Unemployment benefits now available for self-employed, gig workers in Mass.

Coronavirus

BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for standard out-of-work benefits can now apply for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, Gov. Charlie Baker’s office announced Monday.

The new program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits for self-employed and gig economy workers, independent contractors, and those with limited work history.

“As a Commonwealth, we are committed to doing everything in our power and moving as urgently as possible to get workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis the benefits they deserve,” Baker wrote in a news release.

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To be eligible, individuals must provide self-certification that they can work but are unable to as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Baker’s office.

“The implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Massachusetts is another important step in our efforts to help those who are economically disrupted by this virus,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito added.

Learn more and apply here »

The PUA program was created through the federal CARES Act, along with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) which provides an additional $600 weekly benefit for those receiving unemployment benefits or PUA.

Rhode Island launched a similar temporary COVID-19 emergency unemployment benefits program earlier this month.

For more information on COVID-19 in Massachusetts, visit Mass.gov, call 211 or text COVIDMA or COVIDMAESP (Spanish) to 888-777 to receive text notifications.

On Monday, the city of Boston expanded its text notification service to include 11 languages:

  • Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 for English
  • Text BOSEspanol to 888-777 for Spanish
  • Text BOSKreyol to 888-777 for Haitian Creole
  • Text BOSFrancais to 888-777 for French
  • Text BOSKriolu to 888-777 for Cabo Verdean Creole
  • Text BOSPortugues to 888-777 for Portuguese
  • Text BOSSoomali to 888-777 for Somali
  • Text BOSChi to 888-777 for Simplified Chinese
  • Text BOSbilAraby to 888-777 for for Arabic
  • Text BOSViet to 888-777 for for Vietnamese 
  • Text BOSRus to 888-777 for for Russian

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