Massachusetts is reducing the maximum period that residents can receive unemployment benefits from 30 weeks to 26 weeks.
State officials say the change, required by law, takes effect on March 31. It will not affect claims that were filed prior to that date.
The reduction in the maximum benefit from 30 to 26 weeks is tied to the state's strong economy and low unemployment rate.
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State law requires that the maximum benefit be adjusted downward when the 12-month average unemployment rate dips below 5.1 percent in each of the state's designated metropolitan areas.
The shorter period could save the state $40 million over the next year. But state officials point out if Massachusetts' labor market begins to deteriorate, the 30-week benefit could be reinstated.