Access to unemployment insurance benefits is vital to help residents weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout. State and federal lawmakers have recognized this need and taken unprecedented steps to strengthen and expand access to unemployment benefits for as many people as possible.
Unemployment assistance is now available to many different types of workers who may have lost their job, been laid off, furloughed, had their hours or wages reduced, or seen their income reduced as a result of this pandemic. This includes self-employed people, independent contractors, gig economy workers and others who would normally not qualify for unemployment benefits.
In general, your weekly base benefit amount is approximately 50% of your previous earnings up to a maximum of $823, plus an additional $600 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). You can receive benefits for up to 39 weeks. The typical one-week waiting period and job search requirements have been waived during this emergency.
If you worked for a company (you receive a W-2) and you were laid off, furloughed, or had your hours or wages reduced:
- Apply for regular unemployment benefits: LINK
- Guide to Massachusetts unemployment benefits: LINK
- How unemployment benefits are calculated: LINK
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor or gig economy worker (you receive a 1099) and your source of income has been reduced you may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):
If you have further questions about unemployment assistance or encounter problems in applying for benefits with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), contact the office of State Senator Jason Lewis at Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1206. We will do everything we can to help you access your benefits.
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