How Much Are State Unemployment Benefits?
Should the extra $600 per week federal unemployment benefit be extended?
by Causes | 8.1.20
What’s the story?
- With the expiration of the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment benefit at the end of July and negotiations happening on Capitol Hill about its extension & other coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief measures, many out of work Americans will have to rely on state unemployment benefits in the immediate future.
- State unemployment benefit levels generally vary based on an individual’s past income and their household income, and the weekly benefit amount varies from state to state. This USAFacts chart shows the maximum & minimum unemployment insurance benefits by state:
- The state with the highest maximum weekly unemployment benefit is Massachusetts at $1,234 per week, while the lowest maximum weekly benefit is in Mississippi at $235 per week.
- This USAFacts chart shows how maximum monthly unemployment benefits compare to the average cost of living in 19 major metro areas:
- The Boston area is the only one of the 19 major metro areas listed where the maximum monthly unemployment benefits exceed the average cost of living because of Massachusetts’s generous unemployment benefits.
- This interactive USAFacts chart allows you to see whether state unemployment benefits cover expenses in different living situations in each county based on a federal enhancement:
- With maximum state unemployment benefits and an additional $600 federal weekly unemployment benefit, an individual could afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair-market rent including food & transportation anywhere in the country ― except for Marin County & San Mateo County in the Bay Area of California, where cost of living would still exceed maximum unemployment benefits by about $300 per month.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / courtneyk)
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