Unemployment for the Travel Nurse • The Gypsy Nurse

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By The Gypsy Nurse

April 18, 2020



Unemployment for the Travel Nurse


The Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements..”

There are a ton of ‘opinions’ related to the Travel Nurse utilizing this insurance benefit. In a recent conversation on our Travel Nurse Network, I was asked what my personal thoughts are regarding the use of this benefit.

My Thoughts


Unemployment Insurance should not be utilized in order to extend your vacation or to simply take extra time off. There are many valid reasons that a traveler may need to utilize UI for a short period of time. As many long-time travelers already know, there are times that a contract will be canceled early, terminated for overstaffing, or sometimes even canceled before the traveler even starts. These situations are totally appropriate for the use of UI benefits.

Taking time off by choice or purposely not starting for weeks and applying for or obtaining unemployment is not acceptable. There must be proof that you’re applying and not getting offers.

According to Massachusetts State

“If you were paid by the contract consulting firm, you are considered the firm’s employee even if you are based at another company and managed by that company’s staff.”

This Article (MA specific) further states that:
“Scott Ragusa, President of Winter Wyman Contract Staffing based in Waltham, MA. Scott points out, “Contract employees are just that, employees. If you completed your assignment, you are eligible for unemployment. One of the benefits of contracting is the ability to continue working without losing access to benefits due to any employee. And if you complete the assignment, or if the company no longer needs your expertise, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.”

Please note that the UI rules are varied from State to State. If you feel that you are eligible for UI, check with the state that you were employed in.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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