The 8 Best States To Lose Your Job

07/22/2010 08:49 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Now that Congress is set to restore $33 billion worth of unemployment benefits to 5 million qualified Americans, we are reminded that not all unemployed persons will be treated equally.

Unemployment benefits are determined at the state level and can vary wildly, based on one's previous earnings. The national average is $309 a week for 26 weeks, totaling $8,034 a year. But many states pay much more. We sifted through data from state labor departments to find out which ones offered the most attractive unemployment packages.

Where is the payout the worst? Mississippi, where you'd have to live off of $235 a week.

Though it sounds obvious, we should note here that unemployment benefits are NOT a reason to quit your dead-end job. After all, generally only those who were involuntarily leave their jobs, meet minimum wage requirements and prove to be actively job searching qualify for these benefits.

Check out the states with the most generous unemployment benefits:

Best States To Lose Your Job