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Unemployment Benefits Comparison by State

Updated : April 30th, 2020

Unemployment insurance programs are governed by state governments and are funded by state, federal, and private companies that pay employment tax. Ultimately, the onus is on the state government to balance the checkbook, so the state has to decide the benefits maximum amount, duration, and eligibility to receive the benefits. For this reason, you notice that unemployment benefits largely vary by state.

Some states like Massachusetts could pay as high as $1,220  depending on the eligibility criteria. But only a handful of states such as Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey provide such generous benefits. The majority of the states provide average benefits in the range of $300 to $500.

Before we get to the details, you can now check your eligibility and calculate benefits in your state.

Benefits Amount and Duration by State

This table provides a complete list of unemployment benefits and duration for all 50 states. It provides the maximum dollar amount per week and also the maximum number of weeks benefits provided by each state.

Comparison of State Unemployment Benefits

State Unemp Rate Max Weeks of Benefits Max.Weekly Benefits Max. DA Allowance
Total Weekly Benefits
Alabama 2.7 26 $275 $275
Alaska 5.8 26 $370 $72 $442
Arizona 4.5 20 $240 $240
Arkansas 3.5 26 $451 $451
California 3.9 26 $450 $450
Colorado 2.5 26 $597 $597
Connecticut 4.9 26 $649 $75 $724
Delaware 3.9 26 $400 $400
Florida 2.8 26 $275 $275
Georgia 3.1 12 $365 $365
Hawaii 2.7 14 $648 $648
Idaho 2.7 26 $414 $414
IIinois 3.4 26 $471 $178 $649
Indiana 3.1 21 $390.00 $390
Iowa 2.8 26 $591 $106 $697
Kansas 3.1 26 $488.00 $488
Kentucky 4.2 16 $552 $552
Louisiana 5.2 26 $247 $247
Maine 3.2 26 $414.00 $215 $629
Maryland 3.3 30 $430 $430
Massachusetts 5.1 26 $823 $397 $1,220
Michigan 3.6 26 $362 $209 $571
Minnesota 5.6 20 $717 $717
Mississippi 5.4 26 $235 $235
Missouri 3.5 13 $320 $320
Montana 4.2 26 $552 $552
Nebraska 2.9 28 $440 $440
Nevada 4.3 12 $450 $450
New Hampshire 4.2 26 $427 $427
New Jersey 3.8 26 $696.00 $696
New Mexico 4.8 26 $492 $50 $542
New York 3.7 26 $504 $504
North Carolina 3.6 26 $350.00 $50 $400
North Dakota 2.2 26 $618 $618
Ohio 4 26 $647 $155 $802
Oklahoma 3.2 26 $520 $520
Oregon 3.3 26 $648 $648
Pennsylvania 4.7 26 $572 $8 $580
Rhode Island 6.7 26 $586.00 $144 $730
South Carolina 2.5 26 $326 $326
South Dakota 3.3 20 $414 $414
Tennessee 3.4 26 $275 $275
Texas 3.5 26 $521 $521
Utah 2.5 26 $560 $560
Vermont 4.5 26 $513 $513
Virginia 2.4 26 $378 $378
Washington DC 5.2 26 $425 $425
Washington 4.7 26 $790 $790
West Virginia 4.9 26 $424 $424
Wisconsin 3.5 26 $370 $370
Wyoming 3.7 26 $508 $508

 

 

Benefits Comparison Chart

The following comparison data provides an overview of benefits and shows which states pay well:

State Unemployment Benefits Comparison. (Click to Enlarge)

States that pay the highest unemployment insurance compensation

  1. Massachusetts – $1,220
  2. Ohio – $802
  3. Washington – $790
  4. Rhode Island – $730
  5. Connecticut – $724

Massachusetts provides the highest amount, but please note that the amount ranges from $769 to $1,220 depending on your eligibility.

States that pay lowest unemployment insurance compensation

  1. Mississippi – $235
  2. Arizona – $240
  3. Louisiana – $247
  4. Alabama – $275
  5. Florida – $275

Mississippi pays the lowest amount in the country, followed by Arizona.

States that provide unemployment compensation for a longer duration

  1. Massachusetts – 30 Weeks
  2. Montana – 28 Weeks

States that provide unemployment compensation for a shorter duration

  1. Florida – 12 Weeks
  2. North Carolina – 12 Weeks
  3. Missouri – 13 Weeks
  4. Georgia – 14 Weeks
  5. Kansas – 16 Weeks

Not surprisingly, the states that provide unemployment insurance coverage for a shorter duration also provide less money. These are the “stingy” states you don’t want to live if you fear unemployment. These states are more likely to be business-friendly as businesses don’t have to pay as much employment taxes compared to other states.

State Performance Excellence Awards

Dept. of Labor awards the states based on their performance every year. The awards are given based on management, planning, and oversight resulting in inefficient service to workers and employers. This map shows six states that won the Performance Excellence Awards for 2018:

 If you want to know more, check out the UI Performance Awards page

Source:
Data was collected from various govt. websites. There may be some minor errors and you are advised to contact the State employment office for the most accurate and up-to-date info. Information is current as of December 2017. For further reading on unemployment insurance, please refer to the following articles:

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  1. received letter in mail from trenton advising i am eligible for EUC. Been trying to certify at the time allotted for my social security numbers, but keep getting notification to call the re-employment office.Be darned if I know why,, This goes back to Mar, 2020 ..Calling the re-employment office is an insult to human intelligence,,The voicemail ALWAYS says to call back next day due to high volume? There seems to be no break to this ridiculous circle. You would think the system could at least indicate a reason why we need to call this phantom re-employment center so we could work to provide what is needed..68 years of living and I cannot recall something more agonizing–like a child ignoring you in the 4th grade.. Every day every hour its the same thing now for several months. Does anyone really care about doing something about this unfair nonsense? I guess we are all to blame. Hopefully we can survivive it..

    1. I don’t need it. So take me off now.
      Unemployment I don’t need no more if you don’t believe anything what people tell you then just take me off
      Thank you
      Alana Starcher

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