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Your rights and responsibilities as a claimant

Educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities as a claimant while receiving unemployment benefits.

Your rights as a claimant

  • You have the right to appeal decisions made by the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) relating to your claim. In many instances, your former employer also has the right to appeal.
  • If either you or your former employer appeal within the period of time allowed by law, you will have the right to a hearing
  • You have the right to see any materials relating to your claim. Your unemployment records are considered confidential, and are not available to anyone (with the exception of your former employer) unless you provide authorization to DUA.

Request weekly benefits

You must request weekly benefits every week that you are unemployed. No payment will be issued for any week that you fail to certify your eligibility.

It is your responsibility to:
  • Report your employment status
  • Report your wages and additional income (including pensions)
  • Inform DUA if you were sick, injured, attending school, or were unable to work during any week that you request benefits for
  • Report any gross wages (wages before taxes) earned if you work part time while receiving unemployment benefits

Additional Resources

Perform weekly work searches

In order to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits, you are required to conduct an active search for work each week that you request benefits.

It is your responsibility to:
  • Make at least 3 work searches per week, using 3 different methods (i.e. phone, web, in person). Each work search must be conducted on a separate day.
  • Keep a detailed written log of your work search activities using the form under Additional resources
  • If you are required to attend a Career Center activity, remember to bring printed completed copies of all Work Search Activity Logs
  • Provide your work search information to DUA upon request. Keep all work search documents for 1 year after you stop requesting benefits.
Examples of work search include:
  • Registering for work and reemployment services with a local One-Stop Career Center
  • Completing a job application in person or online with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable work
  • Mailing a job application and/or resume, as instructed in a public job notice
  • Making in-person visits with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings
  • Sending job applications to employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable work
  • Interviewing with potential employers in person or by telephone.
  • Registering for work with private employment agencies or placement services
  • Using the employment resources available at One-Stop Career Centers that may lead directly to obtaining employment, such as:
    • Obtaining and using local labor market information
    • Participating in skills assessments for occupation matching
    • Participating in instructional workshops
    • Obtaining and following up on job referrals from the Career Center
  • Attending job search seminars, career networking meetings, job fairs, or employment-related workshops that offer instruction in improving individuals' skills for obtaining employment
  • Using online job matching systems, including the Massachusetts One-Stop Employment System (MOSES)
  • Reporting to the Union Hall, if this is your primary work search method
  • Using other job search activities such as reviewing job listings on the internet, newspapers or professional journals, contacting professional associations, networking with colleagues or friends

Additional Resources

Report changes in your employment status

You must report any changes in your unemployment status while you are receiving benefits.

It is your responsibility to:
  • Stop requesting benefits once you return to full-time work. You do not need to call DUA but you must stop requesting weekly benefits. You cannot receive benefits after you have started work, regardless of when you get paid.
  • Report all your earnings when requesting weekly benefits if you get a part-time job. Earnings greater than 1/3 of your weekly benefit amount will be deducted from your weekly benefit payment.
  • Inform DUA if you are sick, injured, attending school, travel outside of the area or are otherwise unable to work during any week for which you request benefits. You are not eligible for benefits for any period of time you are outside of the United States, its territories, or Canada.

Report to a Career Center upon request

You will be required to report to a Career Center if you are selected to participate in either of the following programs:

  • Career Center Seminar
  • Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program

If you are selected, you'll receive a notice by your previously selected correspondence method. Once selected, your participation is mandatory. Failure to comply with requirements by the deadlines specified in the notice may cause a delay or loss of your unemployment benefits.

To schedule your attendance at a Career Center Seminar, call the Automated Career Center Seminar Scheduling System at 1 (800) 653-5586 or contact the Career Center nearest you.

Additional Resources


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