Unemployment Benefits

I realize this may vary from State to State, but...
Does anyone know how they calculate the amount of unemployment pay/benefit a former employee will receive? Is this based upon their former rate of pay, annual earnings, or does the state have an amount they use. I think it has something to do with how much they were making in their previous job with a cap set by the state, but so far I am unable to locate this information.
Thank you.


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  • It can be complicated, but in Mass, it is basically 50% of your average weekly pay over the last 52 weeks up to a max of $625.00. You may receive an extra allowance for dependent children.

    Usually the website for your state unemployment office has some information on how benefits are calculated.
  • I was on our state website - but had no luck - although my time there was short. I will try again later today. Thanks muchly...
  • In Tennessee:

    A claimant is entitled, during a benefit year, to an amount equal to whichever is the lesser of a) twenty-six (26) times his weekly benefit amount; or b) one fourth (1/4) of the claimant’s wages for insured work paid during his base period. The weekly benefit amount is determined on the individual’s base period* and the two calendar quarters in which such total wages are highest. The minimum weekly benefit amount in Tennessee is $30 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $275.

    *The base period means the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual’s benefit year; provided, that the first quarter of the last five completed calendar quarters was included in the base period applicable to any individual’s previous benefit year, such individual’s base period shall be the last four completed calendar quarters.

  • Sharon - thank you for your response. I made it back to the Missouri website and spent more time looking around and finally found it.
    How are my benefits figured?
    Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is 4 percent of the average of your two highest quarters in the base period (highest quarter and second highest quarter quarter /2 x 0.04 = WBA). Missouri′s maximum WBA is $320.
    Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the most you can receive in your benefit year. It is 26 times your WBA or one-third of your total base period wages, whichever is less. When calculating, your quarterly earnings are limited to 26 times your WBA.
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