Unemployment benefit is a sum of money given by the government or its authorized institution for all those who registered as unemployed, normally on a weekly basis. The weekly unemployment claims are calculated and determined based on an individual’s income in the preceding months and the dependents that rely on him or her. Depending on the location, the actual computation formula may vary.

The base period is typically from the first four from the five quarters preceding the week an individual applies for the benefits. The income received is listed in each of the four quarters in the base period.  The beginning point in computing the weekly unemployment claims are the sum of the two highest incomes of four quarters summed up together.  Remember that in the event that only two quarters from the base period had an income, only one highest-earning wage is considered.

The next thing to do is dividing the sum of the individual’s two highest-earning quarters by 26, which is the number of weeks in two quarters that determines the average earnings of the person each week. In case there is only one quarter’s earnings, the amount is divided by thirteen, the number of weeks in one quarter. The moment the average weekly earnings are calculated, the amount must be divided in half and then rounded off to the nearest currency unit. A small percentage is usually added to the benefit amount for each dependent that the claimant is supporting.

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