How Unemployment Laws Work is State by State

I believe it's important for even employees (in addition to employers who pay for unemployment insurance) to understand how Unemployment Laws work.   State by state,  unemployment statutes (sometimes called an Employment Security Act) are subjected to regulations written by a state unemployment agency, just so it has a manual, meant to interpret the meaning of unemployment by statute.

Here's the problem I see with that, besides the fact that State UI programs are federally mandated to exist under wide federal guidelines. The federal government didn't go as far as to mandate states to provide public access to even more specific information .. such as decision digests, that are much better help if you need to drill down into the ins and outs of an issue affecting eligibility.

This is a page of resource links and to get that ball rolling ... help me give it up for the USDOLETA (United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration)  for offering a yearly updated, state by state Unemployment law Comparison Charts.

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

I cannot tell you how relieved I was when as a fledgling UI hearing coordinator, I stumbled on the State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts.  And all because I changed the way I was asking a question at google. 

I felt like I'd struck gold and I'm still digging that mine for answers all these years later.

It sometimes even came in handy when I needed to at least try to convince an employer, as to why they may want to withdraw their appeal of a claimant's benefits.

Just so you know, there was an acronym for this sort of appeal - ATS.  It meant appeal to save.  Save what?  The employer's right to an appeal  hearing .. just in case they finally found the documents they should of submitted before the initial claim determination was made on the "available information". 

Anyway .. the charts are useful to know when the links below might be used for further investigation into your eligibility issue.

The USDOL generally updates it's  UI Law Comparison Charts yearly, around midsummer.  Good to know because it might just reflect when there was an important change to a State's Unemployment Laws .. or regulations.

The unfortunate thing for me about free official government information resources, is how often links are broken and left without any redirection.

Should you find a broken link on this page, I appreciate your email .. almost as much as I appreciate valuable working links to good info about unemployment benefits.


 Why Be Represented at Your Unemployment Appeal Hearing?  

Free Case Evaluation  

Professional Representation is Limited to the Following States .. Because of What Else.. More State 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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