COVID-19 Job Seeker Services and Resources

We are providing remote services.  MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Centers in Greenfield, Orange, and Northampton Forbes Library are temporarily closed to the public for in-person services in an effort to protect our customers and staff from potential exposure to Coronavirus (Covid-19).  Our staff continue to work, and we will make every effort to assist customers by phone, email, or web.  If you need assistance or need to reach a staff person, please call the Greenfield Career Center.  Please see below information on how to apply for Unemployment Assistance Benefits.  Our website will be updated regularly as new information becomes available: https://www.masshirefhcareers.org/

We are monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and will resume normal operations once it is safe to do so.  Thank you for your patience.  Our priority is continuing to serve you as best we can during this temporary closure.

Unemployment Assistance Programs:
Information from the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance on updated Unemployment Insurance procedures related to Covid-19 including Unemployment eligibility, workers compensation, workplace closure, self-employment, Workshare program, FAQ’s for employees/employers, contact forms in multiple languages.  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-unemployment-information

Información de desempleo de Massachusetts sobre el virus COVID-19

Click below for how to apply for unemployment in multiple languages:
www.mass.gov/info-details/multilingual-information-for-unemployment

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Apply for Unemployment benefits online at:   The hours for online claims is 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm.

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits

Click here for a step by step process for making an online Unemployment application (PDF)

Apply for Unemployment via TeleClaim Call Center: 877-626-6800, Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.  (The virtual call center is now operational.)

Please call the DUA TeleClaim Call Center before calling the Career Center.  Now that the Call Center is operating you may get a faster response.  If you are unable to apply for Unemployment Benefits online or by TeleClaim Call Center, please call the Greenfield Career Center at 413-774-4361 or 800-457-2603 and we will do our best to assist you in filing a claim over the phone.

IMPORTANT!  Massachusetts Reinstates Unemployment Work Search Requirements Beginning Week of June 15
Effective June 15, 2021, given that COVID-19 emergency measures will be lifted, work search requirements will be reinstated for anyone who requests unemployment benefits after that date.  Beginning with the benefit week of June 13, 2021 through June 19, 2021, unemployment insurance claimants must attest each week that they are making at least three work-search activities per week and provide proof of work search activity to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) if requested. These requirements will be necessary to maintain eligibility for UI benefits.

Most claimants will be entitled to continue to receive partial or reduced UI benefits—and the full amount of the special COVID-related $300 weekly stipend offered through Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program—even as they return to employment.  Claimants who report wages from new employment will have their regular UI weekly benefit proportionately reduced to offset new wages, but in most circumstances claimants will remain eligible for the $300 weekly stipend until their regular wages exceed 133 percent of their regular weekly benefit amount (calculated without including the $300 weekly stipend). The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will end in the first week in September.

See full press release here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-announces-reinstatement-of-unemployment-work-search-requirements-beginning-week-of-june-15-2021

Use this calculator tool to determine your benefits if you return to work: (Remember the weekly $300 federal pandemic unemployment benefit is not reduced, only the regular unemployment benefit.)

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/how-your-unemployment-benefits-are-determined#unemployment-benefits-determination-calculator-

Call DUA or MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center if you have questions.

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
If you had self- employment earnings in addition to work for an employer who paid you wages with a W-2 form, you may apply for an additional $100 supplemental payment under the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program starting on April 23, 2021.  MEUC was created as part of the Continued Assistance Act to assist workers who had multiple sources of income that varied in eligibility from traditional Unemployment Compensation. Claimants who qualified for traditional unemployment, but also had income from self-employment or gig work that is not included in the calculation of their regular unemployment benefits are eligible for MEUC.  Applicants who are determined eligible for the MEUC program and are paid at least $1 of their underlying unemployment benefit amount for any week of unemployment will also receive a $100 supplemental MEUC payment. This is provided in addition to the $300 FPUC payment. Payments will be retroactive to the week ending January 2, 2021 and will begin after review of documentation of net self-employment income.

MEUC Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be receiving an unemployment benefit from a program other than Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
  • You must be receiving an unemployment benefit for claims week(s) covered by the MEUC program, which are January 2, 2021 through September 4, 2021.
  • You must have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income in the most recent taxable year prior to your application for regular unemployment compensation.
  • If the effective date of the regular unemployment claim is any time from January 5, 2020 through December 27, 2020 – applicants must submit documents for tax year 2019.  If the effective date of the regular unemployment claim is any time after January 3, 2021– applicants must submit documents for tax year 2020.
  • You must apply and submit documentation which clearly shows $5,000 net income.

