Unemployment benefits refer to money provided by the government or any authorized institution to people registered as unemployed, typically on a weekly basis. Weekly unemployment claims are determined and calculated based on a person’s earnings in the preceding months and the number of dependents that he or she is supporting. The actual computation formula may differ, depending on the location.

The base period is usually the first four quarters from the five quarters preceding the week the person intends to apply for the benefits. Income received is listed every of the four quarters in the base period. The starting point for computing the weekly claims are the sum of the two highest wages of four quarters summed together. Keep in mind that in case only two quarters from the base period had income, only one highest-earning wage will be considered.

The next step is to divide the sum of the person’s two highest-earning quarters by twenty-six. This is the number of weeks in two quarters and determines one’s average earnings every week. When there is only one quarter’s earning, the amount should be divided instead by 13, the number of weeks in a single quarter. As soon as the average weekly earnings are calculated, the amount should be divided in half and rounded to the nearest unit of currency. A small portion is normally added to the amount for every dependent supported by the person.

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