Unemployment Laws Do Vary by State

The state unemployment laws applicable to your unemployment claim may at first glance, seem the same as those found for other states.  This makes sense, as each state unemployment program has been mandated into existence by federal law, as part of the Social Security Insurance Act of 1935.   

The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) is disseminated to states via wide federal guidelines.

Therefore unemployment laws,  are also not the best resources you can find.   So, I've included links to those to a state employment security act (aka UI laws), in the event you're into learning  how to preempt, or reverse a denial of unemployment benefits because you've realized each claim is individually scrutinized for eligibility and this is supposed to be done under the purview of precedent decisions.

Precedents continue to evolve and change when laws are changed, but the point is .. they also interpret the intent and meaning of UI laws .. so even those with legal training (not me) can understand the law.

They irony is when you file a claim .. it is assumed you know how the law works .. whether freely explained by a state, or not.

Each state program operates under wide federal guidelines and this is what also allows for variances that make collecting unemployment in .. let's say Pennsylvania, often a whole different ball game than getting benefits in a more restrictive state .. let's say Florida.

Not to mention, other noticeable variances you may come across when you compare UI law issues state to state and side by side 

Today,  eighty years later, a state

unemployment administrative law agency is still much the same as it was in the beginning; just one-half of fifty individual state/federal partnerships, (if you choose not to count Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands unemployment departments).

But reading unemployment laws is not how I learned most of what I do know about UI although I have to admit .. I think they can be a good starting point to formulate a question if it finds my favorite type of resource, an unemployment decision that interprets what a law was actually intended to mean.

What follows are some of my favorite bookmarked resources and those I've  often directed someone to read for more info .. in the Q&As.

State Unemployment Insurance Law Comparison Charts

The state by state unemployment law comparisons charts are easy to read , with some of the best reading material stuck in between the tables/charts.  

They will show you not just how unemployment laws vary, but enable you to drill down into an issue listed on just about everything piece of paper you receive from a state, including determinations and when appealed help you to prepare better for the first level unemployment hearing on just about any issue that can affect you, or conversely, explain why your claim may of been a lost cause from the beginning.

I believe these charts will at least give you a starting place from which to ask me better questions while we discuss what is relevant with regard to your appeal argument whether as an employee, or an unemployment claimant.

Employment Security Acts and Precedent Decisions About Unemployment Benefits

Employment Security Acts aka, unemployment insurance laws, are not created equally, but they all must fall within the minimum requirements of federal guidelines.  

Maintaining the working order of the state links below is classified as one of my part-time jobs here ..

Please email me if you find a broken link .. I'll appreciate while I continue work to clean up the mess of links below.

Alabama Unemployment

The state of Alabama is not forthcoming with any valuable information that would shed more light through revealing precedent decision to the general public..

Alabama Unemployment Statutes

Alaska Unemployment

Alaska is one of three states where employees actually are required to pay a portion of the unemployment taxes used to pay for benefits.  Possibly because of this, Alaska unemployment benefit recipiency rates have always been one of the highest in the nation.  In 2013 fifty percent of the total unemployed received benefits as compared to the national average of twenty-five percent received benefits. 

Alaska Unemployment Statues

Arizona Unemployment

Arizona unemployment is indicative of what has happened to benefit recipiency since just prior to the great recession .. It's dropped to an all time low.  Although AZ unemployment recipiency has always sat well below the national average 


Administrative Code 


 Precedent Decisions
California UIBDG (good one)

CDLE Reference Library


Delaware - Do you know where





Illinois Unemployment Law Handbook


Iowa Adjudication Guide





Maryland                                                                Decision Digest

Massachusetts                                                DUA Service Rep Manual

Decision Digest







New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico                                         Precedents

New York                                                 Interpretation Index

North Carolina Statues

NC Precedent Manual

North Dakota

Ohio Statutes                             Precedent  Abstract

Oklahoma                                   Precedent Manual



Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota


Texas                                                 Precedents



Precedent Manual

Washington State

Washington DC

West Virginia

Wisconsin                                    Precedents


Many discussions in the  Q&A's  link to specific pages  in many of the resources to help explain the reasoning behind any answer or question I might of asked.

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