Updated : June 12th, 2019
Calculate your projected benefit by filling quarterly wages earned below:
Unemployment benefits is a joint federal-state program. It provides temporary benefit payments to employees that are out of a job for getting fired without a reason or being forced to quit. You are paid unemployment benefits for only a few weeks and this differs based on the state that you reside in until you find another job. Sometimes, it could be hard to find another job as there are several unemployed people that have no work for a year or more. Based on these tough economic times, the federal government has passed several extensions that make unemployment benefits available for a longer period of time.
These unemployment benefits are meant to partially replace lost wages. The amount that you receive would be based on what you had earned. States have different formulae to calculate benefit payments but all states would take your prior earnings into account. While others look at the employee’s earnings during the highest paid quarter or two-quarters of the base period.
In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, the state would have to examine the past wages requirements, the reason for unemployment and availability to work.
States have an upper limit on the total weekly benefit amount. This means that there is a common formula to pay half of what the employee used to earn. In a way, this would be up to a cap that is tied to the average earnings in that state. So the employees with a higher wage would receive a larger benefits check but it is still a percentage of what they used to earn. The amount that an employee would receive differs from each state. Certain states also provide additional benefit amounts to employees with dependents. For instance, $25 or less would be provided per week in addition to the regular benefits.
You should know that unemployment benefits are taxable. This would suggest that up to 10% of your benefit amount would be withheld to pay federal income taxes. In case you earn an income while receiving benefits, they would reduce the amount of benefits that you receive. If you work temporarily then you must report those earnings to the state unemployment agency and they will determine how much of the unemployment benefits would be reduced.
Ensure that you contact your state unemployment insurance department once you are unemployed. They will indicate how much you would expect to receive per week once you are found eligible for unemployment benefits.
When it comes to filing for unemployment, it can be quite difficult. Make sure that you have complete information about unemployment benefits which includes how to apply, eligibility requirements, weekly benefit amount, important phone numbers and much more.
How are Benefits Calculated?The formula and method to calculate benefits are very state specific. About half of the states use the highest quarter method in which the calendar quarter in which your earnings are the highest is taken into consideration. In other states, your earnings throughout the base period are summed up to check whether or not you’re eligible. Unemployment is computed and can range from one half of what your weekly pay was at the time of the discharge up to your state’s maximum benefit. You will have to verify with your state’s unemployment office to see what the highest payout for your state is. For further details refer to the unemployment benefits article.
To calculate your weekly benefits amount, you should:
How Long Will I Receive Benefits?Usually, most states permit an individual to obtain unemployment for a maximum of 26 weeks or half the benefit year. A benefit year is the period once your claim is established and it will remain open for one year (52 weeks).
A few states have standardized benefit duration, while most have different durations depending upon the worker. In a state with varied duration, it is probable that the benefit year may include less than 26 payable weeks.The calculation is done using this formula – 26 x WBA or 1/3 BPW. Normally, the smallest amount is considered. WBA is the Weekly Benefit Amount, so 26 x WBA would be the regular weekly program. 1/3 BPW refers to the Base Period Wages, so if a person did not succeed to earn more than 3 times the standard benefit amount, they will be suitable for fewer weeks of coverage.How Much Will I Receive in Weekly Benefits?You can calculate your potential benefits online. Your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of entitlement are based on the wages you were paid and amount of time you worked during your base period. The weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing the sum of the wages earned during the highest quarter of the base period by 26, rounded down to the next lower whole dollar. The result cannot exceed the utmost weekly benefit permitted by rule. This is a state-specific parameter and is dependent on the state’s budget and unemployment rate.The base period is the term used to describe the time frame used as the basis for deciding whether or not you will be monetarily eligible for unemployment.
How to Claim for a Benefits Extension?If you are presently filing weekly claims for unemployment benefits; carry on filing your weekly claim if you are jobless or are working reduced hours. You will be informed by mail if you are eligible for the added benefits.
Usually, there are two programs that will extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB). This is beneficial for those that are out of work for a long period. The maximum benefits duration has increased from 26 to 99 weeks in some states.To be eligible for EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you must:
****The EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) expired on January 1, 2014, and has since not been renewed by the Congress***
To be eligible for Extended Benefits (EB) you must:
How to File An Initial Claim in Your State?
How to File Your Weekly Claim?After you file your application for unemployment benefits, you must start filing your weekly claims. You require filing each week, even though you are:
You can file your weekly claim: