You can apply for benefits in person, or on the phone. To apply in person, you can go to one of the 15 Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) walk-in offices in Massachusetts. Unemployment Insurance Walk-In Centers.
To apply over the phone, call 1-617-626-6800 or 1-877-626-6800. You can apply by phone, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You cannot apply on the Internet, at this time.
After you apply, the DUA will mail you their decision. This letter will tell you if the DUA has decided to give you benefits or not. Save this letter! If the DUA says you cannot get benefits, you will need information from the letter to ask them to look at your case more carefully. See What if I cannot get Unemployment Insurance?
After you file you have to “certify” your work search every week. You also need to “certify” any earnings. You need to start “certifying” one week after you file.
If DUA denies your application, keep reporting while you are appealing. If you win your appeal you can get benefits back to your “file date”.
You can “certify” by phone (617-626-6338 or 877-626-6800) or use WebCert, www.mass.gov/dua/webcert.
DUA requires that you:
- make a minimum of three work search contacts each week you get benefits;
- keep a log of these work search contacts; and
- provide this log to DUA if they ask.
See a sample work search log.
DUA is busy. It sometimes takes several weeks to get a decision on your benefits. If you have waited more than two weeks, call the problem resolution line:
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DUA has to give you an “orientation” in the 15 days after you file. They must let you know:
- who can get benefits,
- what you have to do to get and keep benefits,
- how long the application process should take, and
- about health insurance and training benefits. (G.L. c. 151A, § 62A(c)).
If DUA did not give you this “orientation”, call 617-626-5400.
If you are still having problems getting a decision from the DUA, you might try calling your state representative or senator. They can sometimes make a call on your behalf, which might help get the agency’s attention. To find out who your representative and senator are, go to www.wheredoivotema.com.
What if I have other problems?
Call the problem resolution line, 617-626-5400. You can also Find Legal Aid.