COVID Resources

  1. Unemployment Resources
  2. Additional Financial Support for Qualifying Individuals & Families
  3. Housing Resources
  4. Health Insurance Payments During COVID-19
  5. Tax Filing & Economic Impact Payment

Eligibility for State Unemployment Assistance

If your employer, public or private, has been paying into unemployment insurance, you are eligible. In addition to becoming unemployed, you are also eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  • You are quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional
  • You leave employment due to reasonable risk of exposure or infection
  • You leave employment to care for a family member
  • No medical documentation is required to collect unemployment during this public health emergency, but you must be available for work as you are able, and be willing to work remotely
  • Self-employed and independent contract workers, and some employees of non-profits, are not eligible for unemployment benefits. They will become eligible if the President makes a disaster unemployment declaration, which the Governor has formally requested. If passed, the federal stimulus legislation may also include provisions that make benefits available to this population
  • Unemployment can be collected for up to 26 weeks in any 52-week period. If you are currently collecting unemployment, benefits cannot be extended beyond the 26-week period. If passed, the federal stimulus legislation may include provisions that extend this benefit period

Applying for State Unemployment Assistance

It is recommended that you file your claim online via the website. If you have questions you can:

  • Visit the department's COVID-19 website for up-to-date information
  • Participate in a virtual town hall to have your questions about the unemployment system addressed. There is also an opportunity to ask individual questions
  • Applicants needing additional help with filing or resolving claims can Submit a Contact Request Form Online and a representative will be in touch with you
  • Representatives are available at 617-626-6338 but given the high volume of claims that are being filed, response times are much longer than usual. Staffing is being increased to meet this need, but all filers are encouraged to use online resources when possible

Unemployment Changes in Response to Covid-19

  • All requirements for attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended
  • Deadlines missed by employers and claimants due to impacts of COVID-19 may be excused under the Department of Unemployment Assistance's good cause provision
  • Employers whose businesses are severely impacted by COVID-19 can request extensions for filing and paying unemployment contributions
  • Work-search requirements will be interpreted to allow claimants affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits
  • All appeal hearings will be held only by telephone
  • Once a claim is approved, the one-week waiting period for payments has been eliminated