Division of Unemployment Insurance URL reading ( My Unemployment . NJ . Gov )

How alternate base years are calculated

woman looking at a calendar

If your earnings during the regular base year period do not meet the required minimum, we can review your earnings in two alternate base year periods to see if they are enough.

You may qualify for benefits if you worked at least 20 base weeks (for claims filed in 2024, these are weeks during which you earned at least $283), or earned at least $14,200 in any one-year period over the last 18 months.

You can't pick and choose which time periods you want to use to qualify.

When you apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits, we have to see how much you've earned over the last 12 to 18 months. We look at two alternate base year periods, as outlined below, if your earnings during the regular base year period were not enough for a valid claim.