Massachusetts Unemployment

Most workers in Massachusetts are covered under law by the unemployment insurance program.

However, workers in the following categories are not eligible to collect benefits:

  • employees of churches and certain religious organizations;
  • worker trainees in a program administered by a non-profit or public institution;
  • real estate brokers or insurance agents who work on a commission basis only;
  • consultants working independently;
  • elected officials and those in policy-making and advisory positions;
  • and members of a legislative body, or the judiciary.

Generally, benefits are available for eligible workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own, and who are able to work and are actively looking for a job. You must also have earned at least $3,500 during a specified period of time set by law.


Find Out If You Are Eligible For Unemployment   Click this link to find out: Am I Eligible To Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Have Your Benefits Run Out?   Click this link to find out how to get an unemployment extension: Unemployment Extension

Have A Specific Question?   Click this link to get answers to all your Massachusetts unemployment questions:  Massachusetts Unemployment FAQ 

How do I file for unemployment benefits?


Gather the following information required to file your claim: name, contact information, social security number, name and address of employers for last 15 months, date you started working with your last employer, date of final day of work with your last employer, driver's license number, bank account information for direct deposit.


You must first file an unemployment claim by calling the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce TeleClaim Center at 1-877-626-6800 or you can visit an unemployment claim Walk-In Center in Massachusetts.


Once you have filed an initial claim, you can go to the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development website and access the Unemployment Insurance Benefits online claims system at

Contact Information

For customer service assistance for the following areas, please call the numbers listed:

New Extended UI benefits        888-998-8418

Unemployment claim status, general eligibility,

benefit checks, claim issues/adjudication

Expanded Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am - 6:30pm,

Saturday 8:00am - 1:30pm       617-626-6800


Workers' compensation claim status, eligibility, issues    617-727-4900


Occupational safety and health programs, including lead, asbestos, employment agency, prevailing wage617-626-6975

Employer services (revenue services, contributions)       617-626-5075

Question regarding Labor Board or laws regarding employment (State Attorney General's Office)          617-727-3465

Unemployment check status      617-626-6563

Unemployment claim wages      617-626-5039

Unemployment tax withholding (Form 1099)     617-626-5647

Interstate (moved out-of-state) unemployment claim      617-626-6140

Training Opportunities Program/Section 30       617-626-5375

Career center services, job search assistance,

recruitment and hiring    617-626-5300

Apprentice training        617-626-5409

Medical Security Program         800-908-8801

Unemployment insurance problem resolution     617-626-5400

If You Need to Contact the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development or Specific Agencies:

Division of Unemployment Assistance

for questions and issues related to Unemployment Insurance

Charles F. Hurley Building

19 Staniford Street

Boston, MA 02114

Tel: 617-626-6560

(do not include confidential information such as your social security number in your email)

Department of Industrial Accidents

for questions related to Workers' Compensation  

600 Washington Street; 7th Floor

Boston, MA 02111

Tel: 617-727-4900; 1-800-323-3249

(only Workers' Compensation calls please)

Division of Career Services

for questions and issues related to job search assistance, career services, training and One-Stop Career Centers

Charles F. Hurley Building

19 Staniford Street

Boston, MA 02114

Tel: 617-626-5300


Division of Apprentice Training

for questions related to apprentice training, sponsorship and programs

Charles F. Hurley Building

19 Staniford Street

Boston, MA 02114

Tel: 617-626-5409

Department of Labor

for questions regarding Labor issues

1 Ashburton Place

Room 2112

Boston, MA 02108

Tel: 617-626-7100

Division of Occupational Safety

for questions regarding work place safety

19 Staniford Street, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA  02114

Tel:  617-626-6975

Fax:  617-626-6944

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

for questions related to labor and workforce development, policies, workforce investment and other key issues:

One Ashburton Place

Suite 2112

Boston, MA 02108

Tel: 617-626-7122

TTY: 617-727-4404

Fax: 617-727-1090

Still Have Questions? 

