How to Estimate Your Weekly Unemployment Benefits Using an Unemployment Calculator

Losing your source of income can be stressful, especially if you have a family to take care of and pending bills to sort. Fortunately, you can apply for unemployment benefits that will keep you afloat as you work on getting another job.

Check with the guidelines in your state to determine your eligibility. It is also important to see an estimate of the weekly benefit you may receive and for how long. To do this, you need to use an unemployment calculator. Our article will cover everything you need to know about unemployment benefits and how to estimate the benefits using our unemployment benefits calculator.

How Much Can I Get from Unemployment Benefits In My State?

The amount of benefits you can get will depend on your state. Each state considers different factors to determine whether one is eligible for unemployment, determine the payments, and how long the state will authorize the payments.

An unemployment calculator can help you estimate much you will receive weekly from your state in unemployment benefits. If you are eligible, the calculator will estimate how much you will likely receive. If you need more information on how our calculator works, go through our state’s unemployment calculator guide.

Unemployment Calculator By State

Let’s go through how unemployment is calculated in the state where you live:

State A-G

State H-L

State M-O

State P-Z



Check Your Unemployment Benefits by State

We understand that every state has different rules regarding the maximum and minimum unemployment amounts their citizens can get. Usually, each state has unique considerations and factors when calculating unemployment benefits. Therefore, we have specific unemployment benefits calculators for different states to ensure you get accurate estimates. Each calculator for each state factors the state guidelines and method of calculation to yield output.

A Guide to How Unemployment is Calculated

If you have used the calculator and are wondering why the estimate is not the maximum unemployment benefit amount, the answer would lie in the calculation. Note that there are numerous calculations that determine your weekly benefit amount.

By Calculation, I should Receive More than the $450 Maximum Weekly Allowed in California, Will I?

After doing the calculations and the results show that your weekly benefit should be higher than $450. What next?

If you live in California, the maximum weekly benefit is $450. So, if you believe you should receive more than that, please note it will be impossible. You can only receive more if the state increases the amount, which may increase with a rising cost of living.

How Fast Should I Expect my First Unemployment Benefits?

You probably have a lot of bills to take care of, and it is normal to get concerned about how soon you can receive your payments. After filing an unemployment claim as your state requires, wait a few business days for the state to receive your claim, see if you qualify, and process it.

The state will give feedback on your unemployment claim in a letter sent to your address. If your claim is accepted, the letter will contain details on how much you qualify to get weekly and the total annual benefit you will be getting.

How Long Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits?

Knowing how long you will be receiving unemployment benefits is important to find an alternative in time. Every state works differently, but you can expect to get the benefits for between 10 and 26 weeks.

However, after getting your benefits for a few weeks, you will need to fulfill some requirements to be eligible to receive additional benefits.

Note: If you use your eligible annual funds, you can exhaust your claim for a year. If this happens, you will need to wait at least a year since you filed the initial claim to expire before filing an initial claim.

Are you sure you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits? Log in to your portal. Go through the requirements and assess your eligibility.

Checklist: Do I Qualify to Receive Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits come in handy to ensure you keep up with your utility bills and other essential expenses before securing another job. The benefits help ease the financial anxiety of overwhelming expenses. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies to receive unemployment benefits. Here is a checklist to help you determine if you qualify for unemployment benefits.

Reason for unemployment

Why are you unemployed? There are different reasons why you could be unemployed. For example:

  •     Retrenchment
  •     Resignation
  •     Furlough
  •     Leave of absence- voluntary or involuntary
  •     Termination, etc.

The reason for unemployment matters. You can only qualify to receive unemployment benefits if you are involuntarily unemployed. For example, if you voluntarily resign, you will not be eligible to receive benefits.

 Eligibility Criteria

You need to meet the following to be eligible for unemployment benefits. You should;

  • be unemployed, whether partially or totally
  • have earned enough wage during the base period
  • be involuntarily employed
  • be actively searching for work, willing, able, and available to work.

If you can prove that you have been actively seeking work, but your efforts are unsuccessful, you can maintain your eligibility. Therefore, you will continue receiving unemployment benefits. You will find more details on maintaining unemployment eligibility here.

How Accurate is the Unemployment Benefits Calculator?

