What is a Base Period?

1. What is a Base Period (BP)?

A base period is the timeframe which is used to determine the computation of a claim for benefits (unemployment or disability). This usually means the EDD skips the quarter in which the claimant is filing his/her claim and the quarter immediately preceding it, and then uses the four prior quarters. This is a called a Regular Base Period (RBP), illustrated here:

A claimant must have earned at least $900 in one of the quarters of his/her base period. If the claimant did not earn at least that much in any one of the quarters, the EDD may consider an Alternate Base Period (ABP), which drops the oldest quarter in the RBP and replaces it with the quarter immediately preceding the one in which the claimant filed his/her claim. The ABP is illustrated here:

2. Special Base Period

In rare instances, a claimant who cannot establish an SDI claim (not UI) under both RBP and ABP, may eligible to have a special base period applied, in which the EDD may substitute quarters without earnings with past quarters until they locate quarters in which the claimant had earnings.

This only applies to SDI claims in which the claimant:

  • Military service
  • Industrial disability
  • Trade dispute
  • Long-term unemployment

3. Where Can I Find the WBA?

The base period can be determined based on the BYB. Simply apply the BYB to the charts

4. Can the BP Be Changed?

Yes. We can appeal the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Award to challenge BYB and thereby change the BP. Alternatively, we can appeal the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Award to apply an ABP or a Special Base Period.