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Figuring Your Base Year

Your base year is generally the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date that you apply for benefits. The amount of money you were paid by all employers covered by unemployment law during your base year determines whether you qualify for benefits and what amount you will receive. Please consult the following chart to determine your base year.

 

Figuring Your Weekly Benefit Rate

Complete the following steps while consulting the chart above to compute your weekly benefit rate.

  1. Once you have determined your base year, the next step is to determine the total gross wages you received during your base year period and how much you received during each calendar quarter in the base year. A calendar quarter is a three month period. Be careful to use gross wages (not take-home pay) and assign your wages to the correct quarter.
  2. After you determine how much you were paid in each quarter, find the quarter in which you were paid the most money. The wages in this quarter are your "highest quarterly wages". Refer to the chart below (full chart available here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1050899&mode=2) and look at the column headed Part A, "Highest Quarterly Wage" and find your highest wages. On the same line, look at the dollar amount in Part C, "Qualifying Wage." If your total base year wages are as much as or more than the dollar amount listed in this column, then your weekly benefit rate is the amount listed in Part B, "Rate of Compensation."
  3. If your total base year wages are less than the amount listed in the "Qualifying Wages" column, you are financially ineligible for benefits.

Sample of Benefit Chart:

Part A
Highest Quarterly Wage
Part B
Rate of Compensation
Part C
Qualifying Wages
4388 - 4412
178
8737
4413 - 4437
179
8787
4438 - 4462
180
8836
4463 - 4487
181
8886
4488 - 4512
182
8935
4513 - 4537
183
8985
4538 - 4562
184
9034
4563 - 4587
185
9084
4588 - 4612
186
9133
4613 - 4637
187
9183
4638 - 4662
188
9232
4663 - 4687
189
9282
4688 - 4712
190
9331

 

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