What is a Base Period?

The amount that an individual can collect will vary state-by-state and case-by-case. The state determines the monetary eligibility for each claimant using a calculation factoring in the wages earned during the state’s base period.

While the qualification rules vary from state to state, generally, the state will look at the wages earned in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.

The amount of work and wages earned in this base period determine:

  1. If a worker had sufficient work history to meet the minimum requirements for benefits
  2. The weekly benefit amount that they will qualify for, and
  3. The number of weeks that they may receive benefits.


*Regular Base Year Shown by Shaded Blue Months

In Massachusetts and Minnesota, the base period is calculated differently:

  • MA – The base period is the 4 most recent completed quarters
  • MN – The base period is the last 4 completed quarters, but they can use the first four of the last 5 completed quarters if it results in a higher weekly benefit amount



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