How Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?

To qualify for benefits:

You must have worked and been paid wages for employment in at least two calendar quarters in your base period;

AND

You must have been paid at least $1600 in wages in one of the calendar quarters in your base period;

AND

The total wages paid you in your base period must be one and a half times your high quarter wages. (For claims effective April 17, 2000 and later, 22 times the maximum benefit rate as your high quarter earnings, if your earnings are higher than this amount, so that you may qualify under this requirement.)

If you meet the above requirements in the Basic base period, the Basic base period will be used to establish your claim. The Basic base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the calendar quarter in which your claim is effective.

If you do not meet the requirements in 1. above in the Basic base period, it will be determined if you qualify using the Alternate base period. If you qualify using the Alternate base period, that base period will be used to establish your claim. The Alternate base period is the last four completed calendar quarters immediately prior to the calendar quarter in which your claim is effective.

If you qualify under the Basic base period but you think using the Alternate base period would result in a higher benefit rate, you may apply within 10 days from the date of the initial monetary notice to have your rate recalculated using the alternate base period. If using the Alternate base period does not increase your rate, they will use the Basic base period and your initial monetary determination will remain in effect. You will be sent a determination notifying you that the Alternate base period was not used because it would not increase your rate.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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