- The United States Department of Labor states that in general, workers are eligible for unemployment benefits if they have lost a job or hours at a job through no fault of their own. They must also have earned a minimum amount of money and worked for an amount of time specified by the state where they were employed. A worker's eligibility will be determined by her state unemployment office.
Differences in State Laws
- Unemployment benefits are regulated mainly through state laws. According to Employee Issues website, states are responsible for determining who is eligible for unemployment, how long unemployment benefits will last and how much unemployment a worker is entitled to receive. Each state details on its website its particular unemployment qualifications and benefits.
- MSN's Money Central reports that the average unemployed worker in the United States gets $293 a month in benefits. This amount varies by the state where the worker lives and by other factors such as previous income and time spent working. Money Central gives a chart of the maximum unemployment amount available by state. The highest is $628 per week in Massachusetts and the lowest is $230 per week in Mississippi.