I have heard from many unemployed workers who thought they were entitled to 99 weeks of federal extended unemployment benefits only to find out that the only unemployment compensation they will receive is much less. The amount of benefits is now tied to the state unemployment rate, so benefits vary by location and the maximum number of weeks has been cut.
I have also heard from unemployed workers who thought all states offer 26 weeks of unemployment. They don't.
In the past, all state unemployment programs used to provide 26 weeks of benefits. However, that has changed over the last few years. Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina have cut six weeks of state unemployment benefits. The maximum weeks of unemployment in those states is now 20 weeks. Florida now provides 12 to 23 weeks of unemployment, based on a sliding-scale and the state unemployment rate. Georgia now offers 14 to 20 weeks, also on a sliding-scale and depending on their state unemployment rate. North Carolina cut benefits from 26 to 20 weeks, based on a sliding-scale, on July 1, 2013.
In addition, the federal sequester has led to additional cuts in unemployment benefits in certain states. Here's more information on how many weeks of unemployment you may be eligible to receive. Keep in mind that your employment history and the state unemployment rate are also factors. The best way to find out what unemployment you are eligible for is to check with your State Unemployment Office. Some states list information separately for extended benefits. Here's a list of extended benefit program information for each state.