Click this link to get answers to all your Massachusetts unemployment questions:  Massachusetts Unemployment FAQ

Maybe We Can Help: 

If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum


# Jonathan A. 2010-08-26 20:16
I have a question about attending college while unemployed. Also There seems to be a problem with my payments. Is there anything I can to resolve this. thank You Jonathan A.
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# matt 2010-10-04 13:45
I have been unemployed for WAY to long........over a year and a half. My company closed in March of 2008 and I have been struggling to live off of $300 a week! I have had 28 SERIOUS interviews and countless apps put in and I keep getting the same bs response, "I'm over qualified", which is getting ridiculous now! Now that I'm done venting I do have a question about my benefits. Last week when I filed my benefits I received this message

"The following message was provided to you on October 3, 2010. This information may no longer be applicable.
Our records indicate that you have no benefits remaining on this claim. If you are still unemployed after March 6, 2010 and you worked in the past 15 months, you may file a new claim"

I figured it was glitch in the system, but I received the same message yesterday when I filed and I'm not sure what it means. I mean March was 7 months ago. I cant call until Thursday. The extension I was on was for 6 weeks if that makes any difference.
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# Mary 2012-03-02 16:35
Is there a way for me to contact Matt? I have an opportunity for someone who is hard working and determined, as it sounds like he is. I understand that our emails do not show up, but if you could please forward this to him, in case he is still unemployed, I'd appreciate it!
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# linda 2010-10-06 10:52
If you were paid on a weekly basis by the same company for 10 years doing the same job as an independent contractor and were given a 1099 each year and they then say they no longer need your services can you collect unemployment benefits. This happened in Massachusetts.
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# Kirk 2010-10-19 20:40
I got let go from the company I had been with with the past 4 years. The company is based in New Hampshire, but employs several workers in Massachusetts. I live in MA and pay state taxes. It's been 4 weeks and I found out there is a problem collecting since my former company does not have an Unemployment insurance ID in Massachusetts. They were notified that they were supposed to have one so now they had to go apply for one which means at least another 2-3 weeks before I can start getting a check. Can I report them? This can't be legal.
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# Jamoe 2010-11-10 13:47
will I get another extension after my 6 week ext
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# Barbara S. 2010-11-29 13:20
Unemployed since 5/2009. I took the Medical Security form to the local Career Center to ask them some questions. I was asking the question at the reception desk, when a women came out of an office and told me she could help me. I assumed she had creditable information. Do the withdrawals I take from my IRA count as income? “You earned it, so it’s income.” It seemed correct to me. Adding the amounts up - I was not eligible. Now I find out that was not true, and should not have been included. How can I correct my mistake? Sould I go back and file all the old claims? How do I apeal this? I will soon be off unemployment too.
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# Linda R 2010-12-03 12:03
My daughter worked PT while attending college in MA during the 2008 & 2009 school years. She graduated 5/20/10 with a MSW and took a manager/therapist position at an eating disorder treatment cent in Denver, CO. beginning 6/1/10. A short time later she took her test to receive her LSW and expected to work there as a therapist with an assigned supervisor for the required 2 yrs. to get her LICSW. She developed the program she was hired to manage but never got the support after numerous promises to get the program off and running. Therefore, she has worked all this time without clients and a supervisor so it doesn't count for credit towards her LICSW. At this time she would like to quit the job and return to MA. Would she be able to file for unemployment in MA if she was not laid off? Thank you in advance for your input.
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# Jeffrey M 2010-12-13 07:56
I have been unemployed since Sept when I filed a claim. It was refiled several weeks later. I have heard nothing from Mass unemployment as to whether I will receive it or not. How do I find out what is going on? It appears to be a long wait time!
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# NJR 2010-12-21 18:32
I went for my appeal, today i went in scared very nervous the people from the former job were there. I was very honest, I sat there and listened to one person speak and he lied 2x. And this was a person that was suppose to help me at work and the person i am complaining about he stuck up for. I'm still in shock. But unemployment wants to continue my appeal to a second one is that good or bad
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# Audrey 2011-03-31 15:46
I was placed on emergency off duty status, unpaid, on Feb 16th. As there was no just cause for my employer's action I expected to be back to work within a week. A scheduled interview for Feb 28th was cancelled for unknown reasons. An interview was finally held on March 2nd. I expected a resolution but none was had. At first I wasn't sure I was eligible for UI because technically I still have a job, I'm just not getting paid. I didn't apply for benefits until I had been unpaid for a month. I thought as long as I could prove I had been unpaid since Feb 16 I would get benefits retroactive to that date. Now I've been denied the retroactive benefits and must appeal. This seems unfair. Any advice on how to handle the appeal? I am in debt and fear foreclosure. I need that money!
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# Janet 2011-08-18 13:11
I am filing for Mass Health and they need a DUA Statement showing my weekly Benefit Rate.
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# Jason 2011-09-21 18:57
Don't bother with the Medical Security Program. I was approved and even though I had all the proper paperwork, the state went out of its way to come up with any excuse not to pay me. They denied 6 months of claims totaling 2400$. 3 months of claims were denied because 1 month had my dental included and I had to provide proof of payment even though I didn't want to be reimbursed for the dental portion. The other 2 months that were included in the claim with nothing wrong were denied for no reason. I provided the state with the information they needed and the claim was denied again because it was already sent in. Same with the other months. One month was denied because I mistakenly listed June as having 31 days. It's a statewide scam because you have to take Cobra when you lose your job even if you can't afford it. You are not allowed by Massachusetts to get your own health insurance. They tell you don't worry, just apply to MSP, pay outrageous claims, and then don't get reimbursed for any of it. If you miss a Cobra payment, Massachusetts bars you from getting ANY health insurance. Blue cross has tons of money and I know have to take cash advances on my credit card to pay my rent.
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# Mikkie 2013-08-14 11:36
Did you ever get answers from this? I am still trying to deal with MSP from their negligence from 2010. Do you know others who have had problems with MSP?
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# Sandy 2011-12-26 12:12
I was laid off from my job in August 2011. I found a new job in October 2011. I took the job right away even though its over 70 miles from my house. I have a 3 hour commute each way to work so I spend 6 hours a day in the car. I am having difficulty finding care for my 2 small children because my days are so long. And I'm not getting to see my kids during the week. I jumped at the first job that was offered to me because I was afraid I wouldn't find anything else. Is there anything I can do? Can I go on unemployment until I find another position? Working 8 hrs a day in the office and then 6 hrs in the car doesn't leave me much time to search for a new opportunity while in my current position.
