What is a benefit year?
When a claimant opens a new initial claim, that claim last for 12-months. During that year-long period, the claimant can file weekly certifications (known as weekly or continued claims), for benefits during weeks in which they are unemployed or partially unemployed. When the 12-month benefit year ends, the claimant must reapply for benefits by submitting a new initial claim application. This allows the Department to reevaluate the claimant’s eligibility and set a new benefit amount based on earnings during the prior year.