The percentage of a person's salary that unemployment benefits will pay depends on the state, but it is generally a part of a person's average weekly wage during a period of qualifying weeks and the number of dependents the person has. States also set maximum weekly payment limits that help determine unemployment benefits.
A major part of determining unemployment benefits is the number of weeks a person worked during the year before becoming unemployed. States take that number of weeks and calculate a percentage of the average weekly earnings during that period, which may be 50 or 60 percent. This amount is then compared against the state's maximum weekly payment limits and the number of dependents. The total amount of money the person will receive is usually set as a number of times per weekly benefit amount of a percentage of total gross wages in the base year.