Unemployment / Calculator

Unemployment Calculator: Estimate Your Weekly Benefits

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 10th, 2022

You may have just lost your job and want to use a free unemployment calculator that considers your state guidelines to estimate eligibility, your weekly benefit payment, and the duration of your unemployment

You've come to the right place. 

Check the unemployment calculator below to help you estimate your benefit amount

How Much is Unemployment In My State?

Each state has a system to determine unemployment eligibility, how much each payment will be and the duration of unemployment. 

How much will your receive each week from your state's unemployment benefits? Take our free unemployment weekly benefits calculator below to estimate how much you will receive if eligible for your state's unemployment. If you'd like specific information how unemployment is calculated, check out our state's unemployment calculator guides.

State By State Unemployment Calculators

Each state often has different minimum and maximum weekly benefits amount with slightly varying complexities in how unemployment is calculated. For example, one state might use a benefits table that maps income to benefit amount while another state might use a percentage of income. As such, we created specific calculators for each state to help you estimate your exact benefit amount based on the state guidelines.

Understanding How Unemployment is Calculated

There is a criterion that is followed to determine how much unemployment benefits you receive. So, if you are wondering why you are not receiving the maximum unemployment benefits amount, it is important to understand how the calculation is made.

Besides this calculation, you can check the benefits table if applicable for unemployment benefits that compares your income to your weekly benefit amount. You may find the table at the bottom of this article. The table shows an exact comparison of income to benefit accounts. However, additional calculations are done to determine the final amount you receive.

In California, the weekly maximum is $450. What if, by calculation, my weekly benefit amount is above the $450 weekly maximum?

We have explained one of the calculations above. But what if the calculation results show you should be receiving a weekly benefit amount exceeding the $450 weekly maximum? What happens?

If you earn more than this annually, unfortunately, you will receive a weekly maximum of $450. While the amount may increase depending on the cost of living, the maximum is currently set at $450.

When Can I Expect My First Unemployment Payment?

After filing your unemployment claim with the state, you will wait a few business days for feedback and disbursement. The state will get back to you through a letter detailing how much you will be receiving. The document will contain your weekly benefit amount and total annual benefit.

How long can I get unemployment benefits?

Each state is different, but in general, you can receive unemployment benefits for 10 - 26 weeks. Nonetheless, you need to meet some requirements to continue receiving your benefits.

Note that you can exhaust your claim if you exhaust your eligible annual funds. In this case, you will not be in a position to claim more unemployment benefits until the initial claim expires. A claim will expire after 52 weeks (a year) from the date you first filed for unemployment benefits. On expiry, you can file a new initial claim.

Not sure of your eligibility? Log in to your portal and assess your eligibility.

Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?- Eligibility Overview

After you or a loved one loses your job, unemployment benefits can help ease the financial anxiety and stress while trying to find a new job. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to receive unemployment benefits. So, how do you determine eligibility?

Why did you lose your job?

The first consideration is why you lost your job. There are numerous reasons for unemployment. You can lose your job through:

  • Resignation
  • Termination
  • Furlough
  • A voluntary or involuntary leave of absence
  • Retrenchment

To qualify for unemployment benefits, you often have to:

  • Apply for unemployment if you have earned enough wage in the base period.
  • Be unemployed- partially or totally
  • Be unemployed involuntarily
  • Be able, willing, and available for work

Besides meeting the above requirements, you may have to be actively seeking work but unable to secure a position. So, you can maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits by proving you have been actively applying for work. You can read more on this on the unemployment maintaining eligibility.

Important Information You Should Know About The Unemployment Benefits Calculator

When using the unemployment calculator, please note it is only designed to offer an estimate. There is no form of guarantee whatsoever. It only helps you anticipate what you will likely get through unemployment benefits.

The results will be more accurate if you fill in the information requested truthfully and accurately. Entering truthful data also helps avoid disappointment should you need to file for debt relief or seek other forms of financial assistance.

What Financial Hardship Options Do You Have While Unemployed 

If you were servicing loans, your unemployment may result in an inability to pay these debts, and your lender could go to court. The court could grant a wage garnishment against you. If this happens, what next?

Having debt and getting unemployed can be overwhelming. Besides, more serious concerns like mortgage, rent, basic needs expenses, and medical care come first before loans. So, when you have other unsecured debt obligations, you could easily feel defeated and overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are options to get you out of debt. They include:

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You can choose to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a fast way to get rid of debt, as it takes four months or less to discharge your unsecured debts. 

But there is a catch.

You will need to be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by meeting some income and asset requirements. Take a Chapter 7 bankruptcy calculator to estimate qualification and the cost to file bankruptcy with an attorney.

While unemployed and struggling with bills, you will need to pay $338 to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, the cost of filing can be waived if your income is below the following:

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

All hope is not lost if you do not qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, although it will take significantly longer. Chapter 13 works differently from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Under chapter 13, your priority creditors- secured creditors, IRS debt, or child support are paid back first, and leftover money is used to pay unsecured creditors. The court will approve a loan repayment plan which can be extended over three to five years. During this time, you will be making monthly payments until you pay off your loans. It will cost, on average, $313 to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Debt Settlement

If neither of the above bankruptcy options seems appealing, you can work with debt relief. This is a debt relief option where you work with a debt settlement company that will negotiate your debts with your lender. They will request your lender to allow you to make a lump sum payment to clear the debt for less than you owe. In most cases, creditors can accept between 40 and 50% of the total debt. Should the creditor agree, the agreement will be documented in writing.

When working with a debt settlement organization, you will be making monthly payments to an account with them for a year or two. Doing extensive research before working with a debt settlement company is important since some are fraudulent. You can use our estimator to get an estimate of the total amount for your debt settlement payment.

Debt Management 

If filing for bankruptcy or debt settlement does not seem like a viable option for you, you can also try debt management. In debt management, you will be working with a credit counselor who will help you come up with a debt repayment strategy. Therefore, debt management is a form of credit counseling.

A debt management company can also help you by discussing with your creditors and agreeing to a DMP- Debt Management Plan. The debt management plan is a repayment plan which could take two to five years to clear your debt. The debt management company can negotiate with your creditors to reduce interest on the loan, accept lower monthly payments than previously agreed, or negotiate fee reversals.

During the repayment period, you will be making payments to the credit counseling agency, which will be paying it to the creditors. Therefore, you need to find a reputable debt management company.

Debt Payoff Planning

Your last option is debt payoff planning, a debt relief option where you make a strategic repayment plan for all your debts. The order can be the lowest or highest balance or loans with the lowest to the highest interest rate. But when you are unemployed, it could be hard to keep up with your repayments. Luckily, we can help. We have a debt payoff planning app that you can use to keep up and pay off your debts to avoid high-interest rates and court actions against you.


While an unemployment calculator is just an estimate, it can give you a sense of what you may receive in unemployment insurance each week. The unemployment calculator above also allows you to estimate financial hardship options if you face a financial hardship to help you be informed about your options.