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Thread: Clarifying UI eligibility for graduate student / part time employee Massachusetts

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Clarifying UI eligibility for graduate student / part time employee Massachusetts

    Hi all --

    Just stumbled across this forum and am hoping it can provide some clarity for my partner's situation. He is enrolled in a master's program, and has been trying to navigate the unemployment system after getting terminated in December. Prior to that, he had been employed part time continuously since September, 2015. He changed jobs in October 2016 and was terminated in December. (The jobs that theoretically qualify him for UI were not with his university, if that's relevant.)

    The DUA asked him to document his full-time student status, telling him it was a requirement for eligibility. They then seem to have denied his claim because he is a full time student and has not demonstrated a history of full-time employment while attending school.

    This is all very confusing, since he is applying for UI based on a history of part time work, and has been applying continuously for part time work for months now, and the section of the law they cite speaks broadly about availability to work and says nothing about student status.

    Can anyone point me toward any sort of useful reference that might apply here?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by drt80; 04-14-2017 at 10:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Although it is possible, in MA, to attend school and collect unemployment both, it requires that you be enrolled in a state-approved training program AND that you have been approved for this training while collecting benefits IN ADVANCE. If he had not been working full time while attending school, and is still attending school full time while looking for only part time work, it is unlikely that he is going to qualify for unemployment.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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