Cash Benefits for Workers
Workers in Worcester, Massachusetts who retire, become disabled, lose their jobs through no fault of their own, or cannot work because of job-related injuries may be eligible for cash benefits based on employment. Cash benefits for workers are not need-based, but may depend on employment status, how long you have worked, and how much you have earned.
NOTE: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.
Social Security Retirement
(See Social Security Retirement Program for complete program information.)
The Social Security Retirement Program is a federal insurance program that provides retirement cash benefits for eligible workers and their families based on retirement age and the worker's lifetime Social Security earnings. The federal government collects FICA taxes on earnings to pay for the program. It is not a need-based program.
You are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits if you are an employee or a self-employed worker, age 62 or over, who has earned the required Social Security credits during your working years. To get Social Security retirement benefits based on your own work record, you need to earn at least 40 Social Security credits. Most people earn 4 credits per year, and have earned enough credits after 10 years of work. Family members may also qualify for benefits based on your work record.
If you are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits based on your own work record, you will get a monthly Social Security check for the rest of your life, and Medicare coverage starting at age 65. Your benefit amount is based on your average earnings during your working years and your age at retirement.
For instructions on how to apply for Social Security retirement, and for more information about eligibility and benefits, see Social Security Retirement Program in the Senior Resources section.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
(See Social Security Disability Insurance for complete program information.)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program that gives monthly cash benefits to eligible workers who become totally disabled and cannot work for a year or more. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have earned enough Social Security work credits and worked recently enough to be insured. Family members may also qualify for benefits based on your work record.
SSDI is funded by FICA payroll taxes collected from workers and employers. It is not a need-based program.
SSDI provides cash benefits that continue as long as you remain totally disabled and cannot work. The SSDI benefit amount depends on how much you paid in Social Security taxes during your lifetime. You also qualify for Medicare 24 months after you start getting SSDI.
For instructions on how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, and for more information about eligibility and benefits, see Social Security Disability Insurance in the Disability Resources section.
(See Unemployment Insurance for complete program information.)
Unemployment insurance is a government program that gives temporary cash payments to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is in charge of this program in Massachusetts. Unemployment Insurance is not a need-based program.
Most Massachusetts workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own are covered by unemployment insurance. To get benefits, you must be looking for a job or taking part in an approved job training program.
You can get cash payments for a maximum of 30 weeks unless a federal extension is in effect. The amount you get depends on how much you were earning before you lost your job. In general, you will get about half of your average pay, up to the benefit limit. If you have children and you are their main support, you will also get a dependency allowance.
For instructions on how to apply for Unemployment Insurance, and for more information about eligibility and benefits, see Unemployment Insurance in the Employment and Job Training section.
(See Workers' Compensation for complete program information.)
Workers’ Compensation (WC) is an insurance system that gives benefits to workers who are injured on the job or get a work-related illness. The Division of Industrial Accidents (DIA) is in charge of this program in Massachusetts. Workers' Compensation is not a need-based program.
All employers in Massachusetts are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Employees who have work-related injuries or illness are eligible for benefits. Coverage starts the first day on the job. Undocumented workers are eligible.
Workers' compensation gives medical benefits, cash benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. All of your medical costs will be paid by the insurance company. You can get a weekly cash payment up to 60% of your average weekly wage for temporary disability. You can get lifetime benefits if you are permanently and totally disabled.
For instructions on how to file a claim for Workers' Compensation, and for more information about eligibility and benefits, see Workers' Compensation in the Employment and Job Training section.