Washington, D.C. has increased its weekly benefit for unemployed workers for the first time in ten years. Last week the District’s Unemployment Insurance program increased the maximum weekly benefit from $359 per week to a maximum of $425 per week – effective October 1, 2016. The District of Columbia now has one of the highest unemployment benefits in the nation. (Washington State has the highest weekly unemployment benefit at $637 per week.)
“My administration has fought together alongside workers to raise the minimum wage and now increase unemployment benefits for the first time in 11 years,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement Tuesday evening. “This is a huge step toward ensuring District workers and their families are able to better take care of their basic needs while searching for their next employment opportunity.”
The adjustment was implemented partly to bring the District more in step with the states that surround it. Before the increase, the city offered the lowest unemployment benefits in the region. Currently, Maryland pays $430 per week, West Virginia pays $424 and Virginia $378 per week.