COVID-19 Job Seeker Services and Resources

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

CARES Act Unemployment Assistance Updates:

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) is Now Available
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.

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.

Mandatory Career Center Seminars and RESEA appointments have been postponed and Unemployment benefits will not be impacted until further notce.  In the interim, a Career Center staff person may contact you to provide service over the telephone.

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.

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.

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 Diversion Initiative
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has resources 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.  Through December, the federal CDC moratorium will prevent evictions for non-payment for qualified tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord.  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.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 assistance in Franklin County, call the Franklin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority:  413-863-9781.  https://www.fcrhra.org/

For 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.

Career Counseling/Counselor Consults/In-Person Appointments:

Staff will be contacting customers with appointments to reschedule for phone appointments.  You may contact your counselor by calling the Career Center.  We are continuing to schedule Counselor Consults which will take place by phone.  Call the office to make an appointment.

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.