MEUC applications are made on the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) website.  https://ui-cares-act.mass.gov/PUA/_/

American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress on March 6, 2021 extends Unemployment Insurance Compensation through the week ending September 4, 2021 including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit of an additional $300 per week, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation extending the maximum duration of benefits to 53 weeks, Extended Benefits for up to 13 weeks for eligible claimants, and extending Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed workers to 79 weeks. More details can be found at:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/cares-act-extension-and-changes-to-unemployment-benefit-programs#overview-and-implementation-details-

CARES Act Unemployment Assistance Updates: (See above for Updates Under American Rescue Plan)

The federal legislation CARES Act expands Unemployment Insurance to include:

  • An additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB), Trade Readjustment Act (TRA), and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DA). The $600 will be added to all eligible weeks of benefits retroactive to March 29, 2020 and continuing until July 25, 2020.
  • Notice to Individuals Currently Receiving Unemployment Benefits
    The week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020 is the last week for the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment. The final $600 FPUC payment will be paid when eligible beneficiaries receive their payment for the week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020.   Eligible beneficiaries will continue to receive their regular benefit payments whether under regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).  If you have questions about your benefit payments please contact the Department of Unemployment Assistance.
  • Up to 39 weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or individuals who are not working as a result of COVID-19 and are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and others who otherwise would not qualify for regular, extended, or pandemic benefits (including religious institution workers). These individuals will not be able to claim benefits directly through the UI Online System in Massachusetts.  Eligible benefits will be retroactively compensated back to February 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week this benefit is payable is the week ending December 26, 2020.  PUA can be applied for beginning April 20, 2020.  Click here to learn how to apply.  This page includes instructions on how to apply, a guidebook, list of documents needed to apply, and a list of eligibility requirements, and a link to the online application.  You can also apply through the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance teleclaim center by calling 877-626-6800.  Please read the how-to first and have all of your documents ready before you apply.  There is an online Spanish version of the application and the guidebook is available in multiple languages.  The DUA teleclaim call center offers multiple language access. 
  • PUA Frequently Asked Questions (important details about eligibility, how to apply if you have both self-employment and regular employment income, etc.)
    CARES Act updates including FAQs
  • Tool to Determine if You Should Apply to Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    This tool takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted all other unemployment compensation benefits and who meet the eligibility requirements of the CARES Act.  You may be eligible for these federal benefits.  Click here to learn more and see the eligibility requirements and guidelines for applying.

FRAUD ALERT!  Protect Your Unemployment Insurance Benefits!
Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has announced that criminals using stolen personal information from prior national data breaches are attempting to file fraudulent unemployment claims through the Massachusetts Unemployment System. This is part of a national unemployment fraud scheme.  If you believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits falsely using your personal data, please report the fraud here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/report-unemployment-benefits-fraud

In an effort to protect the integrity of the unemployment system, DUA is implementing additional identity verification measures.  Unfortunately, this will temporarily delay payments for many unemployment claims in Massachusetts, and some unemployment claimants may be asked to provide additional identity information to verify their claim.

Fraudulent Text Messages:  MA Department of Unemployment Assistance has announced that claimants and those that are not claimants are receiving fraudulent text messages requesting claimants to click on a link to review their unemployment claim.  The fake text includes a link requesting claimants to click and enter their login and password on a site similar to MA UI Online. If you received this text please do not click on the link or respond.  Instead, responses to ID verification requests or issues should be done specifically through our secured UI Online site, at www.mass.gov/dua.
DUA will not request that you click on a link and enter your personal information.

Request a Letter Verifying Your Unemployment Benefits Income
If you’re applying for a mortgage, heat assistance, or housing, you may be asked to provide proof of your income from unemployment benefits.  Find out how to get a release of information from Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

Unemployment Benefits and Returning to Work Guide
Employers guide answers questions about calling employees back to work full-time or part-time and navigating between the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and unemployment benefits.  Important information for employers and employees alike.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Information and Jobs
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in partnership with Partners in Health, is reaching out to contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to help reduce the spread of the disease.  Partners in Health is hiring Contact Tracers to support Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Local Boards of Health to perform COVID-19 contact tracing.

