INFORMATION FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19

Information provided to assist those whom recently
suffered a job loss due to COVID-19.

Steps to take to file an unemployment claim

  • First, ask your employer if you are eligible for newly enacted leave and pay benefits, provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • To apply for unemployment compensation, contact the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. To apply over the phone, call 617-626-6800 or 877-626-6800. You can also apply online at www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits
  • See the Department of Unemployment Assistance Coronavirus Unemployment Handbook here.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

The State is considering legislation to waive the 1 week waiting period for applicants who are displaced by the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Benefits may be available to a worker who is out of work due to temporary shutdown of work, lay off, quarantine or an order to stay home.

If you are out of work for coronavirus (COVID-19) related reasons, and you are a full time employee of an eligible employer and

  • you are sick with coronavirus or have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis, or
  • you are unable to work because you are quarantined, or
  • you are caring for a person diagnosed with coronavirus or subject to quarantine, or
  • you are caring for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

You may be entitled to paid sick leave.

If you are sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis or you are unable to work because you are quarantined, you may be eligible for two weeks (or 10 work days or up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of your pay from your employer. 
If you are caring for a person diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or subject to quarantine, or you are caring for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19),  you may be eligible for two weeks (or 10 work days or up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 of your pay from your employer.

This is paid leave in addition to paid time off or leave which your employer provides. Part time workers are eligible for benefits under the new law. The law becomes effective April 2, 2020.




If you are unable to work (including to telework) because you must care for your child (who is under 18 years of age) whose school has closed due to the coronavirus public health emergency, you may be entitled to expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

List of Essential Businesses

For up to date information regarding the list of essential businesses, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services?n

Baker-Polito Administration Temporarily Prohibits Utility Shutoffs to Protect Massachusetts Ratepayers

The Baker-Polito Administration announced further action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced further action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak, directing the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to issue an Order prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until the State of Emergency is lifted or the DPU determines otherwise.

The announcement builds upon the DPU’s March 13 moratorium requesting utility companies refrain from shutting off gas and electric service to residents across the Commonwealth. The new order will expand the moratorium to include any investor-owned utility customers, including industrial, commercial, and small business customers, during the State of Emergency.

“Protecting the health and safety of Massachusetts residents remains the Baker-Polito Administration’s highest priority, and this order will ensure the continued availability of gas, electric, and water service to all ratepayers during the state of emergency,”  said DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson. “Today’s action will also protect residents and businesses from added economic pressure during these difficult and uncertain times.”

The Order also prohibits investor-owned utility companies from sending communications that threaten to shut off gas, electric, or water service to any of their customers for failure to pay a bill or any portion of a bill the Companies issued to a customer. Any company that fails to comply with these orders may be assessed penalties of up to $1 million per violation.

Additionally, on March 13, the DPU formally requested that that residential competitive electricity suppliers and licensed electricity brokers cease door-to-door marketing activities to ensure that proper risk management protocols have been taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, prioritizing the health and safety of both consumers and any agents conducting marketing efforts.


Mass.Gov