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# wuson 2012-01-05 14:44
How can i check my unemployment benefit history (DUA) lets say in the last 10 years? Haveing a hard time finding out, The years i claim. Any thing would help knowing or see pay stubs.
What steps i have to take? PLZ HELP ME.
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# CRAIG 2012-01-12 17:46
I have been called back to work for a couple of weeks after being layed off for a month. When they lay me off again until march or so will I have to wait another three weeks to collect?
Another question I had was how long does it take to get my alt. monetary determination? I mailed all my pay stubs as requested.
Haven't heard anything yet, going on two weeks!
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# Ben 2012-01-23 09:18
I have been waiting for over a month for an adjudicator to return my calls. I can only leave messages with my informations. I know things are busy but I have not received my checks in over a month now and can not pay my bills. I have a week before I am evicted from my apartment. I have been told all I can do is wait for her call. Can I do anything else?
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# CJ 2013-05-29 14:34
Ben, Im in the same boat with you. Im trying to find an adjudicator's phone number, or something...I KNOW they have one...does anyone know what it is?
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# Sky 2013-07-01 18:14
Contact your state reps and senate that's what I did make a huge stink and tell them you will sue the state for any losses
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# marlene 2012-02-19 20:09
my original claim was approved by DUA then my former employer requested a hearing not agreeing with the decision. i went in very nervous by immediate supervisor along with an HR rep and an attorney showed up, very upset both women not being honest about the information stating they werent told certain facts, i kept to my morals and was very honest, just recieved letter overturning the first decision qualifying me for payments. I can appeal the current decision disqualifying me, am i wasting my time since they overturned it is it basically set in stone?, also do they continue paying me weekly until the appeal process or am i at a stand still with nothing to support my family? please help with any information i would rather be working but until i find a job this feeds my family. once decision is overturned does this basically mean its not worth appealing
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# Sally 2012-03-08 12:30
I am taking an unpaid leave of absence for personal reasons from a job I've held for 19+years. My company has agreed to grant me a leave and is not terminating my employment. If I return to my employer after my leave and they no longer have a job for me, would I then be eligible for unemployment?
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# anthony c 2012-04-01 15:30
I am going for an appeal because an adjuster decided I was overpaid $1500. They want me to pay it back and are kicking me off unemployment. What happened was that I was already collecting and I took a temporary job that ended, the employer said I quit. I received benefits for 5 more weeks before they stopped it saying because I quit the temp job I can no longer collect. I didn't quit, the job was over at the holidays. Do I have any chance of winning this appeal?
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# Kate 2012-05-09 08:55
I have been battling my former employer for unemployment benefits since March 11th of 2012. Mid April I was finally found in the right and began receiving benefits. Just recently I received an appeal notification in the mail dated May 3, 2012. do they have the right to appeal at such a late time?
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# izm 2012-05-30 11:10
if i have a worker's comp settlement can i receive unemployment?
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# Andrea 2012-06-20 14:51
Hi, is a person eligible for unemployment benefits if her husband has taken a job in another state, and she will be joining him, therefore, leaving her position in MA?
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# Valerie 2012-07-11 08:35
I am currently a full time student on unemployment, approved for section 30 through mass unemployment. I was thinking of moving with my grandfather in Maine until I finished school , because it would be less expensive. Can I still collect on the section 30?
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# Tammy 2012-07-11 09:23
I got laid off in january of 2012, I am a caregiver and work for a small company. The client that I had had moved in with his family therefore leaving me out of a job.I have 3 children and I had a set overnite schedule seeing how I do not have any family or babysitters. I filed for unemployment at the request of my boss. She called me up and offered me 2 12 hour day shifts and a 12 hour weekend shift. I told her I could not do the 12 hour day shifts on the weekdays because of the kids being out of school but could do the weekend shift.She told me she wanted the same person to do all 3 shifts. I recieved a call from her husband shortly after telling me that I refused a shift therfore I am no longer elegible for unemployment told me to stop collecting which I did. Now I have a claims adjuster calling me telling me I might have to pay everything back how is this fair?
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# kris 2012-08-22 21:19
Tammy, I believ they set you up for that. The husband called? said you refused work? what? how did he know this? why would they offer shifts that they KNOW you cannot work......something is NOT right!
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# Kate 2012-08-13 22:41
I was just let go today after working with the same company for 8 years. It was because I was a manager and my store was not doing as well as last year. I have no idea where I should start... Anyone looking for someone to do administrative / secretary work?
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# Filimon 2012-10-04 11:22
I have sent my personal information to the wrong fax number while I was trying to send it, to your office. The wrong fax number is 617-626-6339, which I got by mistake when I talked to your representatives on a phone. I just want to ask you guys, what should I do now?
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# Tam 2012-10-11 18:21
I resigned from my job of 7 years because I was hired by another employer that offered me a better opportunity. The new employer sent me an offer letter, told me to give my 2 week notice at my job, and they gave me a week of vacation time in between leaving my previous job and starting with them. In that week of vacation time after I left my previous job, the new employer called me to say they apologize but a hiring freeze was placed on the position I accepted. My previous employer already filled my position and couldn't take me back. After a month of applying for hundreds of jobs to no avail, I applied for unemployment on August 13, 2012. It is now October 12, 2012 and I have not seen any money come in. My account is pending. I spend hours a day applying to jobs. I'm not sure what to do or how much longer to wait because I am strapped for cash with all the bills that I have. I currently have great credit but am afraid that will change if this takes any longer. Any suggestions?
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# JOE D 2013-01-15 13:19
Tam I was fired and the Company I worked for lied and slandered me I am out for 10 weeks and planning a Suicide this weekend Thank you Madison Security
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# ThereIsHope 2013-01-15 14:06
JOE D - I know that you are in a really dark place right now, and that you feel like there are no options for you - but I want you to know that suicide will not solve anything - and will certainly hurt the people that love and care about you. While it may not seem like it to you now, there is hope.

