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Weekly Benefit Rate

 
 
 

Calculating the Weekly Benefit Rate

Your Weekly Benefit Rate is the amount you can receive if you are eligible for benefits for a week and your benefits are not reduced for any reason.
 
Your Weekly Benefit Rate is calculated based on the wages you were paid in your base year. You must determine the total gross wages received during your base-year period and how much you received during each calendar quarter in the base year. Be careful to use gross wages - not take-home pay - and assign your wages to the quarters in which you were paid. The quarter in which you were paid the most money is known as your High Quarter. The High Quarter determines your Weekly Benefit Rate.
 
However, it is not the only determining factor. You must also have sufficient qualifying wages or total wages in the base year. In other words, all your wages cannot have been earned in one quarter. The amount of qualifying wages needed is determined by the amount of wages in the High Quarter. For instance, if your High Quarter was $1688, you must have at least $3,391 total qualifying wages in the base year. If your High Quarter was $7,500, you must have at least $14,876 total qualifying wages in the base year. To be eligible, at least 49.5 percent of the total qualifying wage (as in Part C of the Rate and Amount of Benefits Chart) must have been paid in one or more quarters other than in your High Quarter.

Full-Time Weekly Wage

Your Weekly Benefit Rate should equal about one-half of your full-time weekly wage. If the weekly benefit rate shown on your Notice of Financial Determination is not one-half of your gross full-time weekly wage, and your rate is not the highest benefit rate on the Rate and Amount of UC Benefits chart, you may qualify for a higher weekly benefit rate. If you want your weekly benefit rate to be calculated based on your full-time weekly wage, you must file a timely appeal to the Notice of Financial Determination and request a redetermination from the UC Service Center.

Allowance for Dependents

If you are eligible for benefits, you may receive an additional $5 weekly for a dependent spouse plus $3 weekly for one dependent child. If you have no dependent spouse, you can receive $5 weekly for one dependent child, plus $3 weekly for a second dependent child. In either case, the allowance for dependents cannot exceed $8 per week.
 
To receive an allowance for a dependent(s), you must have been wholly or chiefly supporting your dependent(s) at the time of your application for benefits. A "dependent spouse" is your lawful husband or wife living in your household. A "dependent child" is your unmarried child, stepchild or adopted child who is under 18 years of age. A dependent child is also any unmarried child 18 years of age or older, who cannot work because of a disability.
 
A person's "dependent" status for UC purposes is not determined by the person's status for tax purposes, or whether the person is attending school.
 
Note: If both spouses file claims with overlapping benefit years, one spouse may not claim the same child or children as the other spouse. However, each spouse may claim up to two different children.
 
If you qualify, you will receive an allowance for dependent(s) for each week that you receive UC benefits, whether your regular benefits are full or partial amounts. However, you can receive an allowance for dependents only for the number of weeks corresponding to your maximum benefit amount (i.e., between 18 and 26 weeks).
 
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The information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility
to receive unemployment compensation.
 
PA Department of Labor and Industry