Massachusetts Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Massachusetts, you may be eligible for Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Massachusetts unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Massachusetts workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Telephone – Call your local Massachusetts TeleClaims Center at 877-626-6800 or 617-626-6800 ( M – F, 8:30am to 6:30pm, Saturday 8:00am to 1:30pm)
  2. In Person – at your local Massachusetts One Stop Career Center

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

When you file your initial unemployment benefit application, you will need the following information:

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Name, address, phone number and dates worked for all employers for the past 15 months
  • Reason for separation
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
  • Names, ages and SSN of dependents
  • Information on any unemployment claim you filed in any state in the past 12 months

-- Find jobs in Massachusetts

Filing Your Weekly Claim:

Massachusetts weekly unemployment benefits are paid an average of their weekly wage, up to a maximum $625 per week. Unemployed Massachusetts workers may be eligible to receive an additional $25 per week for each dependent child (maximum additional 50% of weekly benefit amount). Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

Unemployed Massachusetts workers can file weekly unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online - using the Massachusetts WebCert System (Sunday 7:00am to 10:00pm, M – F 7:00am to 7:00pm)
  2. Telephone – Call the Massachusetts Telecert line at 877-626-6800 or 617-626-6800 (Sunday – Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm ET)

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

You should expect your first check or direct deposit in 3-4 weeks from your initial filing. Checks for subsequent weeks should be expected within 7 days of filing, and direct deposits should be expected within two business days.

Unemployment Benefits:

Unemployed Massachusetts workers may be eligible for health insurance under the state's Medical Security Program. Check Help With Health Insurance Online for more details. Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

You may be eligible for additional training benefits, which may include additional Unemployment Insurance benefits. Learn more about training benefits at approved training under Section 30.

Massachusetts workers may be eligible for career assistance through Massachusetts re-employment services.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be mailed an information and an application to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Sundays are often the busiest days for WebCert and TeleCert. If you experience difficulties or delays, you may find it easier to file during the week.

Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Division of Unemployment Assistance.

-- Find jobs in Massachusetts

Read Full Story