Unemployment Laws and Free Resources I've Found That May Explain What You Need to Argue About

Although I am still a non-attorney, like most employees and employers happen to be, it was my job as a tribunal (lower level appeal authority) hearing coordinator, for a UI claim management company, that steeped me in experience to know very similarly written State Unemployment Laws may work the same, or quite differently .. state to state.

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

Fact is, after nearly two decades, at first, assisting only employers and now employees, I know I still need to ask questions, as to whether collecting unemployment benefits, or denying benefits, is the more probable, or difficult outcome, an interested party to an appeal .. hopes for.  

When/if I find an answer, and it helps me to understand the ground rules of a state, it's usually because I knew what, specific to an issue of UI law, to ask about.

How a state UI agency may interpret the meaning of  a specific unemployment insurance statute regarding benefit eligibility that reads close to that of another state .. doesn't mean they have the same potential of working out the same.

Those issues about your non-monetary eligibility, frequently come from statutes with a list of provisions, that essentially create exceptions to the basic statute .. and some are there because of how unemployment insurance laws are intended to work under the wide federal guidelines provided by the USDOL to all state.

In other words, I begin by looking at state UI law, but often still feel the need to hunt down any relevant state regulation, or precedent decision, in hopes of gaining more insight into to how the state unemployment insurance administrative law agency may of interpreted what was intended when the state legislature wrote the statute, or provision.

For instance, just because your state may provide an exception to the rule that a voluntary quit to move is generally without good cause, the real question is whether the regulation still requires the moving party to prove the burden of good cause to quit your job?

The answer to this question is just one that varies .. state to state .. as you might notice if you open up the Non-monetary Eligibility Chartbook .. found below.

Free, But Really Good to Know Stuff
Unemployment Law Comparison Charts

I can't tell you how relieved I felt, when still working as a hearing coordinator, I stumbled across the State Unemployment Law Comparison charts at DOLETA. 

I remember .. I felt as if  I had struck gold, because I was doing my best to offer a credible and convincing reason, to an  employer, as to why they should consider withdrawing the generic appeal my employer had filed on their behalf to protect their right to have a lower level appeal hearing, which would also require me to contract an independent hearing rep .. who of course would expect to be paid by my employer .. win, or lose .. since draws in unemployment are a rare .. rare thing.

Want to know how I would write a generic unemployment appeal letter for you,  because I know it won't box you into an untenable argument at a hearing?  Click here.

The USDOL generally updates the  UI Law Comparison Charts yearly, sometime around midsummer, to reflect changes to State Unemployment Laws. 

My apologies, some of the links below still go to 2016 chartbooks, but you can find the most current versions by clicking the link in the preceding paragraph.

The most unfortunate thing about free official government informational resources, is how often government moves information around and breaks the links on this page. 

If you find a broken link on this page .. email me and I'll search the internet and try to find what's missing .. again, or if you find it first, you could give me the url to where it's at now .. or for any other great resource you think I should add here.

If you're just looking for the links to the State Unemployment Insurance Laws .. keep scrolling down and you finds those .. along with some additional resources I've managed to find .. specific to a state's laws.

2016 Unemployment Law Comparison Charts

  • What Employment is Covered by Unemployment Insurance? (If you think you've been misclassified by an employer, such as when they call an employee an independent contractor, or they want to switch you from a non-exempt to exempt employee .. or vice versa, then this is important information to know)
  • Unemployment Overpayment Information (Conditions for Repaying Benefits when overpayment if found to be fraud, or non-fraud and conditions if a state provide overpayment waivers.  Overpayments suck .. which is why I recommend being professionally represented to reduce the risk of being denied after a lower level hearing erroneously .. but nonetheless having to repay the amount you were overpaid .. plus some more.)

State Unemployment Laws, aka Employment Security Acts 

Government websites move and eliminate links.  Sometimes it seems they do so, as often as I pick the clutter up and off my bathroom counter .. 

Please, if you find a broken link please email me and I'll do my best to help.

And by the way .. if you know of any official resource and you think would be helpful for others .. let me know that too. 



The state of Alabama is not as forthcoming with the sort of information an employee might call useful to know how, or if they can collect unemployment benefits, but here's a link to Alabama's UI statutes and if you need more information, you can also check the USDOL chartbooks up above.

Alabama Unemployment Statutes


Alaska is one of the three states in the country that when an employee tells me they didn't get benefits and they had to pay an unemployment tax .. I know they are correct, there is an employee UI tax in Alaska. 

This may also be the reason, Alaska unemployment recipiency, is consistently higher than most other states.

Alaska Unemployment Statues


Arizona, still has one of the lowest maximum weekly unemployment benefits amount in the country.

It's also one of a handful of states that makes finding affordable representation for an unemployment appeal hearing an even bigger challenge.  Arizona has something in common with North Carolina.  Both states allow non-attorney representation at tribunal hearings, but must have a supervisory letter from an Arizona attorney as well.


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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