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  • Your notice of financial determination is used to calculate your total compensation and weekly benefit rate.

    You must understand how the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation program works to make sure you receive all the benefits and help you are entitled to. Our previous article discussed the importance of the Claim Confirmation Letter and its implications for you and your chances of finding a new job.

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    Now we will discuss a second but equally important form, the Notice of Financial Determination. If the claim confirmation letter was your confirmation your claim had been processed, the notice of financial determination is your confirmation that you are eligible for unemployment benefits and how much compensation you will receive. As you can imagine, understanding how your unemployment benefits are worked out is important if you want to guarantee you get all the benefits you are entitled to.

    NOTICE OF FINANCIAL DETERMINATION

    Your notice of financial determination will provide you with your UC code the maximum number of weeks you are entitled to benefits, the maximum amount of compensation you can receive, your weekly benefits rate, your additional dependent’s allowance, when your benefits start and end,  and your partial benefit credit.

    If it is the first time your receive a notice of financial determination you might be confused by some of these terms. Let’s look at what each term means for you in some more detail.

    Maximum Benefit Amount

    Your maximum benefit amount is the total benefits you will receive if you exhaust your UC benefits for your benefit year. This amount is calculated by multiplying the number of unemployment weeks you are entitled to by your weekly benefit rate. Your number of benefit weeks is determined by how many credit weeks (i.e. weeks you earned $50 or more) you have accumulated in your base year. Your base year comprises of the first four months of the last five since you filed your unemployment compensation claim. If you contributed 18 or more credit weeks you are entitled to the maximum 26 weeks. However, if you contributed less than 16 weeks you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

    Weekly Benefit Rate

    Your weekly benefit rate is chiefly determined by how much income you generated during the highest earning quarter of your base year. Quarters are comprised of three months starting from January to March, April to June and so on. The table below shows how your weekly benefit is calculated.

    PART A PART B PART C PART D PART E
    HIGHEST QUARTERLY WAGE RATE OF COMPENSATION QUALIFYING WAGES AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION
    26 WKS 16 WKS
    $4888-4912
    4913-4937
    4938-4962
    4963-4987
    4988-5012
    5013-5037
    $198
    199
    200
    201
    202
    203
    $7840
    7880
    7920
    7960
    8000
    8040
    $5148
    5174
    5200
    5226
    5252
    5278
    $3168
    3184
    3200
    3216
    3232
    3248

    To illustrate, if you earned $4,900 during your highest earning quarter, you qualify for $198 a week. How long you receive the weekly benefits is determined by how many credit weeks you contributed. If you contributed 18 or more weeks, you will get the full 26 weeks for a total $5,148. If you contributed less than 16 weeks you would receive 16 weeks of benefits: a total of $3,168.

    When you receive your notice of financial determination compare it with your personal records and confirm all the information included is correct.

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