Massachusetts (MA) Department of Unemployment Assistance – PUA, PEUC and LWA Extended Benefits

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While Massachusetts has started paying UI payments under the various enhanced unemployment programs, it is still behind in making retroactive payments. This is a known issue as their systems are having several technical glitches and struggling to handle the volume of claims. However the good news, per recent comments on this site, is that the number of new claims being processed has improved and more and more people are seeing some of the enhanced unemployment benefits. Please leave a comment with your question or experience to date.

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) oversees the unemployment insurance (UI) program in Massachusetts which provides temporary income assistance to eligible worker. DUA also determines and collects employer contributions to the UI program. See further details below on the newly enhanced benefits available now and how to file a claim. And per the official state UI website, they are aware of the ongoing issues people are experiencing when filing claims.

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program

The MA DUA has been approved by FEMA for the $300 weekly payment under the LWA program, which provides supplemental payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who have been unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance has already begun work on the technology requirements necessary for this program and anticipates being able to quickly deliver retroactive funds to eligible claimants for those weeks by Sept. 15. Eligible claimants currently receiving benefits do not need to take any action because the Commonwealth will automatically add LWA to their weekly benefit payment retroactive to the dates they are eligible.

As of September 14, the MA DUA has disbursed the 6th and final Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) $300 supplemental benefit to unemployment claimants in the Commonwealth. The limited additional weekly unemployment benefit to claimants under the federal LWA program went to all eligible claimants for the weeks ending 8/1/20 through 9/5/20. Approximately 461,000 standard unemployment insurance (UI) beneficiaries and 234,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beneficiaries were determined eligible for LWA during that time frame. The total amount disbursed to eligible claimants was over $1.3 billion. See more detail on the MA LWA page.

All LWA-eligible unemployment claimants in both the UI and PUA programs should receive the supplemental funding by September 15th. If a claimant has questions about eligibility or their payment status they can call the Department of Unemployment Assistance call center at 877-626-6800. The call center is open from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday, and 8 a.m–12

COVID 19 Enhanced Benefits and Payment Issues

Under the CARES act, there are three types of federal unemployment assistance now available:

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for
Unemployment benefits, for example independent contractors, and self-employed and “gig” workers.
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): provides an additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all recipients of Unemployment Insurance; retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020.
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients.

Web and/or phone issues with accessing the MA Unemployment system

Due to the volume DUA is experiencing at this time the fastest way to process a claim is online, which remains fully operational. To further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 all in-person services are currently unavailable at all Career Centers and unemployment walk-in centers across Massachusetts. If you continue to have issues filing your claim please use this contact form and a DUA agent will contact you as soon as possible.  In addition to staffing up the remote call center capabilities, the DUA contact center will likely be extending hours and including weekends in the near future.

[Update from DUA] If you need to speak to someone about your unemployment claim, you can call the MA DUA customer service department at (877) 626-6800. The call center is open from M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM & on Saturday 8AM-4PM. DUA reps continue to make call-backs for contact form requests. These calls are made until 8PM, 7 days a week. The number they will call from is 617-626-6800 – if you receive a call from that number after hours it is a DUA rep. [Other numbers could be a scam – so be careful with giving out your personal information]

Eligibility for standard Unemployment Insurance claimants who have exhausted benefits

  • Claimants who have exhausted their claim with a benefit year end date on or after 7/6/2019 are potentially eligible for PEUC.
  • PEUC offers an additional 13 weeks of benefits to individuals at their former weekly benefit amount, plus dependents, if applicable.
  • Eligible claimant will also receive the weekly FPUC ($600) up until the week ending 7/25/2020.
  • The first week a claimant can be eligible for PEUC is the week beginning 3/29/2020 and the last payable week is the week ending 12/26/2020. If you have already been claiming extended benefits through the PUA system you will not be eligible for those weeks you claimed in PUA through PEUC.
  • If the UI claim has expired, a claimant must file a new regular UI claim prior to filing for PEUC.
  • If the claimant is monetarily eligible on the new UI claim, regardless of the benefit rate amount, the claimant will receive benefits from the new claim.
  • If the claimant is not monetarily eligible on the new claim, the claimant will be eligible for PEUC on the prior claim and UI Online will automatically implement that.
  • If a claimant has been receiving regular UI benefits and those benefits are exhausted, PEUC will automatically begin, and the claimant does not have to take any further action.
  • Claimants who were receiving RED (Section 30) benefits will be automatically transferred to receive PEUC benefits.
  • PEUC is 100% federally funded. PEUC payments are subject to state and federal taxes and the claimant’s tax withholding preference will be applied.
  • PEUC payments will be offset by 50% to recover any overpayments. 

