The Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program was created as part of the Continued Assistance Act to assist workers who qualified for traditional unemployment, but also had income from self-employment or gig work that is not included in the calculation of their regular unemployment benefits. MEUC applies only to traditional unemployment claimants. Claimants who receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are ineligible for MEUC.
MEUC provides an additional $100 weekly benefit to eligible claimants. Payments will not begin until DUA reviews the applicant’s supporting documentation, and will be retroactive. Applicants who are determined eligible for the MEUC program and are paid at least $1 of their underlying unemployment benefit amount for any week of unemployment, will also receive a $100 supplemental MEUC payment. This is provided in addition to the $300 FPUC payment. MEUC payments are not considered income when determining eligibility for SNAP (food assistance).
MEUC eligibility requirements
- You must be receiving an unemployment benefit from traditional unemployment, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Extended Benefits (EB). Claimants who are receiving benefits from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for MEUC.
- You must be receiving an unemployment benefit for claims week(s) covered by the MEUC program, which are the weeks ending Jan. 2, 2021 through Sept. 4, 2021.
- You must have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income in the most recent taxable year prior to your application for regular unemployment compensation.
- You must apply and submit documentation which clearly shows $5,000 net income.
MEUC acceptable documentation
- Documentation must be for the applicable tax year and show at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment. Gross income is not acceptable.
- For regular unemployment compensation claimants, the applicable tax year is the year before the effective date of your current claim.
- For Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Extended Benefits (EB) claimants, the applicable tax year is the year before the effective date of your original unemployment claim (when you first filed for unemployment, not the date of any extensions).
- If the effective date of your current claim is any time from Jan. 5, 2020 through Dec. 27, 2020 – you should submit documents for tax year 2019.
- If the effective date of your current claim is any time from Jan. 3, 2021 through March 7, 2021 – you should submit documents for tax year 2020.
You must submit your tax return and the corresponding 1099s or K-1 forms for the correct tax year. Other acceptable documentation of self-employment income includes, but is not limited to:
- Bank receipts that prove business income
- Business records including ledgers, invoices, and other billing notice/statements
- Any K-1s relating to partnership income
- Self-employment paycheck stubs
- Tax returns
How to apply for MEUC
Step 1: Gather your documentation: Please see MEUC “Acceptable Documentation” section.
Step 2: Apply to MEUC program
- Please visit: https://ui-cares-act.mass.gov/PUA/ to apply for MEUC
- In the "Get Started" section at the bottom left, click on "Apply for Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation"
Step 3: What happens after I apply?
- DUA will review your application and confirm the details, including whether you have a claim for regular unemployment benefits for which you have received at least $1 for the weeks you are claiming MEUC benefits.
- If you meet the basic eligibility requirements of the MEUC program, you will receive a fact-finding questionnaire requesting information from you. You must respond to the request for information by the specified deadline. Failure to respond by the deadline could result in a disqualification from receiving the MEUC benefits. You can respond to the request for information by logging into the account you created when you filed the MEUC claim.
- After DUA staff examine your documentation, you will receive an appealable determination informing you whether you have been approved for the MEUC benefit. If you are determined eligible, you will begin receiving MEUC payments for weeks you have received payments from your regular UI claim. The first week you can receive an MEUC payment is the week ending Jan. 2, 2021. If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision within 30 days.
Step 4: Continue signing in for weekly benefits: If DUA finds the applicant eligible for the additional MEUC payment, no additional action is required by the claimant to receive this supplemental payment. Eligible claimants will continue to file for benefits each week in the UI Online system for the regular unemployment benefit they are currently receiving. If they receive a payment of regular unemployment, they will also receive an MEUC payment in addition to their FPUC payment.
Important Note: MEUC payments will be considered when determining income for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Therefore, MEUC payments may affect an individual’s eligibility for these programs.
- MEUC payments will be made in the same method that the claimant’s regular unemployment payment is made (either direct deposit or debit card). Any tax withholdings or child support payments will remain the same as well.
- If applicants are denied the MEUC eligibility, they will receive a written determination that comes with appeal rights. If they are denied the MEUC benefit, they will still be eligible for their regular UI benefit.
- If the claimant’s Social Security number and UI Online claimant ID cannot be verified in the MEUC application process, the claimant will be auto denied and receive a written determination that comes with appeal rights.
- If the claimant has been determined eligible for the MEUC benefit, but has not received a payment for a specific week or specific period, the claimant must check their eligibility for regular unemployment benefits with the DUA call center by calling (617) 626-6800. MEUC call center agents do not have access to the UI Online system.
- MEUC payments are not considered income when determining eligibility for SNAP (food assistance).