FileUnemployment

Unemployment Benefits Comparison by State

Updated : June 12th, 2019

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 Illinois could pay as high as $1,495  depending on the eligibility criteria. But only a handful of states such as Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey provide such generous benefits. 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

Alaska

7.1 26 $370
$72 $442
Alabama 4.1 26 $265 $265
Arkansas 3.8 20 $451 $451
Arizona 4.7 26 $240 $240
California 4.2 26 $450 $450
Colorado 2.7 26 $597 $597
Connecticut 4.4 26 $631 $75 $706
Dist of Columbia 5.6 26 $425 $425
Delaware 3.9 26 $330 $330
Florida 3.8 12 $275 $275
Georgia 4.1 14 $330 $330
Hawaii 2.1 26 $630 $630
Iowa 2.7 26 $573 $104 $677
Idaho 2.9 21 $405 $405
Illinois 4.3 26 $648 $170 $1495
Indiana 3.3 26 $390 $390
Kansas 3.4 16 $474 $474
Kentucky 4.2 26 $502 $502
Louisiana 4.7 26 $247 $247
Massachusetts 3.5 30 $795 $384 $1179
Maryland 4.3 26 $430 $430
Maine 2.9 26 $646 $209 $855
Michigan 4.5 20 $362
$362
Minnesota 3.1 26 $717 $717
Missouri 3.5 13 $320 $320
Mississippi 4.7 26 $235 $235
Montana 3.8 28 $487 $487
North Carolina 4.2 12 $350 $350
North Dakota 2.6 26 $595 $595
Nebraska 2.7 26 $426 $426
New Hampshire 2.7 26 $427 $427
New Jersey 4.9 26 $696
$696
New Mexico 4.9 26 $442 $50 $492
Nevada 4.7 26 $407 $407
New York 4.5 26 $435 $435
Ohio 4.5 26 $598 $155 $753
Oklahoma 3.9 26 $520 $520
Oregon 4 26 $538 $538
Pennsylvania 4.3 26 $561 $8 $569
Rhode Island 4.3 26 $566 $141 $707
South Carolina 3.8 20 $326 $326
South Dakota 3.2 26 $352 $352
Tennessee 3.5 26 $275 $275
Texas 4 26 $507 $507
Utah 3 26 $543 $543
Virginia 3.2 26 $387 $387
Vermont 2.8 26 $466 $466
Washington 4.7 26 $749 $749
Wisconsin 2.9 26 $363 $363
West Virginia 5.3 26 $424 $424
Wyoming 3.7 26 $489

$489

Benefits Comparison Chart

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

State Unemployment Benefits Comparison
State Unemployment Benefits Comparison. (Click to Enlarge)

States that pay highest unemployment insurance compensation

  1. Illinois – $1,495
  2. Massachusetts – $1,179
  3. Maine – $855
  4. Ohio – $753
  5. Connecticut – $706

Massachusetts provides the highest amount, but please note that the amount ranges from $769 to $1,537 depending on your eligibility.  In terms of the duration, most of the top 5 states provide similar coverage.

States that pay lowest unemployment insurance compensation

  1. Mississippi – $235
  2. Arizona – $240
  3. Louisiana – $247
  4. Alabama – $265
  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 into efficient 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 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 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:

  1. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  3. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer a simple Math question: *

https://fileunemployment.org