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Unemployment compensation and a new job

Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole  July 6, 2009 08:24 AM

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Q: I've been collecting unemployment and have finally found a new job but I won't start for three weeks. Can I continue to collect my unemployment for those three weeks? Do I need to provide the Department of Unemployment Assistance with any paperwork?

A: You should be commended on finding a new role in a very challenging employment market.

According to the Department of Unemployment Assistance, you are not required to notify them if you find a new job. You can “simply stop claiming weekly benefits,” according to their website. A useful link to visit is www.mass/gov/dua/ui.

I contacted Mark T. Wigler, Director, Field Operations, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Unemployment Assistance and he explains, “You are eligible to continue collecting unemployment compensation for the three weeks prior to your start date. However, you should stop claiming benefits after you first week of work in your new job.” Wigler adds “If you wish to reopen your claim, you will need to call the TeleClaim Center Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 6:30pm and Saturday, 8:00am – 1:30pm at 1-617-626-6800 or toll free at 1-877-626-6800 from area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, or 978.”

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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13 comments so far...
  1. . . . and good luck ever getting a human being when you call that number -- they definitely do not have enough staff to deal with the phone volume! My recommendation is to try the Customer Service/Problem Resolution number listed in the phone book -- I've had more luck with that.

    And congratulations on the new job!

    Posted by Susan July 7, 09 02:39 PM
  1. Congratulations on the new job - that is fantastic!

    Dear Job Doc: Do you have any insight to how long the claims process is taking at this time? I applied over one month ago and the website says that my claim is still being processed.

    Posted by Michael July 7, 09 06:40 PM
  1. I just hope that you make more than unemployment would offer you.

    I have a friend collecting unemployment and refuses to take any sort of job because he claims he'd be making the same or potentially even less than he is on unemployment. He has no incentive to try to work because of his unemployment benefits.

    He's going to wait until they fully expire and then start working.

    Posted by Michael "Insanity" Gorillasuitpants July 7, 09 10:19 PM
  1. seriously - don't bother calling that number - you can NEVER get through - claim benefits in person

    Posted by katie July 8, 09 09:03 AM
  1. Curious, how does the new job recipient fill out the weekly survey while they continue to collect benefits?
    1- Did you look for work this week?
    2- Were you able to work and available for work?
    3- Did you work?

    Is there latitude in the process that allows for this circumstance? Otherwise, isn't it a fib on question 1 for those 3 weeks they aren't starting?

    Posted by AlongTheShore July 8, 09 11:59 AM
  1. #3 He is only making the equavilent because more than likely hes not taking out taxes. At the end of the year the max 625 a week turns into 400 + or - once you pay the back taxes.

    Posted by mars July 8, 09 12:12 PM
  1. I know for part time work, you can work and make up to 1/3 of your salary from your previous job before you became unemployed and it won't go against your weekly benefits amount. If you make more than a third, the amount over the 1/3 mark will be subtracted from your weekly benefit payment, but you can still collect the rest. Furthermore the weekly subtracted amount stays into your cummalative benefits pool which can increase the overall length of time you can collect. I'm not sure about a full time job, or how many hours worked constitutes full time employment per DUA, but if your new job pays less than your old job you should ask them if it's possible to continuing to collecting to make up the difference? I think your friend is just plain lazy I'm sure he could find something part time while he is collecting.

    Posted by Getallyoucan July 8, 09 04:27 PM
  1. Great to hear that someone is mooching the system instead of working. No wonder the economy is in the hole because nobody is trying to help it get out of it.

    Posted by Mike July 8, 09 04:42 PM
  1. Just signed up today. Didn't have to wait too long. Very professional person I spoke with. My company Jabil of Billerica is closing their Mass plant. They did make them self's look good by saying the jobs were going to China and Mexico. They just didn't say they were going to Jabil China or Jabil Mexico. Over 300 jobs lost. Managers with less than a year getting 12 weeks severance while the average working getting nothing. (Enron) Managers also getting 40% of their monthly pay as bonus every month. I'm not bitter. The CEO of the company couldn't even make time to show up in person to let us know. Thanks Tim Main (CEO)

    Posted by Unemployeed July 8, 09 04:53 PM
  1. I was on unemployment, but found a job that would start 1.5 weeks out. The person on the phone (I actually managed to talk to someone) said to fill it out as I had been filling it out. That is, I should lie on my form. I did that because they told me to, but I never felt quite right about it. If that's really the official policy, they need to update the form so people don't have to lie to get their rightful benefits.

    Posted by Mary July 8, 09 08:52 PM
  1. 1. Yes, I looked for work that was willing to hire me knowing I'd be quitting in 3 weeks.
    2. Yes, I was able and available.
    3. Are you kidding? Who would hire me under those circumstances?

    Posted by Fishwood July 9, 09 09:08 AM
  1. Hi Michael and other bloggers -- I contacted DUA with the question that Michael asked. Here is the response:

    Massachusetts Law requires a ‘waiting period’ ’, the first week of each new claim be for which no benefits are paid. If otherwise eligible, every effort is made to pay benefits three weeks from the week you filed your claim. Reopened claims are not subject to the waiting period.

    Currently, the majority of claims are processed within three weeks. Claims with separation or severance issues can occasionally take longer to process.

    Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole July 9, 09 02:35 PM
  1. I have a question, my husband is drawing unemployment. He has gone to school to drive semi trucks, and has graduated and is now in training where he drives cross country with an instructor...he still does not officially have the job, and has to take another test to be hired...but he is however being compenstated for his training...does he have to report this to the unemployment commision ?

    Posted by BUGS BUNNY November 13, 09 06:20 PM

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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.