Unemployment Laws and Resources to Help Interpret Their Meaning

Although Unemployment-tips.com is basically me, a non-attorney, yapping incessantly and hoping employees see they need to train themselves to see how unemployment works, before they quit, or get fired, the laws and interpretive resources below were here, long before I answered one question about collecting unemployment benefits.

The fact is, if a novice unemployed person wants to prepare to win an unemployment appeal hearing they would be better for it if all states provided a sensible interpretive guide, like this one from the California EDD

I know .. you're so excited to dig into laws and resources .. you can hardly wait.

But it really might help you when it comes to getting those benefits on your own.

Let's Compare Unemployment Laws by State

DOLETA's Unemployment Insurance Law Comparison Charts are my favorite, go to resource, especially when first investigating an issue by state  for specific clues about the ability to collect.

Or, potentially being denied unemployment benefits.

Although all state laws must fall within wide ´╗┐guidelines from DOLETA, there's plenty of room for one state to interpret the intent of an almost identical law in another, much differently from each other.

The charts are updated yearly to reflect any changes a state might of made to it's laws.  

Of course what you find below does not eliminate the need to investigate further by going to a state's unemployment laws, or other state interpretive resource like the CA UIBDG (linked to above) when available.

The charts have a handy Table of Contents. 

It's very helpful for finding specific issues which may be affecting you.

Monetarily Qualifying for Unemployment - Most of your questions about qualifying for a valid unemployment claim are answered about being monetarily entitled to collect unemployment benefits.

Additionally, you can find answers similar to those I answered here in years past. However, because numbers change the outcome of a monetary formula, you'll want to keep the one linked to above open in a separate tab to compare to the current requirements in 2015.

Nonmonetary Eligibility for Separation Causes - Compare how states treat the common reasons people quit a job as well as the disqualifications for both voluntary quits and discharges for work misconduct, .. to name just a couple issues you should understand to better appeal of an initial determination.  

Remember, an initial nonmonetary eligibility determination can deny, or allow benefits, but all determinations are subject to a first level timely appeal and if your employer appeals .. you don't want to lose by default for no showing up, or being prepared to win on the merits.  (See the consequences below about repaying unemployment)

Unemployment Appeals - The first level unemployment appeal phase for a claim, only proceeds if you, your employer, or the state agency itself, decides to appeal an initial claim determination.  

This chartbook provides the deadlines for both first and second level appeals and the chosen process of how a state handles second level appeals. (Please note, some states do not have a typical board of review appeal process and in some states an untimely appeal may literally, become a winning edge .. for either an employer, or you.) 

Repaying Unemployment Benefits´╗┐ - In 2015 I see a clear need for all those collecting unemployment benefits to understand not only that unemployment fraud is a dangerous game to play, but that being accused of it by a state who thinks you're not meeting those conditional eligibility requirements, will always right, thus an appeal can be an essential before you can prove the state wrong .. or at least take the fraud recovery provision out of the picture.

This chartbook details and compares the recovery provisions for both fraud and non-fraud overpayment of benefits, and in some states one that allows for a non-fraud OP wavier under certain proven circumstances.

Covered by Unemployment Insurance - Granted, most employees in the United States are covered by unemployment insurance laws, but there are exceptions to every rule.   However, sometimes it's an employee who is monetarily disqualified for lack of wage credits in their base period, who must now appeal.. merely because their employer broke the rules about who's wages they chose not to pay unemployment tax on.  I think this is a must read for all claimants who were treated as an independent contractor, or self employed people who may be eligible to receive unemployment depending on the state and the way they structured a business they may now need to close. 

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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