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Unemployment Laws and Resources to Explain How the Insurance Works

The Safety Net - Economic Security Act of 1935

Unemployment laws across the United States are in fact,  similar to each other because all states were mandated to implement their own unemployment insurance administrative law agencies in 1935. Each state, however, must operate within the bounds of wide guidance coming from DOLETA.  

As some might expect, wide guidelines also leave plenty of room for a state to choose to limit coverage and protection to the federal minimum requirements, or expand the coverage of unemployment insurance benefits paid for by employers .. including what through no fault of your own can actually mean is quasi-legal terms.   Administrative law agency definition  anyone ...

Because when you apply to collect unemployment benefits .. that's what you deal with.  The more you know about what a state must consider about your case,  the better you can make your state's UI law work for you, instead of against your right to receive benefits.

Unemployment Laws:  Comparison Charts State by State has often directed those with questions about unemployment to DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration) State Unemployment Laws Comparison Charts, since State UI laws do change and vary widely and DOLETA is kind enough to update the comparison charts .. around the middle of each to include any substantive changes to state laws you might need to know about.

If I do say so myself, I think the charts are very handy, being they are loaded with basic information about how unemployment laws do in fact vary on a wide range of "issues" and therefore can affect individuals right to collect benefits by state .. is something handy they can see for themselves.

For certain, I know when I wanted to learn how unemployment insurance benefits worked, it was the comparison charts below that often kept me from sounding like a complete idiot when discussing with an employer .. their chances to make unemployment insurance law work better too. 

The most recent charts are linked to below and stored on, so they too are downloadable if you don't want to go directly to DOLETA at the link up above.

2016 State Unemployment Law 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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