Claimants who have exhausted their regular UI and filed for PUA prior to PEUC implementation

  • Claimants who had been receiving PUA benefits will need to reopen their exhausted UI claim.
  • They will follow the same reopen procedures, however, an issue will be set up and automatically disqualify claimants for any week in which they have received PUA benefits.
  • The claimant’s PEUC weeks will start once the PUA weeks have ended, and the claimant will still be entitled to 13 weeks of PEUC.
  • If a claimant’s PUA benefit rate was lower than their regular UI benefit rate, they cannot receive the difference through PEUC. PUA and PEUC are two completely separate programs.
  • Claimants should immediately stop certifying for benefits through PUA and start requesting benefits on the regular UI claim

See more information and FAQs here.

Filing a Claim

  • PEUC benefits are now available through the standard Unemployment Insurance program in Massachusetts and can be accessed at UI online.
  • If you had exhausted your regular UI benefit but were receiving benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance you must now head to UI Online to apply and claim your weekly benefits.
woman working on a computer

If there is a problem with your claim that must be resolved before benefits can be paid, or if you have been denied benefits and are appealing the determination, you must still certify for and claim your benefits. You will receive “credit” for the weeks which you have claimed. If it is determined that you are eligible or if you win your appeal, you will be paid these benefits at a later date. If you have not claimed benefits and you win your appeal, you will not be paid for these weeks.

You will need the following information to apply:

  • Social Security Number.
  • Alien Registration Number (if you are not a US citizen).
  • Pension information (if you are receiving any pension or 401k).
  • Amount and duration of any separation pay you may be receiving.
  • Recall date (if you expect to be recalled to your job).
  • Union hiring hall information, including local number and address (if you get work through a union).
  • Military Form DD-214 (if you were in the military in the last 18 months).
  • Form SF-8 or SF-50 (if you were a federal employee).

This article was updated on September 14

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80 thoughts on “Massachusetts (MA) Department of Unemployment Assistance – PUA, PEUC and LWA Extended Benefits

  1. My benefits expire 12/1/2020 is there an extension?
    Do I have to re-apply even if i have already received an extension, am I eligible for another extension?

  2. Mitch McConnell needs to retire!!!!
    He should never be relected back to the Senate or any other office!!!!
    He is been holding up the next stimulus act for months.People arent able to pay their bills and are becoming homeless!!!!He doesn’t care about the average worker and never has!!!!!Please write and let him know how you feel!!!!!

  3. I have been waiting over 10 weeks to get my claim approved. I had to reopen my claim due to schools being remote. I was able to work during the month of August because I had childcare. I no longer have childcare. My employer failed to return the questionnaire sent to them. After several calls to HR, they finally responded to the request from DUA. I have been told that an adjuster was reviewing my application. I have sent back all requested information they asked for. I am now driving without car insurance as I was able to return to work after securing childcare once again.
    I have no idea how I am going to play catch-up on all of my bills.
    Since returning to work my hours have been cut for this week after working 2 solid weeks in a row.
    Now I am not sure if I should reopen my claim again due to the lack of my part-time hours.
    This situation has caused a great deal of stress as it has do many others.
    Does anyone know how long an adjuster can take to make a decision and do they have a timeline once they start to review a claim?
    Desperate for answers.

