Vanderbilt Law Review


Lee G. Williams

First Page



The various state unemployment compensation statutes measure eligibility for unemployment "benefits" or "insurance" or "compensation" by means of a variety of yardsticks. "In the Federal-State system of unemployment insurance established in this country under the Social Security Act, the individual states have been free to develop the particular program that seems best adapted to conditions prevailing within the State. Consequently no two state laws are alike; and the differences are increased by amendments from year to year."

The term "eligibility," as used in the unemployment compensation field, includes many statutorily prescribed factors which themselves differ from state to state. These factors embrace the status of unemployment itself, registration for work at an employment office and continued reporting thereafter, the filing of a claim for benefits, the serving of a waiting period, qualifying wages and employment, physical and mental ability to work, and availability for work, including a so-called active search for work in more than half the states.