Your base period
The monetary amount of your unemployment insurance (UI) claim-how much you may be able to collect if you meet all eligibility requirements-is determined by the earnings paid to you over a period of time of up to 52 weeks, as defined by Massachusetts law. This is known as your base period.
How your base period is determined
The primary base period is the period containing the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the date on which your claim is effective. The primary base period is used to calculate your unemployment insurance claim.
You may be able to have your claim based on an alternate base period under certain circumstances specified in the law.
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.
How your base period wages are determined
Massachusetts employers are required to report wage information to the state's Department of Revenue no later than 15 days following the close of each calendar quarter. This means that wages are reported in April, July, October and January. This wage information is used to determine your potential monetary eligibility for UI benefits.
Your benefit year
Once your claim is established, a benefit credit is calculated. The benefit credit is the total amount of benefits you are potentially eligible to collect during your benefit year if you meet all the other eligibility requirements of the law. Your benefit year is the 52 weeks following the effective date of your claim.
Your duration of benefits is the maximum number of weeks you are eligible to collect benefits. This is determined by dividing your benefit rate into your benefit credit.
If you do not agree with the wages reported
If you do not agree with the amount of wages reported to DUA by the Department of Revenue, call the TeleClaim Center. DUA will ask you to provide proof of the wage amounts you are disputing and then will request wage information directly from your employer.
If it is determined that you do not have enough wages under either the primary or the alternate base period to establish a claim, or if you continue to disagree with the amount of wages reported, you have the right to file an appeal and to have a hearing.