QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
A. The regular base-year period of any claim consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding the date of the claim. When a claimant files an unemployment claim, the weeks and wages in the base-year period are counted to determine eligibility.
There are two alternative base-year periods that can be used to determine monetary eligibility on claims originally determined invalid under the regular base-year period. Alternative Base Year #1 consists of the four most recently completed calendar quarters preceding the date of a claim, and Alternative Base Year #2 consists of the three most recently completed calendar quarters preceding the date of the claim and weeks in the filing quarter up to the date of the claim.
A. To have a valid claim, a claimant must have had at least 20 base weeks of earnings in covered employment during the base-year period or, in the alternative, have earned during that time a specific dollar amount or more in remuneration. The base week amount is 20 times the state hourly minimum wage ($168 in 2017) and the alternate earnings test is 1,000 times the state hourly minimum wage ($8,400 in 2017).
A. “Remuneration in lieu of notice” is a payment obligated by legal requirement, contract or custom to take the place of advance notice of separation. It is considered an extension of employment and should be reported as regular base weeks and wages. An individual is disqualified for unemployment benefits for any week in which he/she receives remuneration in lieu of notice.
NOTE: An individual who receives remuneration in lieu of notice for a period of less than a calendar week may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for such week.
“Severance pay,” if paid within the context of contractual obligation or by custom, is a taxable fringe benefit under Administrative Code 12:16-4.3. It is subject to state unemployment, temporary disability, workforce development and family leave insurance contributions. However, severance pay is not considered wages earned when calculating unemployment benefits for claimants.
“Continuation pay” is also known as sick leave pay. Continuation pay is considered wages and is taxable under Administrative Code 12:16-4.2. It is subject to state unemployment, temporary disability, workforce development and family leave insurance contributions. Continuation pay is considered wages earned when calculating temporary disability benefits for claimants.
NOTE: “Salary continuation through date of termination” is defined as payments made by the employer that represent wage or salary payments through the date of termination during which time the employee is not required to perform any services. These payments are based on either a contractual or other agreement. It is considered an extension of employment through the date of termination of the contract or agreement and should be reported as regular base weeks and wages. An individual is ineligible for unemployment benefits for any week in which he/she is receiving salary continuation through date of termination.