 weeks of benefits to individuals who were self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation (UC) or extended benefits under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Coverage includes individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular UC or extended benefits under state or federal law or PEUC and who are affected by COVID-19.
- For more information on PUA visit www.mass.gov/PUA
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Provided individuals who were collecting regular UC, PEUC, PUA, Extended benefits (EB), and certain other forms of unemployment compensation with an additional $600 per week from 3/29/2020-7/25/2020, as long as the claimant was entitled to at least one dollar of benefits in the relevant week.
- Provided individuals who are collecting benefits as described above with an additional $300 per week from 12/27/2020 through 9/4/2021.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Provided up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who exhausted regular UC under state or federal law, had no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law, were not receiving compensation under the UC laws of Canada, and are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work. However, DUA is waiving work search requirements, as allowed by the federal government during the COVID-19 emergency from 3/29/2020-12/26/2020.
- Renewed by CAA and ARPA extending the program from 12/27/2020-9/4/2021.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) – FEMA
- Provided individuals who are collecting at least $100 in regular UC, PEUC, PUA, EB, STC, with an additional $300 per week, effective for the weeks 8/1/2020-9/5/2020
Extended Benefits (EB)
- Provided up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who exhausted regular UC under state or federal law, had no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law, exhausted PEUC, regular UC benefit year ended on or after May 9th 2020, were not receiving compensation under the UC laws of Canada, and are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work. However, states must offer flexibility in meeting the “actively seeking work” requirement if individuals are unable to search for work because of COVID-19, including because of illness, quarantine, or movement restriction. Extended Benefits triggered on May 3, 2020, and triggered off on July 17, 2021
High Unemployment Period Extended Benefits (HUP EB)
- Provided up to an additional 7 weeks of extended benefits, due to a period of high unemployment to individuals who qualified from the weeks 12/6/2020-2/20/2021, and April 4, 2021 through July 7, 2021
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
- Provided an additional $100 per week, in addition to FPUC payments, for claimants with at least $5,000 in self-employment income in the previous tax year. MEUC was effective 12/27/2020-9/4/2021
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.
To check your claim or benefit payment status (*please do not transfer to an agent while in the system-this is not staffed at this time)