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Unemployment Benefits Comparison by State

Updated : August 4th, 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 Unemployment Rate Max. Weeks of Benefits Max. Weekly Benefits Max. Dearness  Allowance
Total Weekly Benefits
Alabama 7.5 26 $275 $275
Alaska 12.4 26 $370 $72 $442
Arizona 10 20 $240 $240
Arkansas 8 26 $451 $451
California 14.9 26 $450 $450
Colorado 10.5 26 $597 $597
Connecticut 9.8 26 $649 $75 $724
Delaware 12.5 26 $400 $400
Florida 10.4 26 $275 $275
Georgia 7.6 12 $365 $365
Hawaii 13.9 14 $648 $648
Idaho 5.6 26 $414 $414
IIinois 14.6 26 $471 $178 $649
Indiana 11.2 21 $390.00 $390
Iowa 8 26 $591 $106 $697
Kansas 7.5 26 $488.00 $488
Kentucky 4.3 16 $552 $552
Louisiana 9.7 26 $247 $247
Maine 6.6 26 $414.00 $215 $629
Maryland 8 30 $430 $430
Massachusetts 17.4 26 $823 $397 $1,220
Michigan 14.8 26 $362 $209 $571
Minnesota 5.6 20 $717 $717
Mississippi 8.7 26 $235 $235
Missouri 7.9 13 $320 $320
Montana 7.1 26 $552 $552
Nebraska 6.7 28 $440 $440
Nevada 15 12 $450 $450
New Hampshire 11.8 26 $427 $427
New Jersey 16.6 26 $696.00 $696
New Mexico 8.3 26 $492 $50 $542
New York 15.7 26 $504 $504
North Carolina 7.6 26 $350.00 $50 $400
North Dakota 6.1 26 $618 $618
Ohio 10.9 26 $647 $155 $802
Oklahoma 6.6 26 $520 $520
Oregon 11.2 26 $648 $648
Pennsylvania 13 26 $572 $8 $580
Rhode Island 12.4 26 $586.00 $144 $730
South Carolina 8.7 26 $326 $326
South Dakota 7.2 20 $414 $414
Tennessee 9.7 26 $275 $275
Texas 8.6 26 $521 $521
Utah 5.1 26 $560 $560
Vermont 9.4 26 $513 $513
Virginia 8.4 26 $378 $378
Washington DC 8.6 26 $425 $425
Washington 9.8 26 $790 $790
West Virginia 10.4 26 $424 $424
Wisconsin 8.5 26 $370 $370
Wyoming 7.6 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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