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Definition of terms

Appeal
A formal request for a telephone hearing by either an applicant or employer because of a disagreement with the facts or reasoning of a determination. Testimony and documentation is taken by an Unemployment Law Judge, who then mails out a Notice of Decision.

Base PeriodBase Period
A one-year (four calendar quarters) period of time. Your base period depends on your benefit account date and the wages you were paid in each calendar quarter during the past five completed calendar quarters.

If you apply in the first month of a calendar quarter (January, April, July, October):

    • The base period is the first four of the most recent five completed quarters if there are enough wages to establish a benefit account. If not enough wages, then;
    • The base period is the most recent four completed quarters.

If you apply in the second or third months of a calendar quarter (February, March, May, June, August, September, November, December):

    • The wages paid in the following time periods are compared:
      • the most recent four completed quarters, and
      • the first four of the most recent five completed quarters.
    • The time period with the greater amount of wages is the base period.
    • If the wages are the same in both time periods, the base period is the most recent four completed quarters.

Benefit YearBenefit Year
The one-year period following your benefit account date. You can only have one benefit account each year.

Calendar QuarterCalendar Quarter
There are four quarters in a year: January through March; April through June; July through September, and; October through December. Each quarter begins with the first Sunday and ends with the last Saturday.

Determination of Benefit AccountDetermination
A letter that shows the amount of benefits you might receive if determined eligible for unemployment benefits.

Determination of Eligibility (or Ineligibility)
A letter informing you, and sometimes the employer, why you are eligible or ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Discharged
An employer did not allow you to continue working in any capacity. A discharge can be due to employment misconduct or for a reason other than misconduct.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Unemployment benefits for workers who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and whose unemployment was directly caused by a major disaster declared by the U.S. President. (Examples: floods, tornadoes, self-employed farmers or business owners, migrant workers)

Extended Benefits
During periods of high unemployment, extended benefits (extensions) allows you to continue receiving unemployment benefit payments after monies in your regular account have been exhausted.

Ineligible
You are not eligible for unemployment benefits. This may be temporary or ongoing. Benefits cannot be paid due to: the reason you are unemployed; you receiving other income; or, you being unavailable for work.

Maximum Benefit Amount:
The total amount unemployment benefits that you can be paid on a benefit account if you are eligible.

Nonpayable WeekNonpayable Week
The first week that you apply and are determined eligible to receive benefits. It is never paid, but you must request it in order to receive payment for your other weeks of unemployment. You cannot get nonpayable week credit or benefits for a week for which you receive severance pay.

Overpayment
Benefits incorrectly paid to you that must be repaid.

Quit
You could have continued to work for an employer, and you chose not to. You might still be eligible for unemployment benefits if the reason you quit was due to a serious illness, cut in hours or pay, job moved, etc. See Reason You Are Unemployed for more information.

Request for Reconsideration
If a party disagrees with a judge's Notice of Decision, they may file a Request for Reconsideration, and give a written statement explaining why they disagree with the decision. The judge will either affirm or change the decision, or order a new hearing if more evidence or testimony is needed that for a good reason was not provided at the first hearing.

Unemployment Law Judge
An attorney who hears and decides an applicant's or employer's appeal.

Suitable Employment
Employment in your commuting area that is reasonably related to your qualifications, recent employment and pay.

Trade Readjustment Act (TRA)
A law which provides benefits to persons affected by foreign competition. Benefits may include an extended duration of unemployment benefits, and payment of school costs for retraining.

UCFE
Unemployment benefits for former Federal Employees.

UCX
Unemployment benefits for Ex-Service Personnel.

UnemployedUnemployed
You are considered unemployed in any week you work less than 32 hours in employment, self-employment or volunteer work and have gross earnings of less than your weekly benefit amount.

Weekly Benefit AmountWeekly Benefit Amount
The weekly amount you can be paid on a benefit account if you are eligible.
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