How to Calculate Unemployment Benefits in Vermont


If you became unemployed in Vermont during the past 18 months, and you meet earnings requirements during that period, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. To establish a new claim for unemployment benefits, visit a Vermont Department of Labor Claims Center or call a customer service representative. If you qualify, you will be paid a weekly benefit. This benefit will be calculated according to your recent earnings.

  • Calculate your gross earnings for each of the five quarters immediately prior to the date of your initial claim for benefits. In this calculation, the four quarters of the year are defined as the months January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December. Wages for most work is to be included in your calculation of gross earnings. Consult the Vermont Department of Labor's Claimant Handbook for a list of excluded jobs.

  • Make note of the minimum earnings requirements used to determine your four-quarter base period. First, you must have been paid at least $1,000 in the highest paid quarter. Additionally, your pay in each of the three remaining quarters must be equal to at least forty percent of your highest paid quarter. Note: If you have received Vermont unemployment benefits in the past, you must meet additional earnings requirements subsequent to that time. In this case, contact a claims center for professional advice.

  • Determine the base period to be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount. There are four methods of determining your base period. If none of the methods apply to you, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits in Vermont. First, if you meet minimum earnings requirements in the earlier four out of five quarters, these quarters will be your base period. Second, if you meet minimum earnings requirements in the later four out of five quarters, these quarters will be your base period. Third, if you meet minimum earnings requirements in the later three out of five quarters and the current quarter up to the date of your claim, these quarters will be your base period. Fourth, if you cannot meet these criteria, and you are unemployed as the result of an on-the-job injury that resulted in a Workers' Compensation claim, your base period will be determined by an alternative method.

  • Calculate your weekly benefit amount using your base period earnings. Add together the gross earnings in your two highest paid months. Divide this figure by 45. The resulting amount is your weekly unemployment benefit, to a limit of $425.

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