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Unemployment Insurance - Duration of Benefits - Massachusetts

Regular UI benefits last a maximum of 30 weeks under state law. If partial weekly benefits are paid, the period may continue until the total benefit amount to which the claimant is entitled is exhausted, but not past the expiration date of the claimant's benefit year. The worker's benefit year is the 52-week period beginning with the effective date of the claim. However, if the individual was denied benefits because of the receipt of termination, severance, or dismissal pay, or payment in lieu of notice, then the individual's benefit year will be extended by the number of weeks disqualified.

When unemployment is high, special state and federal programs may go into effect providing additional weeks of benefits. These extended benefit programs are either partially or fully funded by the federal unemployment trust fund, depending on the program.

During a federal extension of benefits, claimant eligibility is limited to no more than 26 weeks of full benefits on the regular claim. During the transition period, claimants who had originally been determined eligible for between 27-30 weeks of regular benefits may receive an amended notice reducing this amount to 26 weeks. In these cases, claimants are placed on the extension program beginning at week 27 if they are eligible and still unemployed.

In addition, workers participating in state approved re-training programs may have their claims extended for up to 18 weeks provided that the worker applied for the program by the fifteenth payable week of his/her claim. This extension is funded through the solvency account.

Reimbursable employers are liable for the full amount of re-training benefits paid, or a portion of the benefits if there are contributory employers in the base period as well.

See also:

Unemployment Insurance - Eligibility - Massachusetts

Unemployment Insurance- Calculation of the Benefit Credit and Benefit Rate - Massachusetts

Unemployment Insurance - Application Procedures and Issuance of Benefits - Massachusetts

Unemployment Insurance - Fraud Prevention - Massachusetts

Unemployment Insurance - Overview - Massachusetts


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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