Unemployment Insurance by State (2014)


The unemployment insurance (UI) helps people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages.

The aim is to provide them with income support during a spell of unemployment — especially for single mothers who have little to fall back on when they lost their jobs.

The basic program provides up to 26 weeks of benefits to unemployed workers, replacing about half of their previous wages, on average.

Benefits offered to unemployed workers vary greatly from state to state — from $235 in Mississippi (the lowest for a state) to $674 in Massachusetts.

In some states, there are additional unemployment benefits for claimants with dependents. For example, Massachusetts pays an additional allowance of $25 per week per child. In Rhode Island, you’ll get additional payment equal to 5% of the weekly benefit for each dependent.


To qualify for unemployment insurance benefits, you must:

  1. have lost a job through no fault of your own;
  2. be “able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work;” and
  3. have earned at least a certain amount of money during a “base period” prior to becoming unemployed.

Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available are determined by state law and vary depending on where you live.

The following list provides a general overview of unemployment compensation benefits in each of the 50 states including District of Columbia.1

State
Agency
Max. Week
of Benefits
Min. Weekly
Amount
Max. Weekly
Amount
Dependency
Allowance
Alabama 26 $45 $265
Alaska 26 $56 $370 $242
Arizona 26 $123 $240
Arkansas 25 $81 $451
California 26 $40 $450
Colorado 26 $25 $532
Connecticut 26 $15 $590 $153
Delaware 26 $20 $330
District of Columbia 26 $50 $359
Florida 16 $32 $275
Georgia 184 $44 $330
Hawaii 26 $5 $544
Idaho 26 $72 $383
Illinois 25 $51 $418 $1515
Indiana 26 $37 $390
Iowa 26 $62 $416 $956
Kansas 26 $118 $474
Kentucky 26 $39 $415
Louisiana 26 $10 $247
Maine 26 $67 $386 $107
Maryland 26 $50 $430 $88
Massachusetts 309 $33 $679 $2510
Michigan 20 $117 $362 $611
Minnesota 26 $25 $640
Mississippi 26 $30 $235
Missouri 20 $35 $320
Montana 28 $134 $471
Nebraska 26 $70 $372
Nevada 26 $16 $412
New Hampshire 26 $32 $427
New Jersey 26 $87 $636 7%12
New Mexico 26 $75 $406 $2513
New York 26 $68 $420
North Carolina 14 $15 $350
North Dakota 26 $43 $594
Ohio 26 $116 $418
Oklahoma 26 $16 $440
Oregon 26 $128 $549
Pennsylvania 26 $70 $573 $814
Rhode Island 26 $41 $566 5%15
South Carolina 20 $42 $326
South Dakota 26 $28 $352
Tennessee 26 $30 $275 $5016
Texas 26 $63 $454
Utah 26 $26 $487
Vermont 26 $58 $436
Virginia 26 $60 $378
Washington 26 $151 $637
West Virginia 26 $24 $424
Wisconsin 26 $54 $370
Wyoming 26 $34 $475

  1. U.S. Dept of Labor, Significant Provisions of State Unemployment Insurance Laws, July 2014 []
  2. In addition to your weekly benefit amount, a dependent allowance of $24 per dependent may be paid for up to three (3) dependents ($72). []
  3. Under Connecticut’s UI law, total dependency allowances cannot be paid for more than five (5) dependents ($75) and may never exceed your weekly benefit rate. []
  4. The duration of new unemployment benefits for claims filed after 7/1/2014 is 15 weeks. []
  5. If you have a dependent spouse you can receive up to $498 per week or up to $569 per week if you have a child or children. []
  6. Claimants may include up to four dependents on their UI benefit claim. []
  7. Additional $10 per dependent per week up to ½ of the weekly benefit amounts. []
  8. You may be eligible for dependents’ allowance of $8 per dependent for up to 5 dependent children. However, the maximum weekly benefit amount, including any dependents’ allowance must not be more than $430 per week. []
  9. Massachusetts provides up to 30 weeks of UI in the absence of a federal emergency unemployment compensation program. []
  10. The amount of the dependency allowance is $25 per dependent child but no more than 50% of your weekly benefit rate. Spouses are not included. []
  11. Additional $6 per dependent and is limited to five (5) dependents. []
  12. Dependency benefits are payable at 7% of your basic weekly benefit rate for your first dependent and at 4% for each of the next two dependents and is limited to three (3) dependents []
  13. In New Mexico, dependent allowance is limited to an additional benefit of $25 per week payable for each dependent child under the age of 18 up to a maximum of two (2) dependents. []
  14. You may receive an additional $5 weekly for a dependent spouse plus $3 weekly for one dependent child. If you have no dependent spouse, you can receive $5 weekly for one dependent child, plus $3 weekly for a second dependent child. In either case, the allowance for dependents cannot exceed $8 per week. []
  15. The amount of dependency allowance is equal to the greater of $15 or 5% of your weekly benefit amount and is limited to five (5) children. []
  16. Eligible claimants supporting minor children may receive an additional allowance of $15 per eligible child, up to a maximum of $50 per week []