EXTENDED DEADLINE TO APPLY: DUA is in the process of notifying claimants of the extended deadline to apply for TOP. Any claimant who had an approved claim from March 29, 2020 to the present will get a written notice about TOP. The deadline to apply runs from the date of the notice. The notice will be sent by your preferred method of communication - either electronic (UI online inbox) or by U.S. mail.
The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) waives the usual requirement to look for employment while customers attend training so they may develop marketable skills and then find suitable employment.
Training programs must be reviewed and approved before applicants begin training and it is therefore beneficial for applicants to select pre-approved training programs when applying for Section 30 benefits. It is possible to get Section 30 approval to attend training programs not previously evaluated, but DUA usually needs more time to determine whether these training programs meet Section 30 requirements.
Important information for Training Providers regarding eligibility for Section 30 approval
Claimants may qualify for up to 26 weeks of extended unemployment benefits if the training extends beyond the duration of the initial unemployment claim. However, the 26 week extension is available to claimants only if they submit their completed applications to DUA within their 20th compensable (payable) week of Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI). The unemployment claim Benefit Year is the 52 weeks immediately following the effective date of the claim.
Training Program Eligibility Requirements
For a program to be eligible for Section 30 approval the training must:
- Prepare the claimant for marketable skills in a demand occupation.
- Achieve an entered employment rate into full or part-time employment for the past 12 months:
- of at least 70% when the unemployment rate is at or below 7%
- of at least 60% when the unemployment rate is at or below 8%
- of at least 50% when the unemployment rate is above 8%
- Be a full-time program, providing a minimum of 20 hours of supervised classroom training per week. If the training provider is a community college, college or university, the full-time requirement may be met if the program provides a minimum of 12 credits each semester or equivalent, and a minimum of six credits per summer session or equivalent.
- Be completed within two years, except that this time limit may be extended to a maximum of three years if the program includes a combination of basic skills and vocational training. The basic skill component, (i.e. Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Equivalency Diploma (GED), and English as A Second Language (ESL)) may not exceed a total of six months.
If the program is offered as part practicum or internship and part classroom hours, the program will be approved only for the time needed to complete state or federal certification or licensing requirements or the time determined necessary by DUA to allow the claimant to become employable in the occupation for which the training has been provided.
Training Institution Requirements
If the training is delivered by a Massachusetts institution, that institution must:
- Have paid all contributions, if required, to DUA;
- Have a current DUA employer number and Federal identification number;
- Be licensed or registered by the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE), with the exception of recognized community colleges, colleges, or universities;
- Have a current surety bond or term deposit in an amount determined by the Massachusetts State Auditor;
- Mail copies of the DOE license; surety bond, Provider Certifications/Terms & Conditions Form and contractor authorized signature verification form to the contacts listed here.