Friedman Supports Bill Waiving Waiting Period for Unemployment Benefits

On March 18, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) supported a bill that passed the Senate that waives the one-week waiting period for any person making a claim for unemployment benefits, if the unemployment is a result of any circumstances relating to or resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak or the effects of the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency on March 10, 2020. This step was taken so that workers impacted by COVID-19 can access the benefits they need right away.

“The coronavirus outbreak has posed serious financial challenges for many workers in our district and the Commonwealth,” said Friedman,who serves on the Senate Working Group tasked with addressing COVID-19 challenges in Massachusetts. “This bill will allow workers that have been impacted by this public health emergency to access the benefits they need right away. This is just one step of many that we will take to provide relief to our residents during this difficult time.”

The unemployment insurance bill, which was signed by the Governor shortly after being passed by the Senate and the House, is the latest action to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts. Last week, the Senate and House provided a $15 million infusion of funds to enhance the state’s Coronavirus response. The Senate also expects to act quickly on a bill to provide cities and towns with needed flexibility to address this unprecedented situation.

Those interested in applying for unemployment insurance can apply online at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits.