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Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance for Part-Time/Gig Worker

Discussion in 'Unemployment Insurance & Benefits' started by MarkyHeare, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. MarkyHeare

    MarkyHeare Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm an undergraduate student who previously worked both work-study at my college as well as a part-time gig-based job for a local event production company. The vast majority of my income (~$4500 a year) comes from work-study, while I previously made a few hundred dollars here and there for my part-time (I started working with them last October and made ~$400 by the end of the year). When coronavirus hit and I had to be sent home, I was out of both jobs. I decided to try to get unemployment benefits, as I was at a loss for income and I rely on that money to pay my own tuition (I have no familial contribution). I was approved and expected to get maybe a couple hundred dollars here and there as I expected from my gig job, but because of the CARES act, I ended up making several thousand dollars over the coming months (about 3 times over what I make in a typical year). I was assured that this wasn't a mistake by 2 separate unemployment agents, so I kept on, and also decided to take this semester off (due to corona concerns). In August, however, I was requested to fill out a "fact finding" sheet, giving more information about my income, why I couldn't work at my jobs, and supplying my W-2s. Since then, I have received no notice of review, and all weekly payments have been pending. While I haven't frivolously been spending the money, if they were to find (for whatever reason) that I was at fault, I would not be able to pay for my final semester of school, let alone rent payments. I have contacted the unemployment office since, but they just told me it was still in review.

    My question: is there a chance that I could be at fault here and have the money taken back? I haven't lied about anything, and I reported my income accurately, but I'm incredibly paranoid that my life will be ruined over some bureaucratic mistake.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    My answer: No one can speak for any government bureaucracy with accuracy.

    All I know is that you will win or lose.

    Best of luck to you.

    Your life MIGHT be made more problematic after a bureaucrat decides your fate.

    The bureaucracy won't think they are at fault, because bureaucrats and bureaucracies tend to blame the "little people".

    My advice to you, had you chosen NOT to eat the slop thrown in the slop trough by the bureaucracy, you'd not be worrying about your future today.

    Bottom line, resist the temptation to eat the government slop.

    You can do so much more than you think, if only you'd try to make it by your own cleverness and devices.
  3. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    The CARES Act made the impossible possible for independent contractors and gig workers. All the states have to follow a federal template for granting and approving benefits under the CARES Act.

    If you have not lied on your application and have reported all the income you made while receiving benefits, there is a good chance you will not have to repay any benefits you received.

    All you can do is keep certifying for weekly benefits and wait for a decision .
  4. Paddywakk

    Paddywakk Member

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    A quick internet search shows that work study students are not eligible for unemployment benefits in MA. You may indeed be required to repay what you received, as you might not have earned enough income from your gig work to qualify.
    army judge likes this.

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