What is a base period?
The base period is the period we look at to determine if they have been paid sufficient wages to be monetarily eligible. Normally, the base period consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the starting date of the new claim. The calendar quarters are:
January 1 through March 31
April 1 through June 30
July 1 through September 30
October 1 through December 31
If wages from one of these quarters had to be used to establish a previous claim using the alternate base period, that quarter's wages cannot be used again to compute the current claim.
What is an alternate base period?
If an individual submits a new claim and they do not meet the minimum earnings requirements in the regular base period, we will re-compute the claim using an alternate base period. This period consists of the last four completed calendar quarters before the starting date of the claim. The individual must still meet the same overall earnings requirements, however, the alternate base period will allow some of the more recent wages to be counted towards establishing the claim.
How much will an individual receive for unemployment? How much will an individual receive for dependency allowance?
The weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.38% of the wages paid to an individual in the two highest quarters of the base period. By law, a maximum weekly benefit rate is determined annually. It is equal to 57.5% of the average weekly wage of all workers covered by the Employment Security Act. An individual’s weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the benefit year.
Effective 1/1/13, our minimum is $45 and maximum is $566, not including dependency allowance.
If an individual has dependent children under 18 years of age, they may be entitled to a dependency allowance. Handicapped children over 18 may also qualify for the allowance.
The dependency allowance is limited to five (5) dependents and is equal to 5% of the weekly benefit rate for each dependent. There is a $15 minimum per dependent.
The dependency allowance established at the start of the benefit year remains the same even if the number of children should change during the year (If 2 or more parties make claims for the same dependent for the same week, the person who has physical custody receives the allowance).
How long can an individual claimant collect regular unemployment benefits?
The duration of a claim is equal to 36% of the total base period wages divided by the basic weekly benefit rate (not including dependent's allowance).
The most individuals are allowed to collect of regular unemployment benefits is an amount equal to 26 full weeks. Individuals may claim these weeks any time they are unemployed during the benefit year.
If an individual works part-time, they must report all wages earned for any week in which they claim benefits.
If an individual worked less than full-time hours (as defined by the occupation) and the gross wages are less than their weekly benefit rate; the individual should qualify for a partial benefit payment as well as a partial earnings incentive (the department would deduct the gross earnings from the weekly benefit rate and then add on 20% of the weekly benefit rate).