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Can I move out of state and collect unemployment?

by Chris - unemployment-tips.com
(United States)

I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I would show you what I check when someone asks me if they can continue to collect unemployment if they move out of state.


In general there isn't anything prohibiting most people from moving out of the state from where there unemployment benefits are coming from .. except a handful of states have what is called "Locality provisions".

So when someone asks I always have to know what state they are talking about .. and then I check the same resource I always begin with .. the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration or DOLETA for short.

I open the "Nonmonetary Eligibility" pdf and go to page 23 where it says this.

Locality - Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina require that workers be available for work in a locality where their base-period wages were earned, or in a locality where similar work is available or where suitable work is normally performed. Illinois and Utah consider workers to be unavailable if, after separation from their most recent work, they move to and remain in a locality where opportunities for work are substantially less favorable than those in the locality they left. Arizona and Utah require that, at the time they file a claim, workers be a resident of their state or of another state or foreign country that has entered into reciprocal arrangements with the state. Oregon, Utah and Virginia consider workers unavailable for work if they leave their normal labor market area for the major portion of a week unless the worker can establish that they conducted a bona fide search for work in the labor market area where they spent the major part of the week.

Of course every state may have their own requirements about how you change your address and making sure you register for work through the state you move to. They might also question your availability for work if you forget and mark the box on your continuing claim that you were able and available for work while you were moving. Just keep this in mind and make sure you are

able to account for your every move .. and you should be fine.

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Jun 24, 2020
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College
by: Anonymous

I have had a paid internship for 3 years of college. I work part time during the school year and full time in the summers. I just graduated and am working that internship full time again this summer. I will be moving out of state for grad school in August and intend to look for a job once I am there and am adjusted to the new college schedule. Can I collect unemployment during the few weeks in which I will not have a job?



Hi Anonymous,

You didn't give many details about your job/internship that would definitively tell me if your job/internship might be covered employment .. which is must be to collect UI benefits.

But, since I suspect your job may be specific to your studies and or your attendance at college, you may find the answer to whether your internship .. must be covered by unemployment insurance per the FUTA, by visiting the USDOL's Unemployment Insurance Coverage Chartbook and in particular, paying close attention to Table 1-9.

If your job is not connected to you being in college, or your field of study, then you will want to find and review the info found in the Nonmonetary Eligibility Chartbook and the table dealing specifically, with the "Treatment of Students, and the ongoing issue of eligibility to collect, when quitting any covered job, for the reason of attending school.

The answer is one I know can vary .. state by state, and be a matter of splitting hairs.

Or you can click on my name below, to find the list of Q&As specific to eligibility issues I think of as important .. to anyone attending school ..but also having to maintain a job, to do so.

Chris-Unemployment-Tips.com

Jun 09, 2020
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Nevada to Michigan move
by: Becky

Moving from Nevada to Michigan
I am currently on lay off in Las Vegas and moving back to Michigan. I am collecting unemployment in Nevada and I know I need to change my address and contact Michigan unemployment to transfer benefits. My question is do I need to notify my company that I'm moving and not returning if called back? If I do will it be the same as quitting?



Hi,
There is something called a job attached lay off in some states, which basically can suspend the requirements of a state associated with the job search. Did your employer tell the state you were laid off, but "job attached"? If not, then I don't see why there would be any need to tell your employer you're moving, except if you might be expecting something from them.

When someone moves from the liable state locality and the state doesn't have any locality provisions the may mess things up if the person moves, my primary concern for someone asking, is that I don't want to see their continuing eligibility messed up by their own responses to the claim questions always asked when certifying for benefits, during the week they move.

I've seen many denied for misrepresentation of material fact, for simply checking the boxes related to the issue of being able and available to work in that week they moved. And believe me, the state gets wind of when you moved .. because people do change their address and continue to file .. from unfamiliar IP addresses.

I swear I don't have OCD about everything that can hurt me, or you, but when it comes to how UI works, and often different enough, state by state .. my motto is, better to stay safe and eligible .. than sorry AND still unemployed without benefits.

Chris-Unemployment-Tips.com

May 19, 2020
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IL to TX
by: Anonymous

It seems that IL will still pay my benefits as long as they deem the new job market that I'm moving to (Austin, TX) has a similar job market? Am I understanding that correctly? If so, how does IL determine that?

I didn't check the chart, or the notes below the chart, but that sounds right to me.

Any state has access to lots of statistics provided by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), so depending on your profession, I think you too can check on that .. including prevailing wage data, which is extra important to some state close to IL that has escaped me at the moment .. might be WI, or MI if memory serves though.

Here's a link to the BLS.


https://www.bls.gov/

May 15, 2020
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TN to IN
by: Mike

Hopefully my case is relatively simple. I was furloughed by my company back in March and have been collecting unemployment since then. In late June the lease on my apartment runs out and I plan on moving back home with my dad in Indiana.

Will I be able to continue collecting unemployment in Tennessee? Will I need to transfer my benefits to Indiana? The weekly certification asks the question if I was ‘able and available’ for work in the last week. I have been answering yes. Will my answer have to change if I move out of state?


Hi Mike,
I don't really answer questions on a case by case basis .. but hope one answer will suit many.

The first thing I always check for when asked this, is whether the liable state (the one paying the benefits) might have a locality provision that effectively limits the benefit recipient's freedom .. from moving to another state, when they will continue collecting from the liable state.

Most states don't make an issue out of this, but those that do .. don't advertise they can either. All states however, do have an interest in how someone files and answer questions for continuing benefits .. during the week they move .. and moreover, all expect a claimant knows to take the proper actions, such as to change their address with the state they are leaving, and to also register for work in the state they are moving to .. so the work search can still be monitored and potentially, be subject to a "random" job search audit.

To find out what I think I need to know to even answer this question and be sure I'm not glossing over the pitfalls I'm always trying to warn about , I first go to the USDOL Unemployment Law Comparison Charts which I keep the link to at the top of the page where I keep all resource links I know can be useful.

First I check out the Table of Contents and use ctrl+f to search for "Locality" where I think you can find info about the work search requirements as well as reporting and monitoring a work search.

Since I already know this is the sort of conditional eligibility info found in the Non-Monetary Chartbooks .. along with that about quitting and discharges, I'll tell you now, that's where you'll need to go next.

Because I worry people may miss what is found on page 26 .. I'll just copy and paste it here.

LOCALITY—Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina require that individuals be available for work in the locality where their base-period wages were earned, or in a locality where similar work is available or where suitable work is normally performed. Illinois and Utah consider individuals to be unavailable if, after separation from their most recent work, they move to and remain in a locality where opportunities for work are substantially less favorable than those in the locality they left. Oregon, Utah, and Virginia consider individuals unavailable for work if they leave their normal labor market area for the major portion of a week unless the individuals can establish that they conducted a bona fide search for work in the labor market area where they spent the major part of the week. In Wisconsin, an individual is not considered available for work in any week they are in a country other than the United States or Canada for more than 48 hours, unless the individual has authorization to work in that country and there is a reciprocal agreement with that country concerning the payment of unemployment benefits. In Utah, an individual located in a foreign country for three or more days of a week and who is otherwise eligible for benefits is only eligible to receive benefits for that week if the individual is legally authorized to work in the foreign country, and the state and the foreign country have entered into a reciprocal agreement concerning the payment of unemployment benefits.

Chris-Unemployment-Tips.com


May 11, 2020
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VA to GA
by: Court

Thanks for the great info! I have been receiving UI from Virginia after being laid off due to COVID. I moved back to my parents home in GA to help them out during the crisis. I lost my license and am having trouble getting a replacement from VA. If I get a GA license, will I lose the right to claim my UI in Virginia?


You shouldn't lose your VA benefits because you have a GA driver's license.

Benefits are based on wages earned in a state .. to use UI terminology .. wage credits.

Chris-Unemployment-Tips.com

May 02, 2020
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Moving from NJ to FL
by: Anonymous

I’ve been laid off off from my job in NJ since March due to the virus. I’ve been collecting NJ unemployment since then. I’m currently a NJ resident but I’m considering moving to Florida in May. Will I be able to continue collecting unemployment in NJ? I’ve been trying to reach out to the unemployment office but I’m unable to speak with someone. Therefore, what happens in the event that I cannot reach the unemployment office to notify them of the address change?


Hi Anonymous,

What happens? Nothing I'd be looking forward to finding out in the near, or distant future ..if I were thinking about doing something boneheaded like that.

Sometimes an answer just feels obvious to me, but then again, it could be those lucky enough to already be collecting NJ benefits, instead of being forced to spend months trying to resolve a legitimate claim lingering in "pending status" due to an unknown and unresolved issue .. can offer a different way to look at things.

May 01, 2020
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UTAH TO CALIFORNIA
by: Alexa

Hello,

Thank you so much for helping those who have a difficult time navigating. I've been trying to contact Unemployment Offices for over a month, to no avail. Lost my job due to covid-19. I worked 9 months in Utah. Relocating back to California where I worked 3 years defore moving to UT.

Can I file unemployment in California? And if so would I be exempt from Utah's Severance regulation? Utah prohibits from collecting unemployment benefits if and while receiving severance pay. My previous job is paying me small Severance/vacation pay over six-weeks. It is not a lot, but it is something. I believe California does not count vacation or severance pay against unemployment benefits. Utah from what I can research) also doesn't pay benefits while waiting for severance to kick, which in my case would be 4 weeks.


I think you may be incorrect about California not counting vacation pay or severance as wages.

But, the best way I know of to find the answer on a state by state basis is to go to the UI State Law Comparison Charts.

I link to the charts on the page full of UI law resources Once you do that, you will need to go to the Non-Monetary charts, and to page 42.

Apr 30, 2020
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Moving from California to Al
by: Anonymous

Hello,
Ive worked in california for the last 5 years. I filed for unemployment in California. I am eligible for the California unemployment. I recently realized that my RV park is shutting down and will need to move to Alabama. I have not received my unemployment money card. Would moving effect my unemployment money that California says I am eligiable for? How would I get a card transferred or re-mailed to Alabama?

This should help you figure it out.


https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/faq_-_contacting_ui.htm

Apr 28, 2020
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where do I file?
by: Anonymous

I have worked in Texas for nine months(not a year) and was furlough because of the virus.I transferred from California and have a California driver's licence. I have worked for the same company for 10 years. where do I file.?


Texas is where I would file, if I'd lived and worked in the St. of Texas for the last nine months under the same, or similar conditions.

It makes sense to be collecting from the state of TX .. while you're waiting to be recalled from a furlough from a job located in TX.

Chris

Apr 28, 2020
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PA to FL during COVID-19
by: Anonymous

I was laid off in PA due to COVID 19, moving to FL in a couple weeks, should I have any issues?


Hi Anonymous,

It's always possible to have an issue with collecting unemployment.

Which if I get right down to it, is why questions sounding as if there is nothing in the way of a definitive yes, or no answer, tend to either be worrisome, or just plain old annoying.

But I say this because I'm not the most patient person in the world and because I know without doubt, many eligibility issues falling under such circumstances tend to be conditional issues, which can be traced back to something the claimant did wrong during the UI process of transitioning a claim from one state to another.

Regardless of where you file your claim for benefits, PA, or Florida .. PA would be considered the liable state and Florida would be state acting as agent for the PA UI dept.

In addition to this .. my opinion about the Florida "reemployment" department, is it's the last unemployment department I'd personally want to have to deal with when unemployed .. whether it was the liable, or agent state, acting on behalf of another state such as PA.

Chris

Chris

Apr 27, 2020
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Unemployment because of covid19
by: Anonymous

Hi,
I moved to Seattle from California on June 2019. I recently lost my job because of covid19. I applied for WA unemployment but got denied because of not meeting 650 hours. Can I apply for California unemployment even if I am living at Washington?

Hi Anonymous,

You can .. and likely should if by 650 hours, has something to do with the qualifying wages found in a base period and required for Washington State benefits.

The standard base period is the first four, of the last five completed quarters.

You can also find the monetary qualifying formulas for every state by going to the unemployment law page and looking for the link to the USDOL's UI Law Comparison Charts and then clicking the link for the Monetary Entitlement one.

Chris

Apr 21, 2020
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Texas benefits but moving to NJ! please help
by: Alex

Hi there,

I am having such a hard time finding the info I need so I am glad to of found this page and I hope you see my comment!

I was "temporarily" laid off due to covid 19 in mid March. I have been collecting unemployment since then. My boyfriend lives in New Jersey and we have decided for me to finally move to New Jersey as well. I have searched high and low for any insight on this - so I hope you can help.

If my previous employer were to offer my job back, however my address was already changed to a NJ address - would this be a good reason to turn down suitable employment?

Will there be any hault in my current unemployment payments if I switch my address to the address of another state?

Someone mentioned to me that if I moved during the hours of my previous job, I will not get unemployment for those hours. How do they know exactly when I moved?

After reading forums and what not, I got the notion that I would have to file extensive paperwork to file an address change. However after searching TWC website, I can’t find any forms of the such and all I see is the option to change my address on my TWC profile!!