  4. I just filed my pua claim yesterday it was processed and my weeks are saying processing. Are my payments going to come even though I haven’t uploaded my documents yet?

  5. I been waiting for my Aprovel for almost 10 weeks noone to help get it approved how can I get help this is ridiculous!!

  6. Finally got my $1800 from the LWA!!!!!
    Had to wait 10 days to get but it finally went through!!!!THANK GOD!!!!

  7. Does anyone know the phone number I can call to claim my pua benefits I lost my phone and when I try to log in from my mom’s phone theybwant to make sure its me and are sending codes to my phone which is broke I need a phone number to call and it isnt the reg unemployment number

  8. Deb from Massachusetts. Have yet to received $300 lost wage supplement. Was told I qualify and eligible from 08/01/2020-09/05/2020. Told to please be patient. Glitches in system. Still waiting. It’s now Sep 23rd. Go figure.

  9. Its Sept.23 and still no LWA payment. I dont understand what is going on with DUA.I guess its typical for Massachusetts!!!!I guess they think i dont have bills to pay.Sad!!!!

  10. I just received the retroactive $300 per week for the last 6 weeks I’ve been furloughed, but I wasn’t getting at least $100 per week from unemployment, so shouldn’t I have been ineligible?? I was getting only $68 per week ($80 before taxes). I mean it’s fantastic, but I’m afraid they’re just going to take it back. Is there something I’m understanding wrong here? Shouldn’t I be ineligible??

  11. I’m on peuc and still haven’t received the lwa and its Sept.17!!!!!!!
    One week left on peuc.

    1. Same here i been on unemployment since end of March still have 2 weeks left to go and I have yet to receive the extra $300 a week

        1. Im in ny and my 300$ still hasn’t hit my account it was processed yesterday it’s really getting my tight right now !!! Ughhh

        2. I still haven’t received anything either and I’ve called twice, and was told I was I was eligible((Massachusetts) anyone know why I haven’t received it?

    1. my unemployment
      13 week extension ended Aug 16 and I was wondering if I would be getting 3 weeks retro. yesterday I got an email to call A number and verify that I was still unemployed. I did that and
      this morning I can see 3 weeks of the 300 retroactive going into my account so you should see something soon.

    2. I called today and they said be patience the volume is very high and would be in account shortly! This was MA

  12. Hello I’m in ny state I’m just worried lien everyone else and struggling I see the lwa has stated to pay out the 3 weeks but it says it is the week of September 14th I claim on a Sunday does that mean I’m going to get mine today at the same time as the regular unemployment I get every week

  13. I just saw that I will get the 300.00 a week and it will be retro to when it started. BUT I just checked and for this past week it dropped to just my regular benefit….any ideas why?

  14. Hi me and my wife both collect regular unemployment
    In MA. Her UI account shows $1800
    Will be deposited on the 15th
    But my online account only shows my regular weekly payment. I have been collecting for 6 weeks and my weekly amount is 620 dollars
    Im really confused why im not getting the 300 retro
    Thanks Peter

    1. The exact same thing happened to me.
      My wife got the LWA assistance and I am still only receiving my regular unemployment benefits and we are both eligible?
      Its very misleading and confusing.
      I guy they say you have to certify that your unemployed because of covid 19 in some way shape or form..but Massachusetts doesn’t say that anywhere on the website..and my wife didn’t certify and was never asked to but got her money..its confusing and completely disorganized.

      1. Regular ui claimants will probably receive the retro 6weeks of the 300$payment tlhis week the pua claimants received the 300$ 3 weeks ago i received 900 on a with my nomral check on a tues then
        The following week i received my weekly check on tues an then 600$ following day on wed . then last week the 300 was received on Monday an my weekly check on tues. Its came differently but i did read ui claimants will be receiving their 300$ along with retro in the week ending sept15 or 18 forget which day

      2. Im in MA UI claimants. Took longer then PUA claimants it is very confusing. Because when i recived the 900$ they had already paid me 5 weeks of weekly claims an they should of added the other 2 weeks with 900$

        1. Just checked mine (MA) $1800 on Tuesday, finally! It will come ….Thank you Mr Donald J Trump he’s for the working people, and if anyone votes Biden good luck!

