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Unemployment Insurance: Massachusetts

Unemployment Insurance requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Francis P. Morley


  • Unemployment insurance is a nationwide program created to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for work. Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program based on federal law and executed through state law. See Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance.
  • Employers finance unemployment insurance with state and federal tax contributions. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) was created to finance all administrative expenses of the federal/state unemployment insurance system and the federal costs involved in providing benefits. The Massachusetts unemployment contribution is used only for the payment of regular benefits to qualified unemployed workers. See Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance.
  • Massachusetts unemployment insurance is provided under the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Most employers are subject to the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law. See Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance.
  • In addition to regular contributions required by employers, Massachusetts has additional employer contribution and/or assessment requirements, for the Employer Medical Assistance Contributions, Workforce Training and the Solvency Account. See Additional Required Contributions and Assessments.
  • Unemployment benefits are capped at 30 weeks, but are reduced to 26 weeks whenever there is a program for extended benefits. See Benefits.
  • Claimants must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.
  • Massachusetts has certain requirements for employers when a claim for unemployment benefits has been filed. There is also an appeal process and requirements when an employer disagrees with an approved claim. See Filing Claims.
  • Massachusetts has specific recordkeeping requirements for employers. See Recordkeeping Requirements.
  • Massachusetts has specific requirements regarding workplace posters and employee notification after separation. See Workplace Poster and Notification Pamphlet.
  • Massachusetts has special provisions regarding plant closings. See Plant Closings and Partial Plant Closings.
  • Massachusetts offers the WorkShare Program, a voluntary program to help employers retain a group of employees who would otherwise have been laid off. See WorkShare Program.