Only qualified employees can receive benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. A new benefit year begins every July 1. To qualify for benefits in a benefit year, you must have creditable railroad earnings in the preceding calendar year (base year), counting no more than a certain amount in any month. In addition, a new employee must have railroad service in at least 5 months of his or her first year of work in order to be eligible for benefits in the following benefit year.
The amount of earnings needed to qualify for benefits in a benefit year depends on the monthly compensation base in the base year. An employee is required to have base year earnings of not less than 2-1/2 times the monthly compensation base applicable to months in that base year. As the monthly compensation base increases, the amount of compensation needed to qualify for benefits also increases.
Example: Benefit Year Beginning July 1, 2011
Earnings Needed in Base Year -- $3,325.00 in 2010 (2-1/2 x $1,330.00 = $3,325.00). If 2010 was your first year of railroad work, you must also have railroad service in 5 months in 2010.
In this example, $1,330.00 is the monthly compensation base for base year 2010. The monthly compensation base for base year 2011 is $1,330.00.
Contact your local RRB field office if you need information about the monthly compensation base for other years.