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Generally, your payment will be a percentage of your prior earnings, up to a cap set by state law. Although states differ in how they calculate benefits, a typical formula pays half of the employee's former weekly wages, up to a maximum amount that varies widely from state to state. To continue receiving benefits, you will have to file a claim every week or two. The claim form will ask about any amounts you've earned during the claim period, your efforts to find work, and so on. For more information, see Nolo's article Unemployment Benefits: How Much Will You Get -- and For How Long?.