This article was last updated on January 17
Listed below are the latest maximum weekly unemployment insurance benefit/compensation amounts by state. The Unemployment compensation (UC) program is designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work or in between jobs, through no fault of their own.
Note, the table below contains the the maximum regular weekly unemployment insurance compensation (benefit) including adjustments for dependents where applicable. In most cases the number of dependents you have and average maximum weekly wage will impact the unemployment benefit you are eligible for. Please check the respective state unemployment website in the table below for state specific details, latest numbers and process to claim the benefits. The data in this post is informational only for reference.
See the latest information on the Unemployment Benefits relief package (including the recent COVID relief extension) to tackle the record job losses from the pandemic. Most state UI agencies are paying out enhanced unemployment provisions (extended into 2021), like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for self employed and independent contractors, extended state UI benefit coverage under PEUC and rolled out various supplemental payouts (like the recent $300 FPUC). Given the rapid increase in claims the processing of these benefits by many states and retroactive payments has been slow. So stay patient and persistent.
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I keep updating the table with annual state unemployment benefit changes and encourage you subscribe via email or follow us via social media channels. State unemployment benefit information is constantly changing so if you notice any discrepancies please leave a comment and I will update.
Maximum Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit Amounts (WBA) by State (last updated October 2020)*Maximum weeks is subject to prevailing state unemployment rates, so can fluctuate widely. This maximum also does not include the extended unemployed benefits available through PUA, PEUC and EB programs which can be seen in this article. I have listed the absolute maximum number of weeks and recommend you check the state UI site link to get the current maximum weeks when you apply for benefits.
The Federal-State UC program is a partnership based upon federal law, but administered by state employees under state laws. Thus each state designs its own UC program within the guidelines of the federal requirements, which includes setting the benefit amount along with eligibility and disqualification provisions. There are significant differences between states so please visit the state unemployment website for detailed rules and benefit calculation scenarios.
Steps to Filing and Getting Your Unemployment Claim Processed Quickly
- Filing online via your state’s unemployment website (versus calling or by mail) as soon as possible after losing your job or pay cut is the fastest way to submit an unemployment claim. Particularly in today’s world where call centers are operating at reduced capacity. Regular and PUA unemployment will likely have different websites for filing your claim so make sure you file via the right unemployment portal. If you have issues with your claim you will have to likely contact your local State Unemployment Insurance agency. Just be prepared for this to take time.
- Have details of your former jobs/employers (up to 24 months of history), personal (SSN, address) and banking information ready when filing the claim or talking to an agent at your state UI office. Make sure to give complete and correct information to minimize delays with your claim processing. It generally takes two to four weeks after you file your claim to receive your first first benefit check.
- You can get paid by check, debit card or direct deposit. To get your payments in the fastest way go with direct deposit and ensure you have your correct and up to date bank routing and account numbers documented.
- Certify on time (weekly or bi-weekly) to claim your benefits in order to get your unemployment check paid on schedule. One of the main reason people see disruptions is failing to file on time and with the required information. Further, with the new federal programs in place, the unemployment certification requirements could be more onerous so make sure you take time to review your weekly or bi-weekly certification requirements. If you miss several weeks of certification, you may have to file a new claim.
Your state unemployment website will generally allow you to calculate your estimated state unemployment benefits prior to or when submitting a claim. You will need to have your income/wages earned during the four prior calendar quarters (base year period) and also number of hours worked in some instances for each of these quarters. Since the wages you earn can vary significantly from quarter to quarter, you may want to consider these differences in deciding when to file your claim. Refer to your local state’s website for specifics on calculations and eligibility.
The final amount of your benefit is determined after the State UI division process your application and validates income and employment duration with your employer(s).
Will I have to pay taxes on my Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment insurance is taxable income and must be reported on your IRS federal income tax return. This includes the enhanced and extended benefits provided in 2020. Your local state unemployment agency will send you form 1099-G to file with your tax return (see due dates). This form is sent in late January and outlines the amount of benefits paid to you during the previous year. You can choose to withhold income tax during the year with 10 percent being the maximum generally allowed.
Claiming Benefits Across Multiple States
If you worked and earned wages in multiple states you may be able to claim benefits from all these states relative to the income you earned. Generally you should first exhaust benefits from the state where you had the highest income and/or lived for the longest duration in the base year of figuring your claim. After which you can submit claims from the other states up to the maximum weekly benefit.