As of August 2011, about 7.4 percent of residents in Massachusetts were unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help these people pay their bills and support their households, Massachusetts offers unemployment benefits paid weekly. The Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the state's unemployment program.
Massachusetts imposes a mandatory waiting period on all unemployment benefits, meaning that after you file an initial claim, you must wait for one week before receiving benefits. After the first week waiting period, eligible residents receive unemployment checks each week, provided that they certify their eligibility each week. Unemployment benefits in Massachusetts are available for up to 30 weeks. How long you receive unemployment benefits in the state varies based on how much you earned during the 15 months prior to when you lost your job.
To begin receiving unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, you must file an initial claim by calling the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development's unemployment hotline or appearing in person at one of the department's offices. The representative that you speak with will ask you questions regarding your identifying information. You will also need to provide a detailed work history for the past 15 months. In addition, you will need all of the full names and Social Security numbers for your dependent children. After the initial signup, the department will review your information and determine whether you are eligible for a claim. You will receive unemployment benefits a week after the department approves your claim.
After the approval for your initial claim for unemployment in Massachusetts, you will need to certify your eligibility each week to receive your payment. You can certify your eligibility by calling the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development's unemployment hotline or by using an online system called WebCert. Both systems ask questions about whether you looked for work during the previous week. You must also attest that you were not sick or injured during the previous week and unable to work because of it.
Although the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development issues unemployment benefits checks each week, the U.S. Postal Service may cause delays in delivering your check. Signing up for an electronic direct deposit into your savings or checking account ensures that you will receive your benefits on the same day each week. You can sign up for direct deposit for your unemployment benefits online or by telephone. Once you sign up, it will take nine days before your direct deposit begins, meaning that you will typically receive one more weekly paper check before the electronics deposits start.