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File for Unemployment Benefits
If you have lost your job or your hours have been significantly reduced, you should file for unemployment immediately. Waiting longer may cause your first benefit payment to be delayed. The fastest and easiest way to apply for unemployment benefits is online, but you can also apply over the phone. Once you file for unemployment, each of the employers listed on your claim has 10 days to verify your wage and job separation information. Once your information has been verified, the DUA determines how much compensation you can receive each week and how long you can receive it for.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
To effectively file for unemployment online, follow these steps:
- Have your information ready
- Go to UI Online between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., 7 days a week
- If you do not have a computer, go to your library or a One-Stop Career Center to use a public computer for free
- Enter your Social Security Number.
- Create a password and a security question with answer
- Answer all questions completely and honestly
- Dial the number for your calling area, then select 2 to file a new unemployment claim
- Select your language
- Press 1 to file a new claim
- If you need customer assistance, press 4
- Listen carefully to the prompts and use the touch tone keypad or say your answers to questions accurately and completely
- Continue responding to prompts and questions until you receive voice confirmation that your claim has been filed
- Write down your confirmation information for your records.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
Have the following documents and information with you when filing for unemployment benefits:
- Social Security Number
- Address, phone number, email
- Names and addresses of all employers from the past 15 months
- Dates of employment
- Names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of all dependents you will claim as dependents*
- If you served in the military within the last 18 months – form DD-214, member 4
- If you worked for the federal government within the past 18 months – form SF-8 and/or SF-50
- If you are not a U.S. citizen – your Alien Registration Number, work visa, or other verification that proves you are legally allowed to work in the U.S.
- Bank account and routing number if you would like to receive benefits through direct deposit
*Claiming children you support financially as dependents when filing for unemployment may increase your benefit amount up to $25 per week for each child as well as up to 50 percent of your Weekly Benefit Amount.
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Claim Weekly Benefits
You must file a claim each week you wish to receive unemployment benefits. To continue receiving benefits, you must verify that you are still unemployed, or your work hours have remained the same, and that your conditions have not changed. You must report any changes immediately.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
You can claim your weekly benefit beginning on Sunday of each week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week by logging in to your UI account online or calling the DUA TeleCert. Report your gross wages and any other income for the previous week, including Social Security Income (Sunday through Saturday), even if you haven’t been paid yet. You will receive a confirmation message when your claim is complete.
If you don’t claim benefits for two weeks or more in a row, you can re-activate your benefits by logging into your online account, or by calling the TeleCert or TeleClaim Center.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
You have the right to dispute a denied claim, benefit amount or maximum period by requesting an official hearing. You could be denied benefits if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements or if information you provide is disputed. Some reasons in which you may be denied unemployment compensation include:
- Inaccurate reporting of hours or dates worked for an employer
- Not reporting income
- Not reporting work while you are receiving benefits
Deliberate misrepresentation or withholding of information is a serious offence and constitutes unemployment fraud. Fraud is punishable by jail time, fines or both. The DUA has several methods by which they verify income and work information, so be honest and provide only accurate and complete information to continue receiving benefits and avoid possible prosecution.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
If your claim for unemployment benefits is denied, you will be mailed a Notice of Disqualification along with information on how to file an appeal. You must file your appeal online or via written request within 10 calendar days of the mailing date on the notice. If you’re still unemployed while you wait for your hearing, you should continue filing for weekly benefits so you can receive those payments if the appeal is determined in your favor.
When you appeal a denied claim, you will be mailed a written notice stating your hearing date and time. Your hearing will be conducted by a Review Examiner, either in person or on the phone. You are not required to have an attorney, but you may choose to have representation. You can request compensation for attorney fees, but your attorney must get approval from the DUA or Board of Reviews for fee reimbursement prior to billing you for services. You may also call witnesses and present documentation to back up your claim. After the hearing, the Review Examiner will issue a decision in writing based on the information presented at the hearing.
If the Review Examiner denies your appeal, you have 30 days to file a second appeal with the Board of Review. You can use the appeals form provided after your first hearing, or you can file an appeal through your online account. If the Board of Review accepts the appeal, it will use information from the first appeal to make a decision (including the recorded hearing). The Board of Review may ask for more information or documentation from the Review Examiner. If the Board of Review rejects the appeal, you can appeal to the District Court. Instructions about how to appeal the District Court will be provided by the Board of Review.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
7 days a week, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978:
All other area codes:
Hearings Main Lines:
Boston - 617-626-5200
Lawrence - 978-738-4400
Brockton - 508-894-4777
Springfield - 413-452-4700
Board of Review
C.F. Hurley Building
19 Staniford Street, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Tel. (617) 626-6400
Fax (617) 727-5874
Approval for Fees:
DUA Director’s Suite, 3rd Floor
Fee Approval Requests
19 Staniford St.
Boston, MA 02114
Board of Review
Department of Unemployment
Board of Review, 4th Floor
19 Staniford St.
Boston, MA 02114