You should know that the unemployment calculator only estimates the benefits you will likely receive. The results are not guaranteed; instead, they only serve as an estimation of what you should anticipate.

However, you can increase the accuracy of the results by answering the questions truthfully. Accurate data will help get more accurate results and avoid the disappointment of a great difference between the actual benefits you receive from the estimates.

Do I Have Other Financial Hardship Options While Unemployed?

Yes, you do. Assuming you had taken loans because you were sure of a stable income and were unexpectedly unemployed, you could have trouble repaying your loans. At this point, some may consider debt consolidation loans to consolidate the debt.

Unfortunately, when creditors notice you are defaulting, they will issue warnings and could proceed to court to get the courts to grant a wage garnishment order.

If they do and get the wage garnishment order granted, what next for you?

While being unemployed puts you at a disadvantage, and the unemployment benefit may not be enough to cover all your expenses and loans, you have more options you can try. You can:

  1. File Bankruptcy

There are two types of bankruptcy many individuals file:

a.) Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state, but Chapter 7 generally is based on Chapter 7 qualification. Chapter 7 is a fast way to get rid of debt, and within four months, you can have your unsecured debts discharged. This type of bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy since the court might have some of your assets liquidated to offset your debt. Nonetheless, state exemptions can help protect your property from liquidation.

However, to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet some predefined income and asset requirements. Your income will need to be less than the state’s median income. To check whether you qualify, use this Chapter 7 bankruptcy calculator.

Additionally, note that you will pay an average of $338 filing fees. But the system acknowledges that you may not have enough, and you could qualify for a waiver on your filing fees. Check with the filing fee waiver income requirement in your state.

b.) Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Not eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy works by extending your repayment duration; thus, it could take longer to discharge your debt than Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will prioritize some creditors. Your secured creditors, child support payment, and IRS debt, and you will need to pay these fast. The excess money will then be channeled to repay unsecured creditors.

You will need to develop a loan repayment plan that suits your current financial situation. The court will review and approve the plan before allowing you to make payments. Filing fees for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could cost around $313.

A bankruptcy quiz can help you estimate qualification and cost.

2. Work with a Debt Settlement Company

If filing for bankruptcy is not an option you are willing to consider, then you can choose to seek the services of a debt settlement company that will negotiate with your creditor.

Once you contact a debt settlement company and sign up with them, they will ask you to stop making payments to your creditors for a while. The goal is to make your creditor desperate and open to negotiations. During this time, you will be making repayments to a different Escrow account whose details the company will provide.

During the negotiation, the company will ask the lender to accept a payment of less than the original debt but in a lump sum. Most creditors agree to this. If they agree, the company will draft a written agreement.

Since you will be making payments to a different account other than repaying your creditor, it is important to work with a reputable and trustworthy debt settlement company. A fraudulent company could swindle you.

3. Debt Management

Not willing to file for bankruptcy and skeptical about working with a debt settlement company? How about debt management? Debt management is like credit counseling since you will seek the services of a credit counselor. The counselor will analyze your financial situation and recommend an actionable debt repayment strategy.

Like a debt settlement company, a debt management company can also negotiate with your creditors but for a different reason. A debt management company can discuss a new debt management plan with your creditors and convince them to agree to the new plan.

Often, a debt management plan could take as little as two or five years to clear the debt. The company can also ask your creditor to accept lower monthly payments and get them to reduce interest on the loans or to do away with some fees.

If the creditor agrees to the new debt payment plan, you will be making payments to the company, and they will be depositing the money to your creditors. So, vet a debt management company before seeking their services.

3. Debt Payoff Planning

If none of the three options above seem to work for you, you can choose debt payoff planning, a debt relief strategy where you develop a strategic repayment plan. You can choose to pay off your debts in order starting with one with the lowest or highest balance. Alternatively, you can choose to start with debts with high interest and pay those with low-interest last. To help you implement your repayment plan, you can use our debt payoff planning app to stay on top of your debts.

Take Away

Unemployment can be frustrating, but thankfully, you can get unemployment benefits to help you navigate life as you search for your next job. Usually, knowing how much you will receive can help ease your situation. Use our unemployment calculator to get an estimate of how much you can get from unemployment insurance. Also, consider our options above if you are in financial hardship to get a fresh financial start.

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