Changes to unemployment claims process
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), continue to take actions to assist workers and employers related to COVID-19.
For unemployment claims:
- All requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended.
- Deadlines missed by employers and claimants due to effects of COVID-19 may be excused under DUA’s good cause provision.
- Employers whose businesses are severely impacted by COVID-19 can request extensions for filing and paying unemployment contributions.
- “Worksearch” requirements will be interpreted to appropriately permit claimants affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits.
- All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.
DUA may pay unemployment benefits if a worker is quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional, or leaves employment due to reasonable risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. The worker need not provide medical documentation and need only be available for work when and as able.
To assist individuals who cannot work due to the impact of COVID-19, the Baker-Polito administration filed emergency legislation that will allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the 1-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. This means that DUA would be authorized to pay benefits without delay to persons who become unemployed because of lay-offs or business shutdowns taken in response to the virus, because of quarantine orders or directives or illness that prevents them from leaving their homes, or because they must care for a sick or quarantined family member.