How can you calculate unemployment to determine how much you will receive and how long you will collect benefits for? Unfortunately, there's no easy way unless your state has an unemployment calculator. That's because how unemployment compensation is calculated and the tiers of unemployment benefits changed in January 2012.
Weeks of benefits vary based on the date you became unemployed and the state unemployment rate.
How Much Will My Unemployment Check Be?
Your unemployment check, which is most likely not a check, but a debit card or an online transfer to your bank account, depends on your weekly earnings prior to being laid-off and on the maximum amount of unemployment benefits paid to each worker. Regardless of how much you make, you can never collect more than the state maximum.
Check With Your State Unemployment Office
There are two types of unemployment calculators, one that tells you how much money you are entitled to collect and another which tells you how many weeks you will collect unemployment for.
New York, for example, has a UI Benefits Calculator where you can enter the starting date of your original claim to find how many weeks of UI (Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits), EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) and EB (Extended Benefits) you will receive.
Wisconsin, as an example of the other type of calculator, has a Weekly Benefit Rate Calculator that will help you figure out the amount of your unemployment benefits.
Check with your state unemployment office website to see if they have any information that might help. If they don't have a calculator they may have a chart that lists weeks of eligibility. You can use that information to determine how many weeks of unemployment you are entitled to collect.
Maximum Unemployment Benefits
Don't be surprised if you get less unemployment than you expect. The "99 weeks" of long-term benefits do not exist anymore. In addition, when a state's unemployment rate drops, the number of weeks of benefits claimants can collect drops accordingly.
Avoid Unemployment Calculator Scams
There are websites that say they will figure out your unemployment benefits for you. However, the only place you can get a definitive answer is on your state unemployment website. Do not give personal information to a third party website. Here's how to avoid unemployment scams.