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Working while receiving unemployment benefits

In certain circumstances, if you find work, you may still qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The weekly benefit amount you receive may be adjusted based on how much you earn.

If you work during weeks in which you request Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, you may still be paid benefits if your gross wages (total wages before taxes are deducted) are less than your weekly benefit amount. Any earnings greater than 1/3 of your weekly benefit amount (known as your earnings disregard) will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from your weekly benefit payment.

You must report any changes in your unemployment status while you are receiving benefits. It is your responsibility to report all your earnings when requesting weekly benefits.

Please note that if you work full-time hours in any given week, you will be considered employed "full-time" regardless of wages, and you will not be eligible for benefits for that week. You are considered employed full-time if you are working the customary full-time schedule in your job or occupation.

At this time, most claimants will be able to continue to receive partial or reduced UI benefits — and the full amount of the special COVID-19 related $300 weekly stipend offered through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program — even as they return to employment. Claimants who report wages from new employment will have their regular UI weekly benefit proportionately reduced to offset new wages, and in many circumstances claimants will remain eligible for the $300 weekly stipend until their regular wages exceed 133 percent of their regular weekly benefit amount (calculated without including the $300 weekly stipend). The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will end in the first week in September. 

Benefits calculator

This calculator helps you estimate how your benefits may be affected by working part-time. It is only advisory, and actual adjustments may vary depending on your specific situation. 

Do not include ​the FPUC amount ​(federal $300 weekly payment) in your weekly benefit amount when using the ​benefits calculator. If you are eligible for partial UI benefits after the earnings disregard is applied, the additional $300 FPUC benefit will be added to your partial benefit amount automatically for weeks prior to September 4, 2021.

Calculating your weekly benefit amount while working part time

Step 1: Calculate your earnings disregard

Example: Your weekly benefit amount is $270 and your weekly wages earned (before taxes) from your part-time job are $120

Weekly benefit amount $270
Earnings disregard $90 (because 1/3 of $270 is $90)
Weekly wages $120
Wages over the maximum allowed $30 (because $120 - $90 = $30)
Step 2: Calculate your reduced weekly benefit amount
Weekly benefit amount $270
Wages over the maximum allowed $30
Reduced weekly benefit amount $240 (because $270 - $30 = $240)

In this example, your reduced weekly benefit amount is $240. 

Contact   for Working while receiving unemployment benefits


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)

By appointment only, visit mass.gov/RECappointment to make an appointment.


Boston Re-Employment Center (By appointment only, visit mass.gov/RECappointment to make an appointment.)
2 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111

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