  15. Hello everyone who is in the same, totally unacceptable, situation I am in. I called the UI office today (09/12/20)and they told me I was all set to receive the LWA money retroactively. They told me to be patient, which just like all of you I/we have been. I, just like all of you, are left standing empty handed and stressed out beyond any reasonable level. Our leader, the Governor, just complained too long and took action to late. All we can do is wait, like they told me todo. I guess this is what happens when we get tricked into voting for professional politicians instead of strong leaders they presented themselves as. I guess this is what happens when you are receiving a quarter of a million dollar salary ( including very generous perks) from our tax dollars. If you don’t believe me google it the article is in the Herald, it will make sick and all we want is a measly $300 a week from the federal government it’s not even his. How are we supposed to take this. You decide. Anyway I pray next week we receive this token assistance . Meanwhile let’s hope the children in Washington stop throwing sand at each other and actually help us like they are elected to do and not protect their privilege life style they also have become used to. God bless all of you who are suffering to no fault of your own.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I finally will be getting my LWA this week according to the deposit record. Easy for me to say ‘be patient’ but if I got mine I can’t help but think you will all receive your extra benefits as well. I hope it’s sooner rather than later! Take care!

      1. Hi Pat thanks for the update. I also just checked my UI online account and it now shows an$1800 deposit dated for 09/15/20, so any body who is in the same boat as Pat and me check your account on line. Everyone say “thanks Pat” for letting us know “ good looking out bro.” God bless everyone and good luck.

    2. i think they are updating the system a few times daily. i am in the same situation, regular ui and everybody I know got the additional 1800 added for deposit on 9/15, except me. i think its just behind, there could be no reason why I would not be eligible. i get well over 100 per week.

  16. I have a question, I was unemployed in August. I was fortunate to get a job in September. Will I automatically get the retro payment for august or do I need to apply for it?

  17. I’m glad people are getting the $300 and the retroactive to it but I have yet to get any of this. I know they said by the 15th but it’s now the 11th and I dont think they will distribute any funds over the weekend. My unemployment amount is very low and I have been waiting patiently for this but it’s getting tuff. Have anyone else not got theres?

    1. We have not received any of the back money from the $300 and to fall inline I also know it says the 15th but today is the 12th and nothing yet. It is very concerning for us to be able to take care of our bills.

      1. Hi Danielle go check you on line UI account you should see an amount for you dated 09/15/20. Good luck

  18. I’m on the peuc 1.0 and have not gobthe lwa money yet and wondering if anyone has got paid yet thbaaks?6

    1. I haven’t rec’d mine either. I was told today by the DUI that I’m not on the PUA list even though I lost my job due to my location closing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. When I called today after telling me I wasn’t getting it they transferred me back to DUI supposedly so I could explain to them that I was indeed entitled to LWA through PUA. I was on-hold and then disconnected.
      I would still be working if it wasn’t for the pandemic and now I’m just basically screwed!

  19. Was wondering if I’m getting the puec right now am I still able to get the LWA retro of 900$ and if so anyone know when we should be expecting?

  20. I am collecting regular UI unemployment. I do not understand why PUA recipients have been paid and the rest of us still have no idea if this is going to happen. Why can’t they just pay us the stress is unbearable. I like all the other people, that’s right Mr. Baker we are people, need this bit of money for food and medicine. It seems like there is another agenda here. Please advise we all need to know. Thank you very much.

    1. I am a PUA recipient and I have NOT been paid the additional $300. Don’t know what the hold up is—I just checked online and it is still NOT coming with this weeks payment…? When I hear that others have already been paid it makes me think there is a screw up somewhere and how long before they figure it out? How many bills will stack up in the meantime?

