Unemployment Laws and Eligibility Rules

Unemployment laws, just like other federally mandated state laws connected to at-will employment have lots of gray areas that allow a statute, or provision to be interpreted differently, depending on the perspective one takes when reading the law.  State by state, unemployment statutes are interpreted by the regulatory agency charged with the responsibility of writing regulations, so it can dispense it's own laws in an administrative law fashion.

So .. when I could find other resources, such as regulations, or unemployment decision digests, to help explain how a state's employment security act is intended to work .. I included those links as well.

Fact is, after nearly two decades of yapping about unemployment benefits, I've never once thought it was time for me to stop asking questions, I thought might lead me to information about eligibility being possible, or if ineligibility might be more probable.

Good but free ... General Information on How Unemployment Insurance Laws Vary State to State.

I can't tell you how relieved I was when an employee who coordinated hearings, I stumbled on the State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts at the United States Department of Labor - Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) .. and all because I changed the way I was googling a question I'd been asked by an employer.  

I felt like I'd struck bookmark gold and have repeatedly visited the multiple charts since.

As an employee, I also used some of the charts to help with another unspoken job duty .. try to convince an employer why they may want to withdraw their appeal of someone's benefits.

We even had an acronym for what caused this sort of appeal.  ATS - appeal to save.   

Save what?   An employer's right to have an appeal hearing .. whether benefits resulted from not providing enough available information at the initial claim adjudication level, or facts be damned .. as far as the employer was concerned.

The USDOL generally updates it's  UI Law Comparison Charts yearly, sometime around midsummer, to reflect  any changes a State might of made to it's Unemployment Laws .. or regulations.

The unfortunate thing about free official government information resources, is how often the links seem to break.

Should you find a broken link on this page, I's appreciate an email, just so I know what's broken and can attempt to find where the information went to.

 To Be, Or Not to Be Represented at Your Unemployment Appeal Hearing.

Free Case Evaluation  

Professional Representation is Limited to the Following States .. Because of What Else, But More Rules

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Illinois | Iowa | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Mississippi | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Mexico | North Carolina | North Dakota |Ohio Oregon | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Wyoming

 State Unemployment Laws -  aka Employment Security Acts 


The state of Alabama is not forthcoming with useful information about it's regulations but here's the link to Alabama's UI statutes and it's own FAQ's

Alabama Unemployment Statutes


Alaska is a touch on the unique side of unemployment laws in one way it varies from other states.  Alaska is one of  three states in this country I cannot disagree with if they tell me they were denied benefits after paying into unemployment all their working life .  They do, but that doesn't explain that claim when made in 47 other states. 

Alaska Unemployment Statues


Arizona, has one of the lower maximum weekly unemployment benefits in the country.

It's also one of a handful of states that makes finding affordable representation for an unemployment appeal hearing a bigger challenge for claimants 

Arizona is one of two states that do allow non-attorney representation at tribunal hearings, but the challenge for a claimant, is the non-attorney must possess a supervisory letter from an Arizona attorney.  


AZ Administrative Code 


Arkansas Unemployment Statutes


I think California does a good job of supplying information I think is helpful, for those needing to understand if, how and why, they may be able to receive unemployment benefits. 

California Unemployment Insurance Code 

Unemployment Insurance Precedents 

EDD Unemployment Insurance Benefit Determination Guide aka the UIBDG 


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                                                 

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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