Base Period Definition

A base period is a point in time, or reference period, which is used as a benchmark for comparison against a later period. Base periods are used to substantiate unemployment claims.

Base Period Extended Definition
In terms of unemployment, the base period refers to the employee’s work history during a specified period of time. A base period is usually four quarters of a year.

States use an employee’s base period to determine unemployment benefits. Employees must have state-specific wages during the base period to establish an unemployment claim.

The state agency may ask you to provide payroll and work history relating to the claimant’s unemployment claim. You must refer to your payroll records to find data for the requested base period.

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Base Period in Regard to Unemployment 

Last Updated By

Rachel Blakely-Gray | Feb 15, 2023

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