      1. Check your bank account and it’s dependent on when the states push the money out my payments did NOT show on my PUA account it showed up in my bank no notice of the payments at all the only proof I have is literally my bank statement it’s weird also the PUA STATES at the top of the website that 300 extra will be available until they run out of funds maybe they already did they never promised us all that I’m still missing 3 weeks

    2. what the difference between UI unemployment and PÚA? I’m getting UI but this is my last week can i still extend for the 13 weeks?

      1. Hi Morena I am in Massachusetts and I am in the same boat. Only 2 weeks left. I have called several times and they all tell me it will kick in automatically. I am disgusted with the total lack of information/ direction the Governor’s office is not providing. I hope in three weeks from now I have positive information. All so I have not seen the LWA money either I like you do not understand this unacceptable delay. Good luck & God bless.

        1. my UI ended sep 1st.. that’s including the extended 13 weeks of benefits..all together, roughly 6 months of regualr UI weeks paid. I was collecting the last of my weeks checks on the dates that the LWA is for..IE: 8/1… and the following two weeks. IDK off I’m eligible for these retro weeks because my cousin had ended. Died anyone know If i will see this money or because my claim ended, I won’t? I know it’s supposed to be simple, but it’s all so confusing… mainly due to lack of info I can get directly related to my issues! soo frustrating!

        2. it will kick in, you do nothing. you do not need to speak with them.

        1. Did you have to answer any questions , on last week of unemployment, where did you find it on your website?

  21. I was wondering when I would receive the back pay for Aug1,8,15th I have the DUA prepaid debit card.. I know that people with regular bank accounts have received the $900 in mass..when will the deposit go in for the debit card account with DUA

  22. I just received 3 of the $300 retroactive payments for PUA. It’s September 3rd though and I thought this was supposed to be retro payments all the way back to the 26th of July. Should I have gotten 5 payments of 300 each? At least the system is catching up but I wasn’t notified of this via the mass PUA website it doesn’t show anything at all under my paenta history I just happened to check my account and half the money was there in 3 separate payments. Weird…. so no records to show they’re not giving out all the payments just some

    1. Only 3 weeks – Aug 1st, 8th and 15th have currently been approved by FEMA for all states. FEMA will review after Sep 10th (when the application close date) and then provide week by week funding to states subject to funding availability.

      1. Oh okay, I see now. I really wish the state schools were going back at the same time and not left up to the districts.. my daughter is 5, kindergarten to start whenever that is.. so I have literally zero option to work! My only income is the 267$ a week right now, and those 3 payments. I also have a one year old whom has nowhere to be cared for during the day slots were limited before Covid now that we are in a pandemic theres nowhere with even waitlists around here they’re so full or not open… I don’t know how much more of this I can take. My daughters potential kindergarten school I was going to register her at, just halted openings until JANUARY!

    2. Hi I am just wondering if you can tell me if you received the $300 payments separate or if it was a $900 deposit, and if it came with your regular benefit or on a separate day? I am waiting to receive something and it is very stressful

  23. Hi I’m wondering what exact date are the list wages assistance program going to deposit the funds to my account it’s been 4 going on fifth filing week for me with only unemployment not able to maintain pay bills fully and buy food I need the extra boost to basically survive and the struggle is getting very hard please deposit my retroactive weeks I really need them bad my family deserves better than this the covid has impacted us in so many ways unreal I’m just asking that the system required to update my account kick in deposit soon as possible we are in dire need

