How Unemployment Benefits Are Calculated By State

By Owen Yin, Brett Wheatley, and Brendan Tuytel on August 12, 2020

If you are looking into claiming unemployment benefits, we researched general stats for how all 52 states and territories calculate them.

Here’s how much you can expect to receive each week, depending on your state.

But first, some terminology to be familiar with to understand what “unemployment benefits” mean in your state.

Understanding the terminology

Base period

To determine how much in unemployment payments you are eligible to receive, states look at your past earning history. The base period is generally the first four of the last five calendar quarters prior to your claim.

If your earnings in the base period aren’t enough for you to qualify for unemployment assistance, you may be automatically reconsidered using an alternate base period, which is usually the last four calendar quarters.

Earnings disregard

Some states exempt a certain amount of part-time earnings. The purpose of the earnings disregard is to allow unemployed workers to pick up part-time work without being greatly affected by the resulting reduction in unemployment benefits. For example, if you earned $300 in a week, and the state earnings disregard amount is $50, you will be assessed on $250 of income, and your eligible partial unemployment benefit won’t be as greatly affected.

Generally earnings need to be reported for the week you earn them in, not in the week you are paid the earnings. You need to report gross earnings - that’s the full amount you earned, before taxes and deductions.

Benefit weeks

The majority of states offer 26 weeks’ worth of unemployment benefits. This is usually a monetary cap, which is calculated by multiplying your weekly benefit by 26. This means that if you qualify for partial unemployment, you could benefit for more than 26 weeks.

However, you may not qualify for full coverage. Your coverage could be lower depending on two other factors: how much you earned in your base period, and the state’s unemployment rate.

The CARES Act introduced Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which automatically adds an additional 13 weeks of unemployment coverage if you run out of normal benefits.

Weekly benefit

Minimum and maximum weekly benefits are set by law. The figures we list here don’t include any additional benefits such as an allowance for dependents.

The $600 PUA weekly top-up is also not included here. The benefit ended July 31.

Unemployment benefits by state

Alabama

The weekly benefit amount in Alabama is 1/26th of the average earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Alabamian could receive is $45 and the maximum is $275.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Alabama will disregard an amount equal to 1/3 of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 14 weeks.

Alaska

The weekly benefit amount in Alaska is calculated via a benefits chart based on your total income in 4 of the last 5 quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Alaskan could receive is $56 and the maximum is $370.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Alaska will disregard $50 plus 1/4th of earnings above $50.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Arizona

The weekly benefit amount in Arizona is 1/25th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Arizonian could receive is $187 and the maximum is $240.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Arizona will disregard $30.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Arkansas

The weekly benefit amount in Arkansas is 1/26th of your average earnings over the past four quarters of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Arkansan could receive is $81 and the maximum is $451.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Arkansas will disregard an amount equal to 40% of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 16 weeks.

California

The weekly benefit amount in California is calculated via a benefits chart based on your earnings in the highest quarter of the past four quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Californian could receive is $40 and the maximum is $450.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, California will disregard $25 or 1/4th of earnings, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Colorado

The weekly benefit amount in Colorado is the highest value from two calculations: 60% of average weekly earnings for the highest two consecutive quarters, or 50% of average weekly earnings from the past 12 months.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Coloradan could receive is $25 and the maximum is $649.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Colorado will disregard an amount equal to 25% of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Connecticut

The weekly benefit amount in Connecticut is 1/26th of the average earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Nutmegger could receive is $15 and the maximum is $631.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Connecticut will disregard 1/3rd of your weekly earnings.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Delaware

The weekly benefit amount in Delaware is 1/46th of the average earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Delawarean could receive is $20 and the maximum is $400.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Delaware will disregard $10 or 50% of your weekly benefit, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

The District of Columbia

The weekly benefit amount in the District of Columbia is 1/26 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Washingtonian could receive is $50 and the maximum is $444.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, the District of Columbia will disregard 1/3 of wages plus $50.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Florida

The weekly benefit amount in Florida is 1/26 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Floridian could receive is $32 and the maximum is $275.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Florida will disregard 8 x Federal hourly minimum wage (7.25 USD).

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 12 weeks.

Georgia

The weekly benefit amount in Georgia is 1/42 of your earnings in your two highest earning quarters, or 1/21 of your earnings in your highest earning quarter.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Georgian could receive is $55 and the maximum is $365.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Georgia will disregard $50.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 20 weeks.

