UMass Staff Furlough Information

Updated: November 2, 2020

This page is to guide and assist the staff of UMass Amherst (PSU, USA, and AFSCME) during furloughs taken during the COVID-19 crisis in the fall/winter of 2020. This page will be frequently updated as more information becomes available.

Unemployment Information about furloughs:


Help with Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance Claims

Fraudulent unemployment claims

  • Fraud is continuing to hit the state Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) system. The fraud warning that DUA posted on May 27, 2020 is still in effect. Consequently, claims are being vetted through anti-fraud software which slows the processing of a claim.
  • If you suspect actual fraud on your account, DUA asks that you report that activity as follows: “Individuals who believe they may have had a false unemployment claim filed using their identity are urged to utilize the Department of Unemployment Assistance fraud contact form at or to call the DUA customer service department at 877-626-6800.

Unemployment claims on hold

  • Many times a hold on your account simply means that DUA is taking the extra step to verify that there is no fraudulent activity. It is not unusual for a claim to go on hold for two weeks for DUA to verify information. That two-week wait is not a reason to suppose that DUA has a major issue with your claim.
  • Be advised that if there is an issue with your June, 2020 claim, that issue will carry forward if not resolved. This includes, but is not limited to, if DUA requested proof of identity and you did not provide proof of identity (even if you received payment for your earlier furlough).

An important reminder

Also be advised, that if you provided DUA with inaccurate information, that will flag your account for DUA review.

A problem with your claim?

  • To get help with your claim, you may phone The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) at 877-626-6800If you cannot solve the problem directly with DUA, and you have not already contacted UMass HR, please send an email to using the subject line, “DUA Help.”  In the body of your email, you must provide:
    • Your name as it appears on UMass records
    • Your DUA Claimant ID number (from your DUA account web page, upper right corner)
    • The complete dates of all of your furlough weeks since March 2020 for which you have requested unemployment benefits
    • Please do not email your Social Security number
    • With the information above, the university will forward your request for assistance to the DUA.
All UMass-related furlough questions should be directed to:

This effort to help campus workers during furlough involves Mass Rapid Response,
MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center, UMass Human Resources, AFSCME Local 1776, USA/MTA, and PSU.