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What does base period mean and quarters

by Angie Shipley
(Dallas Texas USA)

I live in Texas. I have worked at my job from October 10 2009 until March 10 2010, which will be the date I am being laid off. I made 3000.00 a month the month of October and November and 2500.00 Decemeber. January - 2500.00 February 2500.00 and will make 1500 for the first 10 days of March - from what i am seeing on the internet it says I dont qualify for unemployment. I did not work anywhere from jan 09 to september as I was not able to find a job and was drawing unemployment during most of that time and it ran out. Is it true I dont qualify?

Hi Angie,

Let me see if I can explain the issue once and for all. The resource I use .. not matter which of the fifty United States a person is from is located at the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration You will need to click the current year and then "Monetary Eligibility".

A base period is the four quarters that your wages are looked at to determine if you meet the minimum earning requirements to establish a "valid claim" for unemployment benefits.

There are three possible types of "base periods" which all contain four quarters. A quarter is 13 weeks or Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec.

There is the "standard base period" which is the first four of the last five "COMPLETED QUARTERS" and it is relative to the quarter you file in.

Then there are "extended base periods" (EBP) and "alternative base periods (ABP). These may or may not be an option available in a state. The resource will let you know if it is. These are used when the standard base period won't qualify you .. if it's an option.

To qualify,
every single uses a "qualifying formula" .. and there are different types of "formulas" also explained in the resource.

Most determine the weekly benefit amount based on the "highest earning quarter" .. but they don't stop there .. most also require that you have earnings in at least two quarters as well. it's usually a percentage of your HQ (high quarter).

If you were to file before April 1st .. the first quarter of 2010 will not be "completed" .. therefore it becomes irrelevant to your base period.

If you file anytime in March, your BP will be Oct 1 of 08 through Sept 30 of 09 .. so even if you worked the end of 08 .. you're screwed. If you wait until April 1 it would be Jan 09 through Dec 09 .. you're again screwed.

You would have to wait until July 1 to get both those quarter into your BP. If it sounds unfair .. welcome to a crowded room. They do this to keep deadbeats not interested in working, but working the system.

This is how they think they can tell if someone has a "serious attachment to the labor force".

But clearly, that isn't working so well in this economic climate .. is it?

But you may have a saving grace. In that resource I linked to .. I'm not for sure .. but there are "special formulas and qualifying amounts for establishing a "second benefit year".

So, my advice is file in March and see how it goes .. maybe you will be qualified due to the 2nd benefit year requirements and if it doesn't go well and you're still unemployed come July 1 .. try to requalify because both those quarters will then be in your base period.

What a safety net .. eh?

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