Anyone in MA collecting unemployment?


10 Years
Jun 19, 2009
Holland, Massachusetts
Hi, I have to rant because my last nerve is fried. My husband was out of work for many months and collecting unemployment in Massachuseets. Everything was status quo until January 2010. The first week in January when he did not get paid per usual he went to the unemployment office, where they told him he would be getting paid by the federal extension of benefits program. 3 weeks worth of checks mailed out at one time. Then 3 weeks later we got the next batch of checks. It's a long time to go in between payments. Now, it has been 6 weeks and nothing! Of course my husband is still eligible for that money and no, his benefits did not run out. The Mass department of Labor and workforce developement has been "updating" their system to include the federal payments. In the meantime no one is getting paid. Am I alone or are others in the same boat with me here in MA? I don't want this thread to be a poitical debate about how much the system stinks, I am just looking for others who may have the same trouble and see if anyone knows anything about what's going on at the unemployment office in MA.
I am desperately looking for answers. And anyone in MA can tell you that you can not pick up the phone and call unemployment. It is all automated, or you can only call certain days, or the phone lines are buisy and you can't get through at all. When you go to the local unemployment office they blame everything on Boston, and say the main office in Boston needs to fix the problems.

So, anyone have any answers or any relevent info?
I have not heard anyone yet got their unemployment stopped but they were forwarned that there will be NO extended benefits for them after 70 weeks of unemployment benefits. We ARE broke as a state.

I do not know why there is such a gap or length in time between. I forsee some hard times coming up.
My husband's benefits were not cut off. They have been delayed because they are updating the system to include the payments from the Federal Gov. In the meantime the unemployment office keeps saying "payments should be made by 2/12/10. Due to delays in updating the system payments will resume 2/21/10. We are still working on updating the system. If you do not recieve payment by 2/26/10 please call 1-800 blah blah blah. So the money is there somewhere, they are just not in a hurry to pay out.
Is the state out of money? Or is his employer out of money to pay for unemployment benefits? I know employers have to contribute to the unemployment piggy banks.

At any case, keep calling them and get the questions answered pronto. I am sure they HAVE to tell you what it is by the fed employees. If there is definately NO answer, something going to have to to supervisors or anyone higher up until they give you the answer why it was delayed.
This is a copy of an old article from the Boston Globe:
Locals on unemployment will need to wait till Dec. 15 to tap into extended benefits
November 30, 2009 03:40 PM E-mail| |Comments (22)| Text size – + By Robert Gavin, Globe Staff

An estimated 20,000 Massachusetts workers who exhausted unemployment benefits in recent weeks will have to wait until Dec. 15 to tap into a recently approved federal extension, state officials said.

That wait, however, is not as long as it could have been as the state reprograms its unemployment insurance computer system to incorporate the new extension, a process that won't be completed until mid-January, state officials said. The state will issue interim checks, based on estimates of unemployment benefits, on Dec. 15 and Jan. 5. Regular weekly checks will resume around January 15.

"We appreciate that people are anxious to get these checks,'' said Suzanne Bump, state secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. "We are trying to be as creative as possible to avoid the wait until mid-January."

Each time Congress enacts an extension, the state must rewrite some 300 separate programs that screen for eligibility, account for payments, recalculate benefits and incorporate other legal changes. The reprogramming takes six to eight weeks, plus another week for testing. State labor officials said they can't begin reprogramming the system until legislation is enacted because provisions can change until then.

The law went into effect on Nov. 8, with benefits beginning the week of Nov. 14. The Dec. 15 check will include the first four weeks of benefits under the extension. The Jan. 5 check will cover the subsequent three weeks.

The interim checks will be based on estimates, so subsequent checks may have to be adjusted to account for any overpayments or underpayments, state labor officials said.

The latest federal extension of up to 20 weeks applies to workers who have exhausted benefits since the end of August. About 20,000 workers exhausted benefits since then, according to state labor officials. An estimated 23,000 additional workers will exhaust benefits by March 20.

To issue the interim checks, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development needed to get approval from the US Labor Department, which oversees federal unemployment assistance, as well as the Internal Revenue Service and state Department of Revenue.

Unemployment insurance payments are subject to state and federal withholding taxes. The state revenue department also requires child support payments be withheld from unemployment checks.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in October, after hitting a 33-year high of 9.3 percent in September. The national rate reached 10.2 percent in October, the highest since 1983.

Congress has passed three extensions of unemployment benefits since the recession began at the end of 2007.

More information about the latest extension is available through the home page of the state Division of Unemployment Assistance, or directly at
This is from the Ma Dept of workforce delopement:

EUC III and IV Benefits Passed in November 2009
February 12, 2010 Update
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the normal payment process will not resume until February 21, 2010. In the interim, another batch payment will be processed and checks will be mailed on Tuesday February 16 to eligible claimants for the prior 3 weeks. More.

ETA: they never mailed out the checks
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We are on unemployment.. Well hubby is... and so far so good.. no claim problems..
fl.gif brother is also on unemployment.(started same time as hubby, about a month ago..). and he hasnt recieved a check last week OR this week either... They are a wreck! I feel so bad for him. And i cant really help him because we are just slipping by ourselves... UGH... this state really, REALLY sucks at times..
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