Due to our present call volume and workload related to COVID-19 unemployment claims processing, we are temporarily suspending the opening or reopening of unemployment claims via the Mass Claims spreadsheet. However, employers should continue to report a layoff on the spreadsheet as outlined on this web page in accordance with Employment Security Board Rule 9.
If you or your workers need to file a claim for unemployment benefits, please CLICK HERE, or call one of the following Initial Claims lines:
- 1-877-214-3330 (available Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m)
- 1-888-807-7072 (Monday – Friday, only, 8:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
The Mass Claims Program allows employers who are experiencing a slowdown in business, or a temporary/permanent layoff for a group of 10 or more employees, to open claims for the affected employees.
It is essential that employers submit the necessary paperwork five business days prior to the Friday before the employees are laid off or working less than 35 hours. Late additions submitted by the employer will not be opened retroactively.
This process has employers report separation pay such as vacation pay, severance pay, and wages in lieu of notice.
The employer’s responsibility would be to fill out the Mass Layoff Template Spreadsheet below providing specific employee’s information which includes but is not limited to:
- Employee’s social security number
- Legal name
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Start date
- Last physical day of work
- Return to work date; and
- Any separation pay the employee receives
If the employee has an open, valid claim, the Department will reopen the claim entering the most recent employment information.
If the employee has never filed before or has an expired claim, they will need to fill out an “Application for Unemployment” otherwise known as a “B65.” This application, completed and signed by the employee, allows the Department of Labor to open the initial claim.
Employees/claimants will be responsible for filing their weekly claims and reporting any hours worked and wages earned.
If the employees have a return to work date that is within 10-weeks of opening their claim, they will not be required to seek new employment; however, they must remain available to accept any suitable work offered, even if this offer does not come from your company.
If claimants have questions about being Able and Available to work, they should be advised to call Claimant Assistance at 1-877-214-3332.
If they have a return to work date that is greater than 10-weeks of opening their claim, they will be required to seek employment and file their claims online entering their work search contacts. If the claimant’s return to work date changes, the employer must update the return to work date using the online application available in “Employer Online Services”. They will have six days to file a weekly claim after the week ends on Saturday.
Failure on the claimant’s part to file a weekly claim timely may result in a denial of benefits for such week.
An unemployment claim becomes effective when the claim is opened by the Department of Labor and will not be applied retroactively.