In cases when an individual is not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits based on Primary Base Period wages, an Alternate Base Period will automatically be used to determine a claimant's eligibility for UI.
When the Alternate Base Period is used, your claim is established based on the wages paid to you during the three most recently completed calendar quarters plus the period of time between the last completed quarter and the effective date of your claim.
Under very specific circumstances, claimants may choose to establish their claims using the alternate method, even if they would be eligible for some benefits under the Primary Base Period. An individual may be eligible for this option only if:
· The claim was established using the Primary Base Period
· The Benefit Credit is less than $13,827
· Wage statements, or other documentation, can be provided to the Division of Employment and Training (DET) proving that the total Benefit Credit using the Alternate Base Period would be at least 10% more than the total Benefit Credit using the Primary Base Period
This option is not available if:
· The claim was established using the Primary Base Period and the benefit credit is greater than $13,828
· The claim was already established during the Alternate Base Period
Unemployment Insurance - Primary Base Period - Massachusetts
Unemployment Insurance - Application Procedures and Issuance of Benefits - Massachusetts
Unemployment Insurance - Eligibility for Partial Benefits - Massachusetts
Unemployment Insurance- Allowances and Deductions - Massachusetts
Unemployment Insurance - Overview - Massachusetts
Additional information for this topic was drawn from the DETMA publication Simplifying the Employment and Training Law: A Guide for Employers. It is available in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) from the Division of Career Services/Division of Unemployment Assistance (formerly Department of Education and Training) website at:
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