Updated : Unemployment has a maximum of $235 (see list), that seems low In my job I deal with low income people on Medicare and Medicaid. Today I had a really sad case where a woman had been harassed by her boss and was still working at the age of 70 to make ends meet. Her nerves were shot and she had to quit. I helped her apply for unemployment online. At the end of her application process the website told her she qualified for $60 a week with a maximum of $1560 total benefit. She said she worked her whole life and was only worth 60 bucks a week? I got to checking on the chart and it says the maximum is $235 per week. I always thought if things ever got too bad I would file unemployment. I could make more money standing out in front of a Walmart with a sign! My heart goes out to anyone on unemployment. Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefits for 2013 Alabama - $265 Alaska - $441 Arizona - $240 Arkansas - $457 California - $450 Colorado - $454 Connecticut - $555 Delaware - $330 District of Columbia - $405 Florida - $275 Georgia - $330 Hawaii - $560 Idaho - $343 Illinois - $385 Indiana - $390 Iowa - $459 Kansas - $420 Kentucky - $415 Louisiana - $258 Maine - $372 Maryland - $410 Massachusetts - $653 Michigan - $362 Minnesota - $585 Mississippi - $235 Missouri - $320 Montana - $446 Nebraska - $348 Nevada - $398 New Hampshire - $427 New Jersey - $600 New Mexico - $455 New York - $405 North Carolina - $535, $350, effective 7/1/13 North Dakota - $470 Ohio - $524 Oklahoma - $368 Oregon - $507 Pennsylvania - $573 Puerto Rico - $133 Rhode Island - $566 South Carolina - $326 South Dakota - $295 Tennessee - $275 Texas - $426 Utah - $451 Vermont - $425 Virginia - $378 Virgin Islands - $454 Washington - $604 West Virginia - $424 Wisconsin - $363 Wyoming - $387
It's official, you don't know unemployment works.
For starters, that list is off because the max in La is $247 now. It goes up and down based on how the La Truat Fund is being utilized. More people filing=less benefits and vice versa.
But beyond that, unemployment is not a lifetime achievement award. You have to calculate a benefit amount based on the last year's worth of income the person has earned.
Also, payroll taxes pay for this person to collect. Which means she's never paid a dime into the system personally in order to benefit from it. That's right. Her employer(s) foot her bill.
Which is why it's ludicrous to imagine jobs she had 30 years ago being held liable for her collecting benefits now. You can't go that far back and hold tax rates liable to increase decades or even years later.
Don't bemoan a system. Learn how it works.