Hawaii

The weekly benefit amount in Hawaii is 1/21 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Hawaiian could receive is $5 and the maximum is $648.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Hawaii will disregard $150.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Idaho

The weekly benefit amount in Idaho is 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Idahoan could receive is $72 and the maximum is $448.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Idaho will disregard an amount equal to 50% of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 20 weeks.

Illinois

The weekly benefit amount in Illinois is 47% of your average weekly earnings in your two highest earning quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Illinoisan could receive is $51 and the maximum is $484.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Illinois will disregard an amount equal to 1/2 of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Indiana

The weekly benefit amount in Indiana is 47% of your average weekly earnings in your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Hoosier could receive is $37 and the maximum is $390.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Indiana will disregard $3 or amount equal to 20% of your weekly benefit from sources other than employers in your base period, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Iowa

The weekly benefit amount in Iowa is 1/23rd of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period, more if you have dependents.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Iowan could receive is $72 and the maximum is $481.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Iowa will disregard an amount equal to 1/2 of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Kansas

The weekly benefit amount in Kansas is 4.25% of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Kansan could receive is $122 and the maximum is $488.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Kansas will disregard an amount equal to 1/4th of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Kentucky

The weekly benefit amount in Kentucky is 1.1923% of your earnings in your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Kentuckian could receive is $39 and the maximum is $569.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Kentucky will disregard 1/5th of your earnings.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Louisiana

The weekly benefit amount in Louisiana is 1/25th of your average earnings over the past four quarters of your base period, multiplied by 1.2075.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Louisianan could receive is $10 and the maximum is $247.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Louisiana will disregard $50 or amount equal to 1/2 of your weekly benefit, whichever is less.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Maine

The weekly benefit amount in Maine is 1/22 of the average earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Mainer could receive is $77 and the maximum is $445.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Maine will disregard $100.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Maryland

The weekly benefit amount in Maryland is 1/24 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Marylander could receive is $50 and the maximum is $430.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Maryland will disregard $50.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Massachusetts

The weekly benefit amount in Massachusetts is 1/2 of your average weekly earnings.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Bay Stater could receive is $98 and the maximum is $1234.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Massachusetts will disregard an amount equal to 1/3rd of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Michigan

The weekly benefit amount in Michigan is 4.1% of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Michigander could receive is $150 and the maximum is $362. If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Michigan will disregard 1/2 of earnings.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 20 weeks.

Minnesota

The weekly benefit amount in Minnesota is 50% of 1/13 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period, or 50% of 1/52 of your average weekly earnings over your base period, whichever is higher.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Minnesotan could receive is $28 and the maximum is $740.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Minnesota will disregard 1/2 of earnings.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Mississippi

The weekly benefit amount in Mississippi is 1/26 of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Mississippian could receive is $30 and the maximum is $235.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Mississippi will disregard $40.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Missouri

The weekly benefit amount in Missouri is 1/25 of your average earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Missourian could receive is $35 and the maximum is $320.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Missouri will disregard $20 or amount equal to 20% of your weekly benefit, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Montana

The weekly benefit amount in Montana is 1% of your earnings in your base period, or 1.9% of your earnings in your two highest recent quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Montanan could receive is $163 and the maximum is $552.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Montana will disregard an amount equal to 1/4th of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 20 weeks.

Nebraska

The weekly benefit amount in Nebraska is 1/2 of your average weekly earnings.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Nebraskan could receive is $70 and the maximum is $440.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Nebraska will disregard an amount equal to 1/2 of your weekly benefit.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Nevada

The weekly benefit amount in Nevada is 1/25th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Nevadan could receive is $16 and the maximum is $469.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Nevada will disregard 1/4 of your wages.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

New Hampshire

The weekly benefit amount in New Hampshire is 1% to 1.1% of your annual earnings.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a New Hampshirite could receive is $32 and the maximum is $427.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, New Hampshire will disregard 30% of your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

New Jersey

The weekly benefit amount in New Jersey is 60% your average weekly wages in the base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a New Jerseyite could receive is $120 and the maximum is $713.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, New Jersey will disregard 20% of your weekly benefits amount or $5, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

New Mexico

The weekly benefit amount in New Mexico is 53.5% of your average weekly wages paid the quarter of the base period where the wages were the highest.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a New Mexican could receive is $86 and the maximum is $461.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, New Mexico will disregard 1/5th of your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

New York

The weekly benefit amount in New York is 1/25th to 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a New Yorker could receive is $104 and the maximum is $504.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, New York will disregard None.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

North Carolina

The weekly benefit amount in North Carolina is your total earnings in the last two quarters divided by 52.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a North Carolinian could receive is $15 and the maximum is $350.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, North Carolina will disregard 20% of your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 12 weeks.

