Can You Get Unemployment If You Get Fired?

Unemployment Attorney MA

Can You Get Unemployment If You Get Fired?

If you are fired from your job in the state of Massachusetts, you may still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. However, there are certain circumstances that can disqualify you from receiving any benefits at all. You should always consult an unemployment attorney to assess your situation and see how best to proceed with applying for benefits.

Massachusetts Unemployment Benefits

The unemployment insurance (UI) program is run by the Department of Unemployment Assistant (DUA) in Massachusetts. If eligible, you can receive weekly payments up until you receive new employment.

Not all unemployment benefits offer the same amount. Your weekly benefits will be calculated based on 50% of your average weekly wage during base period, with a maximum amount of $974 per week.

Your unemployment insurance benefits can be paid through direct deposit or a DUA ReliaCard®.

Unemployment Overpayment: What Happens Next?

If you received a notice from the DUA about an overpayment of unemployment benefits, consult with an attorney to determine whether you should challenge the decision.

Unemployment overpayment could result in fines and penalties if the DUA determines that you are “at fault”. However, some overpayments can be waived. An attorney can review your case and determine whether you have a valid case to challenge the DUA’s decision.

Fired Without Cause Unemployment Benefits

If you are fired without cause from your job, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. The DUA will consult with you and your employer to determine whether you are still eligible for benefits.

To be disqualified from receiving benefits, the employer must prove that you broke a rule, or acted against their expectations. An attorney can help you challenge the DUA’s decision if you disagree with why you are disqualified from receiving benefits.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are fired. Waiting too long could result in a reduction of the amount that you receive for benefits.

Fired for Lacking Skills to Perform the Job

If you were fired from a position because your employer determined that you lack the skills needed for your position, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance is provided to those who, through no fault of their own, are no longer able to work their job.

Lacking skills to perform a job is a much different reason to be fired than misconduct or intentionally wrong behavior against your employer or workplace. There are a variety of factors that employees may not be able to control to get fired for lacking the skills to perform a job.

If you are concerned about your eligibility for this reason, it is best to consult an experienced attorney to handle your case and help you apply.

What Happens If You Disagree With Your Previous Employer?

Your previous employer has to pay taxes for any unemployment insurance that one of their previous employees receives due to being fired or laid off from that job. Because of this, they may claim a reason that could disqualify you from receiving those benefits.

For that reason, you may need to consult with an attorney to prevent or challenge a disqualification.

Your employer must prove to the DUA that you:

  • Knowingly broke a reasonable rule or policy
  • Knowingly behaved in a way that could hurt the business
  • Purposely attempted to hurt the business
  • Knowingly acted against your employer

Your employer must also show the DUA that they treat any employee who acts similarly with the same consequences.

What Other Eligibility Requirements Does Massachusetts Have?

You must earn at least $5,400 during the last 4 calendar quarters and 30 time the weekly benefit amount that you would be eligible to collect.

You must also either be a U.S. citizen or have a working via that legally allows you to work in the United States.

Who Does Not Qualify for Unemployment Benefits

The following jobs (as your only source of income) disqualify you from receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) in the state of Massachusetts:

  • Employees of non-profits or religious organizations
  • Nonprofit or public institution workers in a trainee program
  • Independent consultants
  • Work-study students
  • Elected officials
  • Government officials in policy-making or advisory positions
  • Legislative or judiciary body members
  • Real estate/Insurance brokers and agents in commission-only positions

Unemployment Benefits Appeal

If your claim for Unemployment Insurance was denied, you can request an appeal, which will result in a hearing with the DUA. For a DUA hearing, you will want to have an attorney represent you to make sure that you have all the documentation and evidence you need to defend your case.

After the hearing, the review examiner will write a decision within 2-4 weeks after the hearing is over. If you disagree with this decision, you may appeal to the Board of Review (BOR), who are the last step within the DUA before a case needs to be appealed to district court.



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