Besides dying, one of the worst things to come out of the coronavirus pandemic is the massive number of Americans losing their jobs. Millions of people are trying to figure out how to get the highest unemployment benefits possible to stay afloat. I estimate there will be over 50 million unemployed out of our ~160 million working population by the end of summer if lockdowns are not lifted beforehand.
On the flip side, the federal government significantly boosted unemployment benefits. The CARES Act provides an additional $600/week through the week of July 31, 2020.
Before the CARES Act was passed, the typical maximum unemployment benefit duration was 26 weeks provided by the state. Thankfully the stimulus program expanded and runs through 12/31/2020.
Having millions of people out of work is terrible. However, the optimist would say millions of people are benefitting from enhanced unemployment benefits during a difficult time.
Let’s take a look at the states with the lowest and highest unemployment benefits. I’ll then add on the temporary $600/week to see what the total maximum unemployment benefit a person could get.