Please reach out to someone and talk to them about your thoughts about suicide. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 / . Call a family member or friend. I'm sending you an email - with my phone number - call me.

Things will get better; there is hope for your situation in general, and there is hope for your unemployment situation - Have you filed an unemployment appeal? Have you talked to an attorney? Have you talked to someone at the EEOC?
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# Allyb 2013-02-12 11:43
I feel evrryones pain. I was let go from my job Dec. 37, 2012. I amgoing on 6 weeks no check. I have callrd adjuster deversl times and no return call. What the hell does it take to speak to someone. My past empliyer did say I violated policy and that is an outright lie. I have all documentation that I was being bullied and worked my ass off. This was in healthcare where I have done the same job for 20 plus years. I am at the point where I am going to call Govenors office. Not that I have any fauth in politicuans. My other option is to take documentation to lawyer. I HAVE NOR YET RECEIVED A DENIAL LETTER. But who knows UE . May not have the curtesy of sending that and just leave everyone hanging. How are we to survive?
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# tina 2013-04-03 08:53
I know this seems horrible right now but I'm going through the same thing right now and It's absolutely disgusting that employers are able to get away with this type of behavior.Please try and be positive a bit longer and don't let this company or any job make you feel like this.
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# ronnie 2012-11-30 08:58
I have a question. How is it that i call the unemployment phone number on the right day(which is thursday because my s.s.n. ends in a 7) for 3 weeks in a row( thursdays and fridays) and i cant get through. I get a recorded message that says we are receiving a high volume of callers at this moment..please try again later. I sit by the phone and call every 5 minutes on these days to get through and if i dont....I have to wait until thursday to try again.( mind you one of those days was thanksgiving a week ago). There is no waiting time when you are on the phone which used to be a "your call is important to us your call will be recieved in the order you called" like a waiting time of 45 minutes or so. Now its nothing!! Just a quick...were busy hang-up and try again. Its messed-up! How is anyone supposed to get through! I recently got laid off. So i have worked! I get on the phone at 8-8:30 and try all day!! The recording is the same with no way of finding a human being to talk too. I cannot be the only one dealing with this. Frustrated and Annoyed on cape cod.
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# JOE D 2013-01-15 13:16
Ronnie this is a way for the DET keeps down claims. I had a claim denied after 8 weeks after te Employer Madison Sec Group of Lowell lied and slandered me. The claim I was working but I was not. If your Claim adjustor is Yvonne F of North Andover ask for a new Adjustor she is a Cold Uncaring Narristic Twit and will rule against you just for fun. Makes the unemployed jump thru hoops and gives the Employer all the time in the world
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# Brobs 2013-01-16 10:13
I am having the same problem. It has been a month with no payment, no letter or calls as to why....and no human being to speak to.

