The amount you receive from Unemployment Insurance (UI) will depend on how much you earned during your base period. Your base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Calendar quarters are split up into the following categories by month:
- January, February, and March
- April, May, and June
- July, August, and September
- October, November, and December
For example, if you became unemployed on October 15, your last completed calendar quarter ended September 30. Your base period would begin in July of the year before and end in June of the current year. However, if you qualify for the alternate base period because you did not earn enough wages, the government will use just the last four completed quarters.
Each state has different ways of calculating UI benefit payments. Areas also have different minimum and maximum benefit sums.
You must certify as eligible each week to continue receiving payments. If you do not qualify for one week, you will miss that week’s benefit amount. To qualify for UI payments, you must certify that you are:
- Physically able and available for work each day. This means that you were in town and not sick.
- Actively looking for employment, such as sending resumes and filling out applications.
- Not refusing job opportunities or offers. You can lose your eligibility if you turn down employment for any reason, including earning less than you made previously.
- Not collecting income from other sources, such as workers’ compensation or severance pay.
- Not serving on jury duty. You are not available for work if you have a civic obligation.
If you were denied initially or during your weekly claim process, you have the right to appeal the decision.