COVID-19 & Unemployment Insurance Benefits


Author: Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Spanish version: here

COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

ALERT: The recent federal CARES law provides $600 additional unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and 13 extra weeks to everyone getting UI. It also provides UI to workers who are self-employed, independent contractors, used up UI, or earned too little to get regular UI. These benefits are not yet available and DUA is awaiting information from the federal government about when they will begin. If you are in one of these categories, you should wait to apply until DUA can process these claims. For more information and updates about UI and COVID-19, see the website for the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA):

Contact DUA and apply for unemployment insurance (UI) if:

  • Your employer shut down because of the coronavirus.

  • Your employer reduced your work hours for any reason, including the coronavirus.

  • Your employer has laid you off temporarily and said you can return when business picks up.

  • You have been quarantined by a medical professional, government order or your employer, and your employer:

  • told you to return after the period of quarantine, or

  • has not told you anything.

  • Your employer, medical professional or government order told you to "self-quarantine."

  • You have to be home to care for a family or household member who has been quarantined or who is sick.