    1. I am in the same position just waiting and praying each day something will come, so far I dont see anything.

  24. Hi everyone I live in mas I had the problem most of you had my pua unemployment had stop for like 2 week no money was coming in.I finally got tier of waiting and call I got lucky and got thru I ask why has my claim stop ? I haven’t received no payment she said they was alot of scams that there was people doing identity theft and that had lose 2.5 million dollars in payments because of the short staffing of the virus the computer was given out money to who had any information of any identity theft that had stolen from other people and pre paid card to deposit the money it was a easy theft because there was nobody there to monitor the system. She had said for me to start getting my payments again I had to prove that I was the person that was claiming the benefits .I ask so how you want me to prove it do I fax my document?she said no I’m going to send a link on you profile where you claim your benefits from there send us 3 pic one of your I D next to my face two prove of my address and social security card and sumit . I ask how long will it take for the payment to start again she said from 10 to 15 working day .just like she said on the 15th day my payments came .I hope this help to those that worry and need money the phone number is on the profile on top where you see a face next to it is a ? Mark click on it and you see the contact number if you think that they are taking to long on the phone when you call. you can also have a option to have them text you back and you could speak to them by text I did both because I thought 15 day was to long so I kept calling back upto I made sure some one told me what was going on with my claim..I hope this help anybody God Bless..l

  25. I had received the 13 weeks extension but after 8 weeks of receiving the unemployment money my unemployment date expired so I am not able to request anymore benefits. I called unemployment a couple of times and did get through only to get disconnected both times when they transfer me to Tier 2 staff…..
    before being transferred the woman told me that I can apply for PUA for the rest of the weeks. the problem is when I try to certify, the primary reason would be to continue my extension but there is no option for that. I can’t choose anything else because none of them apply to me. the woman said many people are running into my situation and her supervisor was going to report it so the system code could be updated with this situation. It still hasn’t been updated so I am still waiting…. .anyone else having this issue?

  26. Hi my name is cheryl
    This will make my 7th week of filing and not receiving anything. Payments were coming and then just stopped at “pending.” I’ve called but got no reason why. Will I get payment soon , I’ve heard that Massachusetts has a lot of people in the same boat. What is going on? We need the money and should be told. I’ve sent in copies of id”s, etc. Which was verified they received. Please advise on what to do or what’s going on. Thank you very much. Cheryl Brochu

    1. Hi Cheryl. How did you upload your Id’s? We have been requesting a fact finder form to send the pictures electronically and they still have not responded. Have not received a payment (since payments came to a hault) since May 16th

  27. I received two payment then it stopped it has been a month next wen. Will be 5 weeks no check and no one can tell me anything contact your state rep. If enough people call maybe they will do something this is crazy now

  28. I am John from MA and for 3 weeks i haven’t been receiving my unemployment payments. My claims have been saying that they’re processing. i still haven’t received the money.

    1. I’m going through the same thing. Stuck on processing for three weeks and every time I call PUA I either don’t get through, get disconnected, or I’m told I just need to wait it out. Super frustrating considering I have bills to pay and a newborn.

  29. I AM DENISE FROM MA I HAVE NOT RECEIVE ANY SINCE CAN ANY ONE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON IN MA WHY ARE THEY NOT PAYING AGAIN , STILL ON PROCESSING FOR SOME WEEKS NOW PLEASE ASSIST ME WITH THE NUMBER I CAN REACH THEM THANK

    1. I was told two different things when I called and FINALLY got through. One guy said it was because of the scam that was going they had to go through everyone’s claims. Another guy told me that it was because on Memorial Day their systems went down and they were entering in everyone’s information manually. So I’m not sure which one it is but it’s really annoying. I’m on three weeks of processing with no solid answers! I’m getting sick of calling every day, multiple times a day, and waiting on the phone for hours for nothing.

  30. hi my name is Dwayne,
    I would like to say that I just started receiving unemployment paymenrt 5/24/2020, I applied in August 8,2019. Am I gonna receive retroactive payments dating back to 4/21/2020? I also would like to talk to someone and ask why my regular amount is so low?

  31. I wasn’t eligible for regular for unemployment so i applied For pua now i got a notice stating my claim went through for regular unemployment and they have the nerve to pay me less weekly which doesn’t make sense to me

    1. pua pays out a standard rate while reg unemploment pays according to what you paid in

  32. I have been UI for few months, and also am now receiving the extra 600. The first 600 payment I got was 4/21. Im also wondering where my 600 payment is for the 2 weeks prior to that.

  33. I have been receiving PUA plus the additional $600 weekly. However, the PUA amount is only the minimum. What is the status of retroactive payments to those of us who should be receiving more than the minimum?

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