What To Do If You Were Recently Separated From Work

Individuals who find themselves separated from work for the first time may be unfamiliar with the unemployment insurance process. To make filing for unemployment insurance as easy as possible, please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. If you have been separated from work, you should file your initial claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment.
  2. You can file your initial claim using UI Online or by calling the TeleClaim Center.
  3. Have all your information ready before filing your claim. See Information We Need From You.
  4. If you have received severance pay upon your separation from work, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits, so it is still important to file your initial claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment. 
  5. If you were separated due to a layoff and you only worked in Massachusetts, it generally takes 2-3 weeks to process your claim.  If your reason for separation is disputed by your employer, it will take several additional weeks to collect the facts of the case and make a determination on your claim.  Once an eligibility determination is made, if you are eligible, you will receive back payments for the weeks you claimed.  You must request benefit payments while your claim is being processed, otherwise you may not be eligible to receive benefits for those weeks.  The first week of your claim for which you are eligible to receive benefits is your “waiting period”.  Massachusetts law requires this waiting period and you will not be paid benefits for that week.