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Unemployment Insurance Glossary

Alternate Base Period

The last 4 completed calendar quarters before the first day of an individual's benefit year. It is used only if an individual has insufficient wages to establish a benefit year using the standard base period.

Base Period (BP)

A period of 4 consecutive completed calendar quarters where wages earned are considered to determine if an individual has sufficient wages to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. (See Standard Base Period and Alternate Base Period)

Base Period Employer

An employer that paid wages to the claimant during the 4 consecutive calendar quarters of the base period.

Benefit Year

A period of 52 consecutive calendar weeks beginning with the first day of the week in which an individual files an application for benefits. The claimant must have sufficient wages in the Standard Base Period or the Alternate Base Period and must not have a current benefit year in effect to establish a benefit year. A benefit year cannot be established if a previous benefit year has not yet expired.

Benefit Year Beginning (BYB) Quarter

The quarter in which the benefit year is established after an application for benefits has been filed. A claim may be filed in the previous quarter, since the BYB date is the Sunday of the week in which the claim is filed. The quarter in which the BYB date falls is the BYB quarter.

Calendar Quarter

A period of 3 consecutive calendar months ending with the last day of March, June, September and December.

Earnings Eligibility Requirement

To establish a benefit year, an individual must have worked and received wages since the beginning of the last claim of at least 5 times the weekly benefit amount of the individual's last claim.

Family Employment

An individual who was paid wages in family employment is entitled to a maximum of 7 weeks of benefits with the family employer. A "Family employer" is one with more than 50% ownership by one of the following:

  • claimant, or
  • claimant's child or spouse, or
  • a combination of these, or
  • claimant's parents if the claimant is under 18

However, no benefits are payable:

  • if the claimant is a sole proprietor, or a partner in a business, or
  • if the claimant's child or spouse are partners in the business, or
  • if the claimant's parents are partners and the claimant is under 18
High Quarter

The quarter within the base period used to establish a benefit year in which the claimant was paid the most money from all employers combined.

Lag Quarter

The quarter is the last completed calendar quarter prior to the first day of the benefit year. Wage information may not be available for use by the UIA during this quarter. The agency will use the claimant's statement of wages paid during this quarter, to establish a benefit year. The employer must protest these wages within 10 days from when the monetary determination is mailed if wages are incorrect.

Maximum Charge

The maximum amount an employer may be charged for benefits paid to a former employee.

Last Employer. If the employer is the last employer and not a base period employer, the maximum charge will be the claimant's weekly benefit amount, times 2.

Base Period Employer. The maximum charge for each base period employer is determined by the ratio of total wages paid by the employer as compared to the total wages of all base period employers, multiplied by the number of weeks chargeable.

Last and Base Period Employer. If the employer is the last employer and also a base period employer, the maximum charge will be the claimant's weekly benefit amount times 2, plus the ratio of total wages paid by the employer to the total wages of all employers in the base period multiplied by the number of weeks chargeable.

Monetary Determination

A written statement showing whether the claimant has met the wage requirements in covered employment in the base period to establish a claim. The monetary determination also shows the weekly benefit amount, the number of weeks payable, the separation reasons for all employers and the maximum amount chargeable to the separating employer and all base period employer(s). It also shows the dates of the benefit year. A monetary determination is issued to all interested parties.

Monetary Eligibility

For benefit years beginning on or after 10/01/00, the claimant must have worked and been paid wages in covered employment for a liable employer. Each of the following requirements must have been met:

  1. The high quarter wages must be at least:
    • $1,998 for benefit years beginning prior to 4/1/2007
    • $2,697 for benefit years beginning 4/1/2007 through 1/5/2008
    • $2,774 for benefit years beginning 1/6/2008 through 1/3/2009
    • $2,871 for benefit years beginning on or after 1/4/2009
  2. The total base period wages must have equaled at least 1.5 times the high quarter wages in the base period or total base period wages earned in at least two quarters must have equaled at least 20 times the state's average weekly wage (for 2006, the state's average weekly wage is $784.31 times 20 = $15,686.20).

Potential Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)

The WBA that a claimant is entitled to based on wages paid with the employers involved and dependents claimed, if the claimant is not disqualified and/or held ineligible. (Adjustment to the WBA may occur if the claimant has earnings, owes restitution, has deductions taken for child support, has income taxes withheld voluntarily or is receiving a pension from a base period employer)

Preservation of Benefit Entitlement

A claimant who is disabled and makes a timely request may preserve entitlement to benefits and extend the benefit year.

A claimant may preserve uncharged benefit entitlement when a continuous, involuntary disability exists for more than 14 days. A request to preserve benefit entitlement, along with a physician's statement, are required within 90 days after the claimant is advised of the right to preserve benefit entitlement.

Requalification Amount

When a disqualification can result in a benefit reduction of 13 weeks, requalification (rather than rework) is required.

 

To complete a week of requalification the claimant must:

 

Report as directed by the Agency and meet all eligibility and qualification requirements of the MES Act, or

 

Work and earn remuneration in the amount equal to 1/13th of the high quarter wage requirement.

  • For benefit years beginning prior to 4/1/2007, this amount is $153 (1/13th of $1,998).
  • For benefit years beginning between 4/1/2007 and 1/5/2008, the amount is $207 (1/13th of $2,697).
  • For benefit years beginning between 1/6/2008 and 1/3/2009, the amount is $213 (1/13th of $2,774).
  • For benefit years beginning on or after 1/4/2009, the amount is $220 (1/13th of $2,871). 

 

Last Employer

The employer from whose employment the claimant was separated before filing an application for unemployment benefits. This employer caused the individual to be unemployed at the time the claim is filed.

Standard Base Period

The first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the first day of the individual's benefit year. If a claimant cannot qualify for benefits using the standard base period, then the wage paid in the alternate base period are considered.

Successive Claim

A new claim that immediately follows an existing claim. The claimant must work after the start of the most recent new claim, and receive wages of at least 5 times the individual's weekly benefit rate, before a successive claim can be established.

Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)

The amount payable to the claimant for each week of unemployment in the benefit year. The WBA is calculated by multiplying the highest quarter wages of the base period by 4.1% and adding $6 for each dependent, up to 5. The total amount cannot exceed $362.

Weeks of Entitlement

The number of weeks in which benefits are payable during the benefit year. Weeks of entitlement are calculated by taking 40% of the total base period wages and dividing the result by the individual's weekly benefit amount. The result is rounded down to the nearest half number. The weeks of entitlement cannot be more than 20, or less than 14.

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