North Dakota

The weekly benefit amount in North Dakota is 1/65th of the total of your earnings in the two highest quarters plus half of your earnings in your 3rd highest quarter.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a North Dakotan could receive is $43 and the maximum is $618.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, North Dakota will disregard 60% of your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Ohio

The weekly benefit amount in Ohio is half of your average weekly wage from the base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Ohioan could receive is $135 and the maximum is $480.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Ohio will disregard 1/5th of your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Oklahoma

The weekly benefit amount in Oklahoma is 1/23rd or your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Oklahoman could receive is $16 and the maximum is $539.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Oklahoma will disregard $100.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Oregon

The weekly benefit amount in Oregon is 1.25% of your earnings from the base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount an Oregonian could receive is $151 and the maximum is $648.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Oregon will disregard $125 or 1/3rd of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Pennsylvania

The weekly benefit amount in Pennsylvania is 4% of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period plus 2, then multiply this amount by 0.98.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Pennsylvanian could receive is $68 and the maximum is $572.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Pennsylvania will disregard $21 or 30% of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Puerto Rico

The weekly benefit amount in Puerto Rico is 1/11th to 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Puerto Rican could receive is $33 and the maximum is $190.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Puerto Rico will disregard the full weekly benefit amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Rhode Island

The weekly benefit amount in Rhode Island is 3.85% of the average of your earnings in the two highest quarters of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Rhode Islander could receive is $53 and the maximum is $586.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Rhode Island will disregard 1/5th of your weekly benefit amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

South Carolina

The weekly benefit amount in South Carolina is 1/2 of your highest quarter weekly wage.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a South Carolinian could receive is $42 and the maximum is $326.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, South Carolina will disregard 1/4th of your weekly benefit amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 20 weeks.

South Dakota

The weekly benefit amount in South Dakota is 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a South Dakotan could receive is $28 and the maximum is $414.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, South Dakota will disregard 1/4th of your wages over $25.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Tennessee

The weekly benefit amount in Tennessee is 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Tennessean could receive is $30 and the maximum is $275.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Tennessee will disregard $50 or 1/4th of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Texas

The weekly benefit amount in Texas is 1/25th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period capped at 47.6% of average weekly wage in covered employment.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Texan could receive is $69 and the maximum is $521.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Texas will disregard $5 or 1/4th of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Utah

The weekly benefit amount in Utah is 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period minus $5.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Utahn could receive is $32 and the maximum is $580.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Utah will disregard 30% of your weekly benefit amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Vermont

The weekly benefit amount in Vermont is 1/45th of your earnings in your two highest quarters.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Vermonter could receive is $72 and the maximum is $513.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Vermont will disregard 1/2 of gross wages.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Virginia

The weekly benefit amount in Virginia is 1/26th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Virginian could receive is $33 and the maximum is $602.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Virginia will disregard 1/4th of wages over $15.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Washington

The weekly benefit amount in Washington is 3.85% of average in the highest two quarters of the base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Washingtonian could receive is $188 and the maximum is $790.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Washington will disregard 1/4th of wages over $5.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

West Virginia

The weekly benefit amount in West Virginia is 55% of 1/52nd of median wages in your wage class.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a West Virginian could receive is $24 and the maximum is $424.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, West Virginia will disregard $60.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Wisconsin

The weekly benefit amount in Wisconsin is 1/25th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Wisconsinite could receive is $54 and the maximum is $370.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Wisconsin will disregard $30 plus 33% of wages over $30.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Wyoming

The weekly benefit amount in Wyoming is 1/25th of your earnings in the highest quarter of your base period.

The minimum weekly benefit amount a Wyomingite could receive is $36 and the maximum is $508.

If you collect income while on unemployment benefits, Wyoming will disregard 50% of your weekly benefit amount.

The maximum coverage for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Additional resources


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

Friends don’t let friends do their own bookkeeping. Share this article.

Want a free month of bookkeeping?

Sign up for a trial of Bench. We’ll do one month of your bookkeeping and prepare a set of financial statements for you to keep. No pressure, no credit card required.

Decorative patterns