Resources That Can Make
Unemployment Laws More Understandable

It may just be me, but when I was a novice hearing coordinator, trying to figure out how to answer employer questions about unemployment in any given state, let alone matters related to unemployment hearings .. perusing only state unemployment laws wasn't often where I found the answers. 

To get around this and the fact I didn't know much at all about UI at the beginning of that job, I did what I thought a reasonable person would.   I looked for other official  resources that might explain what a law meant, or would help me answer those daily questions about the state appeal process controlling what I had to do, to do my job correctly.

This is where I share the best of the bookmarks I collected and still go back to again and again  even now, to figure out how unemployment is supposed to work  .. which does vary state by state.

State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts

Thank goodness I found the State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts brought to us by  DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration) and updated yearly .. sometime around the middle of the year.  

The state by state comparisons are in easy to read charts and have further interesting information in between the charts as well as in the footnotes of a chart.

The charts can literally answer a large number of questions both claimants and employers have about non-monetary eligibility issues and monetary qualifying issues.

The answers aren't always complete, but can definitely prompt you to ask a better question specific to your state.

  • Can I collect unemployment if I quit my job?
  • Can I get unemployment if I am fired for misconduct?
  • What is the disqualification for a quit or misconduct denial of benefits?
  • Am I an employee, or really an independent contractor? (Coverage)
  • Can self employed people collect unemployment in my state? (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 to? (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)
  • What's the difference between repaying unemployment benefits under a finding of fraud, or non-fraud overpayment of benefits? - (Overpayments)

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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