Covid-19 Long Term Health Care Jobs Portal
There is an urgent need to hire Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Technicians, OTs, PTs, and many roles across our skilled nursing, assisted living and long-term care facilities statewide.  This portal is now open to all long term care facilities across the Commonwealth as well as COVID-19 temporary care sites. Temporary and permanent positions available. Employers are offering hiring incentives.   Click HERE to learn more about jobs at temporary care sites.

Click HERE to learn more about jobs at long term care facilities.

To apply for jobs or to post jobs to the portal please click HERE.
This link includes FAQ’s for employers and workers.

Other Unemployment and Coronavirus Financial and Community Resources:

Click here for a List of Community Resource That Can Help During the Covid-19 Emergency

COVID-19 Housing Assistance and Eviction Prevention
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has financial assistance available for individuals and families struggling to make rent or mortgage payments due to COVID-19.  The goal of this initiative is to keep tenants safely in their homes and to support the ongoing expenses of landlords once the state moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expire on Saturday, October 17, 2020 but the eviction process that requires notification of tenant rights continues until MA pandemic state of emergency is lifted.  The federal CDC moratorium has been extended until June 30, 2021 and will prevent evictions for non-payment for qualified tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord.

Local Housing Agencies have state and federal funding to help with paying back rent/mortgage, utilities, moving expenses, etc.  Under the new American Rescue Plan Act people who have already been assisted with back rent may reapply for additional assistance. Contact your local housing agency for more information and assistance.  See contact information below.

Click on these links to learn more about housing assistance and eviction prevention:

https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-getting-help-with-housing-costs

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-eviction-diversion-initiative-overview

https://www.mass.gov/lists/eviction-diversion-initiative-public-information-campaign-materials#notice-to-quit-informational-flyers-
Information flyers and videos in multiple languages

https://www.westernmasshousingfirst.org/resources/2020/important-eviction-prevention-information-please-distribute/ 

Western MA Community Legal Aid can assist with eviction prevention and other legal matters  www.communitylegal.org or call and leave a message at 855 252 5342.

CALL: 2-1-1 to connect with housing resources in Massachusetts

For housing assistance in Franklin County, call the Franklin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority:  413-863-9781.  https://www.fcrhra.org/

For housing assistance in Hampshire County, call WayFinders:  413-233-1500 / 800-332-9667
https://www.wayfinders.org/

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief for taxpayers including extended tax filing deadlines, economic impact payments

Bartender’s Emergency Assistance Program:
USBG National Charity Foundation, an organization of beverage, hospitality, and nonprofit professionals – COVID-19 Relief Campaign (membership in USBG is not required to apply). Emergency grants for bartenders or servers engaged in the service or preparation of alcoholic beverages.

Massachusetts Cultural Council Covid-19 Relief Fund
Provides unrestricted grants of $1,000 to individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists in Massachusetts who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures. Application deadline is April 22.

MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center Workshops:
All in-person workshops are currently cancelled, but we have converted our workshops to online webinar format.

NEW Online Webinar Workshops!
As of April 27, 2020, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center offers live, interactive webinars that can be viewed using a computer, tablet, or smart phone. See our Workshop/Events Calendar for specific dates, times, and registration instruction.  Check the calendar frequently for more webinar offerings.

Other online learning options:  MassHire Lowell Career Center is offering similar workshops via webinar.  You will need your MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center membership number to register online.  https://masshirelowellcc.com/events-calendar/

GCFGlobal offers free online tutorials on a wide variety of work readiness, computer skills, Microsoft Office, Google Suite, reading, writing, math, personal finance/budgeting, career planning, job search, and more.

Connect with a Career Coach:

Need help with your job search? Do you have training questions or don’t know what to do next? Maybe you just need to speak to someone. Meet with a MassHire Career Coach (virtually!). Please note these are 10-15 minute meetings to answer general questions and direct you to Career Center, and other, resources.

Sign up on MassHire JobQuest by clicking here.

Click here for instructions to help you sign up.

Job Fairs/Employer Spotlights/Hot Jobs Lists:
Our Job Fairs have gone virtual.  Watch our calendar for hiring events.  Many employers are still hiring!  Our hot jobs list is updated daily on our website at:  https://www.masshirefhcareers.org/job-search-resources/  The Hot Jobs List will be printed daily and available for pick up in the hall outside our Greenfield office at One Arch Place during regular business hours.