MA Unemployment Insurance Updates

April 23, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

These are tough times right now, but we’re behind you every step of the way. Our top priority to to be here for our members and your families, and provide you the latest updates in the weeks ahead.

Please review the below materials for important information from the Massachusetts AFL-CIO regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). If you have any questions, please contact the Union at (781) 848-3740.

We’re going to continue standing together and standing, as one Union.

In Solidarity,

Craig Pinkham
Business Manager
Utility Workers Local 369

Updates on UI in Massachusetts

Under the new federal CARES Act, workers who are not normally eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), or who have exhausted their current UI benefits, may apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

If you get Unemployment Insurance now, you do not have to do anything different. Just keep re-certifying each week.  If you become unemployed and believe you are eligible for regular UI benefits, you should still apply through the Department of Unemployment Assistance. For every week you were unemployed since March 29 you should get an extra $600/week until July 25th through the federal CARES Act.

Massachusetts rules provide you with 26 weeks of regular UI benefits, plus another 13 weeks currently available through the CARES Act, for a total of 39 weeks. If you exhausted your yearly UI benefits at any point after 7/1/19, you should apply for PUA benefits immediately. If you exhaust your 26 weeks of UI benefits in the coming weeks or months, you should receive an additional 13 weeks automatically. If you do not receive these weeks automatically, file for PUA right away. You will be eligible for up to 13 weeks of PUA until December 26, 2020.

Under PUA you will be eligible for a minimum of $868/week  $268 minimum PUA + the extra $600 through 7/25/20. Once income information is supplied and verified the $268 can go up as high as $823 plus dependency allowance.

Additional Resources for Union Members: