Resources That Can Make
Unemployment Laws More Understandable

It might just be me, but perusing state unemployment laws doesn't even come close to my idea of a good time.  So, I do get why so few of you are tempted to rarely clicking through to your state's laws.

Sometimes,  even I will skip reading  UI laws, but that's only because my favorite bookmarks are free informational resources that make it easier to interpret if a law exists, or what it's intent is.

I, like any other non-attorney at-will employee can think there's better things to do our time that read a law that doesn't really explain how it's going to be applied to one person's unemployment claim.

So, scroll down and keep your head up out of that at-will employee box we tend to think in .. even after a job has ended.   Look around and take notice, you are NOT powerless as an employee, or as an unemployment claimant .. but of course .. looking around is still your choice.

State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts

If there is one true thing about UI law, it's that it does vary widely, from state to state in how it is written and  how the rules and regulations, (not as easy to find) can force a law to be interpreted differently .. depending on the state.

Thank goodness for the State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts at DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration).  

The comparison charts are easy to read and get a bead on certain unemployment issues involving non-monetary eligibility and monetary qualifying.

Other chartbooks make other types of questions a lot easier to find, or at least know where you might look for a better answer .. than assuming your interpretation is correct about how an unemployment law should work.

  • Am I an independent contractor, or an at-will employee? (Coverage)
  • Can a self employed person collect unemployment? (Coverage)
  • How much will unemployment pay me?  (Monetary Entitlement) 
  • What is the maximum weekly benefit amount in my state? (Monetary) 
  • How long do I have to  appeal a denial of benefits?  (Appeals) 
  • Does my state have a board of review to appeal a hearing decision? (Appeals)
  • Who pays for unemployment benefits ? - (Financing)
  • Why can't I get an unemployment extension of benefits?  (Special  Programs) 
  • Does my state have temporary disability unemployment benefits ?  (Temporary Disability Insurance)
  • Does it matter if I have to repay unemployment benefits because of fraud, or non-fraud causes - (Overpayments)

You did know all state unemployment agencies  are known as  administrative law agencies required by the federal government to administer UI law  also ..  right?

Employment Security Acts and Precedent Decisions About Unemployment Benefits

Employment Security Acts (unemployment insurance laws) are not created equally, but they all have to fall within the minimum requirements of federal guidelines.  However, those guidelines don't prevent a state from tacking on some very helpful provisions, or prevent a state from providing interpretation resources for the actual laws.

Maintaining some of the state links below might be classified as my part-time job due to the fact they often don't work .. because a state ups and moves info around so often.  

Email me if you find a broken link .. I will appreciate it.  (And excuse my dust.  I'm working on it.)

Alabama Unemployment

The state of Alabama is not what I'd call forthcoming with information that shed light on if you have a case to collect unemployment benefits.

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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