What Is the Maximum Unemployment Benefit in California? [2021 Edition]

What Is the Maximum Unemployment Benefit in California? [2021 Edition]

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Business, Published On
August 9, 2021

Unemployment. Sometimes it is looked down upon. Other times, it is looked at as a big relief for the people filing for it.

Either way, you may have just lost your job and are a little down on your luck. That is where the unemployment benefit comes in.

It can save you and give you time to find another stable income, especially during unstable times. Over 40 million people filed for unemployment in the United States during the first three months of the pandemic.

California is one of the most talked-about states in this regard because of the number of people there. So, what is the most you can get from unemployment there?

Let’s find out.

What Is the Maximum Unemployment Benefit in California? [2021 Edition]


  • Pandemic Unemployment Benefit

Because of the pandemic, unemployment benefits have had to be handled differently than they normally are. In normal times, you would get 26 weeks’ worth of unemployment checks, with the amount depending on how much you made the year before you lost your job.

The normal unemployment calculator has your checks be about half of what you would normally get in your highest quarter earnings.

So, say you made $2,000 a month all of last year. The $6,000 for one quarter would average out to about $500 a week. Unemployment would give you about $250 a week for 26 weeks. Learn more here about figuring out your payroll.

But, the pandemic has resulted in more money than usual being awarded. During the peak months last year, the minimum payments were as high as $167 plus $600 per week. That has gone down to $300 a week plus the $167 since.

  • Emergency Benefit Compensation

As stated above, the time period for unemployment collection is usually only 26 weeks. But now, you can collect up to 53 additional weeks’ worth of unemployment.

When you can start collecting that and how much depends on your income previously and when you filed for unemployment. If you just filed a couple of weeks ago, for example, you may have to wait a little longer.

But, as long as you filed any time after July 8, 2018, you are eligible for the extension.

  • Maximum Weeks and Payout

So the real question is, how long can you stay on unemployment and how much can you be paid per week?

Well, the length is 86 weeks. You get 86 weeks starting from February 2nd of last year. That is set to expire on September 4th, though there may be a chance another extension happens.

As for actual money, the answer is $750 a week, or around $19 per hour. This lasts until September 6th. After that, the benefits go down to $450 per week, or about $11 an hour.

As you can see, there does not seem to be a strict end to the unemployment benefits, just changing of goalposts.

  • Read More About Business

You may continue to get your unemployment benefit, but some of you out there are probably wanting to get back to work. Others may want to use this opportunity to start going down their own career path.

Read more of our business articles to get some more tips on what is right for you!

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