Benefit year is the term used to describe one year since you began that particular year of unemployment.
For example- if you started with your company say,
2010 and got laid off July 1,
2010 (for say 2 weeks for the holiday shutdown)
and you filed a new case for unemployment on July 2,
Your benefit would start that day- 7/2/2010.
Your waiting week is included so your benefit year would end July 1,
You would have to file a whole new claim beginning July 1,
2011 and get your waiting week in once again.