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State Unemployment Laws and Free Resources That Explain What the Statutes Mean to Benefits

If you've never read that unemployment laws vary by state, then you may not realize there are fifty separate employment security acts in this country, all written similarly, because all must comply with those w-i-d-e federal guidelines.  

But there are resource below that maybe more important than those going to a state's unemployment statutes.  You need to know what state rules are in control your unemployment claim.

Which begs a question.  If the rules are important, why then do a lot of state unemployment administrative law agencies not make it's eligibility rules (regulations are written by the state agency to interpret the unemployment law it's administering) or it's precedent decisions, readily available so the public knows the rules.

Maybe .. I'm expecting too much from any government entity, when I think it should to concerned enough to actually believe it is obligated to offer some way of explaining the rules of a game, since I know most unemployed people can't afford the luxury of paying for help .. like many employers do. 

No maybe about it, I cannot be convinced my expectation of all unemployment departments in this country, is too high.  Mainly because I know iof other states that do make a good effort to inform claimants and employers, about eligibility rules, if they choose to argue for their own best interests ..  they way both are expected to .. at a hearing.

Yea!  Here's the free resources to research .. I too have a love/hate relationship, at least with the links below.  If you find a broken one .. or can point me to more good unemployment resources open and available to the public on the internet .. let me know.

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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

Unemployment Law Comparison Charts From the USDOLETA

Years ago, I stumbled upon the State Unemployment Law Comparison charts at DOLETA.  I was still an employee .. I remember .. I felt as if  I had struck gold.

Since then, I've been mining those charts, because they have told me when, where and why I needed to dig deeper in search of more information and about a myriad of unemployment law issues aside from the two most common, voluntary quit, or discharge for misconduct, found in the "Nonmonetary Entitlement chartbook".

When, (I didn't say if) you find a broken link, let me know.  I'll do what I can to find where the information has gone to.

I have not uploaded any comparison charts for 2018 yet.  But you can bookmark or download one or all of 2018 Unemployment Insurance Comparison Charts.   (The USDOL generally updates the charts each year to reflect the most current information available, sometime around mid summer.)

Most of the links below are still going to 2016 chartbooks.

  • 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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