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Unemployment Laws and Resources to Explain How the Insurance Works

The Safety Net - Economic Security Act of 1935

A state unemployment administrative law agency not only has power to allow and deny unemployment benefits, but is also, the rule making authority when they write regulations that decide what the legislators meant .. intended, when they wrote the unemployment laws controlling your claim to benefits. 

I may be a non-attorney, but I still believe a reasonable thing for a state to do, given it has an obvious amount of power over all unemployment claims, should be to act with conscience, and  better disseminate for the public at large, so we can compare how unemployment laws work differently, state to state.

Unemployment statutes, sometimes called, Employment Security Acts, really don't explain how unemployment actually works in reality.  

This can leave the few who think to think ahead unable to learn what their responsibilities might be now, or later, at some critical juncture before, or while a job is being ended, without an ability to prove good cause, when there might of been, if you'd only known how the unemployment department should apply the reasoning related to the cause.

The frustration of not being able to prove to a standard is what sent me in search of the free resource material below.   It literally is how I learned to do my job better using reason and objectivity when an angry employer (some clients!) thought a hearing rep .. or I was at fault for their story .. or proof.

Well, it's still an ability to see an objective answer that can take the tendency to emotionally respond out of the conversation and the equation when you keep things purely about how unemployment really does work.

Of course .. to see .. sometimes it depends on how forthcoming a state is with information that will help you interpret how unemployment insurance law .. might work for your case for benefits.

Unemployment Laws State by State has linked to a current yearly comparison chart for years because they helped me answer my own questions about unemployment.  

If you don't like, or approve of my answers because they aren't what people would like to hear, just know I'm not able to save people from major self inflicted damage even you might of caused for yourself, but I absolutely did try to help them see for themselves what I think they should know.  And one thing they should know is whether they actually have an argument to win an unemployment hearing if things come to that .. whether they are initially denied, or allowed tocollect unemployment.

All the unemployment laws comparison charts are updated yearly.  All can be found at  DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration).  Below the list of years are two more handy dandy research tools.

I use them all the time .. so I keep the current year's charts just below,  stored on for my own benefits.  Please  feel free to download one .. since it's best if you to avoid learning the hard way that gov't resources often disappear like those socks you're sure you remember throwing in the dryer.

2016 Comparison ChartS

Although not an exhaustive list of questions about unemployment, the charts below should not be ignored .. if you're looking for free answers as to how unemployment works and often varies widely state to state on many issues.

PS The Financing and Coverage Charts should be of interest to anyone who is an employer, thinking about becoming one, including those who think they may of been misclassified as a self-employed independent contract by an employer trying to avoid paying both state and federal unemployment taxes. 

State Unemployment Laws (Employment Security Acts) and State Precedent Decision Manuals Can Make Doing Your Due Diligence Easier

One reason I prefer using the charts listed above is that maintaining links going to states sometimes feels like a part-time job, because they often move information I sometimes can't find again on an official state unemployment website.

You'd think a state would make it easy for unemployed people .. let alone the employers paying taxes on wages to fund the benefits program to find not just unemployment insurance laws, but appeal manuals with state regulations and/or precedent board, or court decision digests.

If there is a broken link, please email me, I'll do my best to fix one, or remove it .. asap. 


The state of Alabama is not what I would call forthcoming with any valuable information that actually sheds light on how it's laws should be consistently applied to circumstances.. but here's where to find the statutes.. at least.

Alabama Unemployment Statutes


Alaska is one of the three states in the country where employees may have to pay an unemployment tax.  

This may be the reason Alaska's benefit recipiency rate is consistently higher than most other states.

Alaska Unemployment Statues


Arizona unemployment is indicative of what has happened in many states to reduce recipients of benefits to the lowest levels ever.  Arizona, has one of the lowest maximum weekly unemployment benefits amount in the country as well.

It's also one of a handful of states that makes finding affordable representation at an unemployment appeal hearing, a bigger challenge, that is..  if you're the claimant in the matter.


AZ Administrative Code 


Arkansas Unemployment Statutes

 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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