Unemployment benefits vary from state to state. However, most states use the same process to determine eligibility for unemployment benefits and how much an individual can receive in benefits, explains The National Association of State Treasurers Foundation.
Specific requirements must be met to determine if an individual is eligible to receive unemployment benefits, and these requirements are common among most states. An individual must meet certain employment and wage requirements, and in most states this includes being employed during the first four of the last five calendar quarters, according to The National Association of State Treasurers Foundation. Individuals must also be willing, able and actively seeking work, and must have involuntarily left their previous jobs.
Once it is determined an individual meets these requirements and qualifies for unemployment benefits, most states use a formula to calculate exactly how much is paid out. This involves calculating the weekly pay for an individual and then taking a percentage of this weekly pay to determine the amount an individual can receive in benefits. In most states, unemployment benefits are not equal to the take-home pay individuals received before unemployment, notes The National Association of State Treasurers Foundation.
Specific eligibility requirements and a benefits estimate are found by contacting the local unemployment office for the state. This contact information and other resources are available at ServiceLocator.org from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.