Policy Advocacy Briefs

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Use the policy advocacy briefs linked below to improve the UI program in your state. Each brief contains seven sections: key definitions; an overview of the topic; federal requirements and guidance; NELP’s recommendations for reforming current state policies; research findings and arguments to support reform; easy-to-follow information on how to find relevant data about UI in your state; and references and essential articles. The policy advocacy briefs are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to highlight key recommendations and resources to advance UI policy reform.

The Dependent AllowanceMonetary Eligibility, and Overpayments and Waivers briefs have accompanying model state legislation. Go to Model State Legislation for suggested legislative text to implement the policy recommendations described in those policy advocacy briefs.

To learn more about how to improve your state’s UI program, contact uihelp@nelp.org. We welcome feedback on what resources are helpful as we develop additional content.


Find model state legislation to implement NELP’s policy recommendations.


Policy Advocacy Briefs


Benefit Amounts

Increase UI benefits so workers can survive on them.

Benefit Duration

Guarantee enough weeks of UI benefits so workers have time to find good jobs.

Dependent Allowance

Increase UI benefits for caregivers and their families.

Excluded Worker Programs

Ensure equitable access to UI for all jobless workers.

Financing and Solvency

Ensure adequate funding for state UI systems.

Good Cause Quits

Provide UI benefits to workers compelled to quit their job.

ID Verification

Remove burdensome identity (ID) verification procedures.

Monetary Eligibility

Ensure all workers, including underpaid and part-time workers, are eligible for UI.

Overpayments and Waivers

Ensure workers are not unfairly forced to pay back long-spent UI benefits.

Partial Benefits

Support part-time workers by providing partial UI benefits.

Suitable Work

Ensure workers counting on UI benefits are not forced into underpaid jobs.

Work Search Requirements

Minimize unnecessary and burdensome state work search requirements for UI.