What is a redetermination?
Redeterminations are governed by G. L. c. 151A, § 71. The statute provides that DUA may reconsider a determination whenever the Director finds that:
- (1) an error has occurred in connection therewith; or
- (2) wages pertinent to such determination, but not considered…have been newly discovered; or
- (3) benefits have been allowed or denied or the amount of benefits has been fixed based on a misrepresentation of fact.
Redeterminations under reasons (1) or (2) can only occur within one year from the date of the original determination.
What happened in the Marrero litigation?
In 2020, some legal advocates filed a lawsuit (Marrero et al. v. DUA) in Worcester Superior against DUA. In March 2021, a Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring DUA to:
- Make best efforts to issue determinations on applications for benefits within 30 days;
- Correct certain problems with collections deadlines; and
- Revise redetermination procedure to comply with the “interview” and pay hold requirements.
What changes has DUA made based on the injunction?
- DUA will continue to make every reasonable effort to, within 30 days after the filing of a claim, determine if benefits are payable and in what amount.
- DUA will refrain from engaging in any collection activities until the agency’s determination is final.
- For claims where an individual has received a written notice of eligibility for benefits, or received a payment:
- DUA can only “redetermine” (i.e., reconsider) the claim if DUA finds: (1) the claim was approved or denied due to an error; (2) newly discovered wages; or (3) the claim was approved or denied or the amount of benefits was set based on a factual misrepresentation.
- If DUA is considering making a redetermination, DUA will provide the claimant procedural due process of law.
- These procedures will include, among other things, notice of the potential redetermination and overpayment, an opportunity for an “interview’ with a DUA staff member before a determination decision is made, and an opportunity to appeal the redetermination by requesting a hearing.
What you need to do if you receive a notice of possible redetermination
- Provide any information you may have. You can have an interview with DUA staff, you can upload documents, or you can allow DUA to decide the issue based on the information it already has.
- If you need assistance, please contact 857-305-2744 Tuesday through Friday between 8:30am – 4:00pm.
- If you do not want to add any information, you do not need to contact DUA.
How to provide evidence and information
You have three options:
- You can have an interview by calling 857-305-2744 Tuesday through Friday between 8:30am – 4:00pm, no later than 14 days from the date on this notice. A DUA staff member will interview you at the time that you call. The interview will be held by telephone, unless other arrangements are made. If you wish, you may have an agent, legal counsel, or an advocate attend the interview with you.
- You can provide any documents you believe DUA needs to review the issue by uploading the documents into the UI Online system following the steps below. You can also access the associated Fact Finding questionnaire by clicking on “My Inbox.”
- Log onto your UI online account.
- Click “View and Maintain Account Information,” then click “Monetary and Issue Summary.
- Click Issue Identification number
- Click Upload then, “Click” Browse.
- Select the PDF documentation you wish to upload (documents must be in PDF format)
- Type Brief Description (example: Severance Agreement, Doctors Note, Paystub, etc.)
- Click Submit
3. You can upload documents and have an interview.
Impact on your benefits-now and later
Because of the new information, a redetermination of your eligibility for benefits may be necessary. If you have previously been found eligible and have begun receiving benefits, DUA will continue to make payments to you unless a decision is made, based on the new information and any information you provided, that you should be denied benefits.
You will receive a Notice of Redetermination if your benefits are being changed
If a redetermination results in your disqualification from receiving benefits, your payments will stop, and you may be liable to repay benefits you have already received.
You have the right to apply for a waiver of any overpayment or appeal a redetermination
For information on waivers, go here. https://www.mass.gov/how-to/repay-unemployment-benefit-debt