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""This is the third post in the Workers’ Rights blog series, which covers workplace safety, fair wages, workers’ benefits, workers’ compensation, and other rights in Massachusetts.

Whether you’ve just started a new job in the Bay State or you’ve worked in Massachusetts for years, you should learn about your rights to sick and paternal leave, meal breaks, unemployment benefits, and more so you can make sure you’re getting the benefits you deserve.

Time Off

If you work in Massachusetts, you have a right to certain types of paid and unpaid leave depending on your job. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has information on the types of benefits you should receive.

Unemployment Benefits

If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for temporary income from the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD).

If you meet the UI program eligibility requirements, you can receive several unemployment benefits, including:

  • Half of your average weekly pay — up to a maximum amount set by law — for up to 30 weeks
  • Training to help you find a new job

To apply for unemployment benefits, collect the information you’ll need to file a UI claim, like your Social Security number, employer’s address and information, and your start and end dates at your last job. You can file a UI claim online or file a UI claim by phone.

Most claims will be processed within two to three weeks. You should continue to file weekly claims even if you haven’t heard back from LWD. If you’re approved, you’ll receive back payments for the weeks you claimed. There are also steps you must take after you apply for unemployment benefits to ensure you continue to receive your benefits.

By learning what benefits your employer must provide, you can plan for growing your family, unemployment, and other transitional moments. Stay tuned for the next part of the Workers’ Rights blog series to learn about workers’ compensation in the Bay State.

Share this post with family and friends who work in Massachusetts. Check out the workplace safety blog and fair wages blog in the Workers’ Rights blog series to learn more about your rights in the workplace.

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