NELP’s Unemployment Insurance Policy Hub

Model State Legislation


Below is model state legislative language to implement NELP’s policy recommendations described in the policy advocacy briefs. We recommend first reading the policy advocacy brief on the related topic—which provides an overview of the issue, examples of what states are currently doing in the area, resources to support UI policy reform, and more.

Use these state legislative models to draft bill language to introduce in the legislature. The process of drafting legislation can vary depending on state-specific legal and policy issues. For example, your state may already have a law addressing this topic. In that case, the model language would have to be adapted to fit current law and ensure you are expanding, not restricting, already established rights. Your state may also have a specific format for legislative text. Reach out to us for more information on how to adapt or customize the model state legislation. We also welcome feedback on what resources are helpful as we develop additional content. Contact us at

We are grateful to our partners and allies who helped us develop this model language.

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Model State Legislation


Model State Legislation: Dependent Allowance

Increase UI benefits for caregivers and their families.

Model State Legislation: Monetary Eligibility

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

Model State Legislation: Overpayment Waivers

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

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