There are absolutely no contact emails for anyone in the organization either.


I have to speak to someone to figure out what the problem is in order to fix it.

Until then I have to wait another week to just be hung up on. It is the most frustrating "orgaization" I have ever worked with. There has to be other forms of communication with us if they refuse to speak to us or let us email them and refuse to pay us!
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# erika 2012-12-08 13:21
Almost three weeks ago i applied for unemployment, yesterday i received a letter stating that i am monetarily eligible. It also showed how much i will be getting per week including the the child credits. Some people say that doesn't necessarily mean i will be receiving money from them, can anyone clarify. I just want a yes or no answer, everything I'm finding online isn't answering my question, thank you !
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# Alicia 2012-12-11 17:38
If you have received a letter stating the amount you are eligible for, that IS the actual amount you will receive. The only way that amount will change is if you had taxes taken directly out or if you have child support obligations, etc automatically deducted.
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# JOE D 2013-01-15 13:11
wonder what is the Penalty for a Company in lying to the DET? Probally Nothing. I am suicidal by Mavis Smith or Joanne Goldstein could care less Guess it is Cost cutting at it Best

Any other Horror stories about Madison Security contact me at maybe a Class action suit
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# holly 2013-02-15 19:04
Its fri 2/15/13 nd my state was taking fri. My worker said my job had till wed to get back to her so she.can make a decition. Now its fri the day she was supposed to call me but never what? How do I know?
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# Seven 2013-07-28 12:52
My first claim ended in June of this year, and I wasn't notified. I found out when I tried to claim for the week ending and it said your claim has been suspended??? Next day I went to Boston and stood in line for an hour only to have someone tell me we're switching systems and we're having issues. Really, switch the state's unemployment system in 2 days without a failsafe and wonder why you have issues. So, people are actually sent home. I then go to my closest career source center and wait in line there as well. I finally get on a computer, but can't access my account because no one but upper mgmt knows that you only need the first 4 letters of your moms maiden name, not the whole name. Eventually, I find out I need to open a new claim. Now two weeks have passed since first trying, i'm two weeks behind and the person on the phone tells me I didn't save the application correctly so I have to fill it out again. (while taking breaks to chew her marbles). So, I fill out the application again and file for the first two weeks i missed. I'm now on week 5, no payments and when I file this time I get a message saying error: an object isn't an instance of an object. Great SAT problems. Can't submit weekly request. I wait on hold for exactly 1 hour and 27 min. I reach someone that says, i've seen that before but don't know what it means i'll give it to IT but continue to file. Oh she forgot to tell me that i can't file because the week in question is held up by the error message. I wanna shoot myself in the face. It's obvious the lack of human interaction is their attempt to break the people of MA down, so we say the hell with it. But, they've never met me.
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# Leexume 2013-08-19 17:19
Yvonne Fernandez omg the bad , the ignorant , understand adjuster I never meet she just horable always putting her own word to replace what you have told her ... We need some one to replace her soon!!! Ewwwwwww
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# Bfreddie 2013-08-19 17:27
Have been file for unemployment in ma after everything I get in to interview with Yvonne F she denied my claim have appeal it take them 5 months to get and appointment finally and adjuster call me for the appeal the pass two weeks and also call the employer the employer was unavailable so I do my appeal 2 hrs after I get a phone call said the computer was having a problem so they have to send me a date for a continue appeal have been waiting its almost 3 weeks so its take me almost 8 months I still didn't have a result on my claim I have two kids am working part time now it's just crazy I slow is the processed of unemployment in Massachusetts
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