Please help.

Hi Alex,

If you had been laid off under normal circumstances, I'd being asking you if your employer might of given you and the unemployment department an approximate return to work date .. and I'd be asking you if the TWC told you, the search for work was suspended because you were "job attached"?

Under the current circumstances, knowing full well many states have likely changed, or suspended some of their conditional eligibility rules given the unprecedented nature of what is happening .. I just don't think I can offer you a definitive yes, or no, but it would be helpful to me if you would answer those two questions I asked at the top.

Did your employer provide you, or the state with an expected return to work date?

An if so, do you know if TX suspended the job search for you? ( A job search is generally required of anyone filing an unemployment claim, even those laid off for a "lack of work")?

Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

Dec 01, 2019
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Moving to utah
by: Deena

Hi. I am in California and been at the same job for 28 years and in april 2020 I am moving to be with my boyfriend. I am going to be looking for jobs prior to moving there, but if I don't find one should I file for unemployment in California and let them know the situation so hopefully when I get to Utah it will cross over? Some have told me to just file with utah. I am so confused. Please help. Thank you.



Hi Deena,

First, I would tell you that I would file any claim in California, since that's where your claim's base period wages would be and because when it comes to the generosity written into unemployment laws via "provisions", I think California wins on that front.

However, you are talking about a voluntary quit to follow a "boyfriend" and that concerns me .. even if your claim would be a California unemployment claim.

My advice Deena, is to thoroughly read the information pertaining to quitting for personal reasons in California. I would suggest sections VQ 150 and VQ 155 in the EDD UIBDG at minimum.

If you have any questions based on that information .. let me know.

Chris

Mar 10, 2019
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To Online Employee
by: Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

I get why it is confusing to know, to which state one should apply for unemployment if one resides in one state, while working for an entity located in another state.

And all because an employee can't always be certain to which state the employer was paying taxes on the wages one received from them.

However, any state is more than capable, of checking on wage credits earned, but located in a different state. (A claimant in any state must register for work in conjunction with an out of state claim, in the state where they live.)

If it were me, and I didn't know what to do, to check on where the employer paid UI taxes on my earnings and had just been laid off and also moved to a state I knew I wasn't controlling any of the wages relevant to my claim (those found in my claim's base period), I don't think I'd file in that state (Utah from what you told me).

Instead I would make my decision based on the fact my claim would be a lack of work claim (usually confirmed to be the case by an employer when they respond to the notice of claim filed) after I decided which state had the better weekly benefit amount.

Which is easy to learn by visiting the Unemployment Insurance Law Comparison Charts .. which I link to on the Law & Resource page.

Mar 10, 2019
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Online Employee
by: Anonymous

I was laid off because my company closed. I worked for a school in Pennsylvania for 14 years but I was an online employee. I was living in California but moved to Utah a month ago. I am not sure if I should file in Pennsylvania, California or Utah?



Nov 01, 2018
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California to Georgia
by: Anonymous

I live in California and I'm currently collecting unemployment I want to move to Georgia and I was wondering if I was gonna have a problem still collecting until I find a job down there?


You shouldn't have a problem because California doesn't have an antiquated locality provision like a few state use to attempt to hold benefit recipients hostage to find work in the state.

However, no matter the state liable for paying your benefits, I think it's a good thing to be aware of the conditional requirement to be able and available in any week .. even the week you move.

Here's some info from the California EDD .. to help you keep on the correct side of the A&A conditional eligibility issue.

Jan 12, 2018
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I live in Pennsylvania
by: Jd1989

I live in Pennsylvania I'm currently collecting unemployment I want to move to Georgia and I was wondering if I was gonna have a problem still collecting until I find a job down there.


Hi Jd1089
To find out if Pennsylvania has what they call a "locality provision", I'm directing you to the following, which I found in the non-monetary chartbook on page 24.2017


LOCALITY—Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina require that individuals be available for work in the locality where their base-period wages were earned, or in a locality where similar work is available or where suitable work is normally performed. Illinois and Utah consider individuals to be unavailable if, after separation from their most recent work, they move to and remain in a locality where opportunities for work are substantially less favorable than those in the locality they left. Oregon, Utah, and Virginia consider individuals
unavailable for work if they leave their normal labor market area for the major portion of a week unless the individual can establish that s/he conducted a bona fide search for work in the labor market area where s/he spent the major part of the week.


I didn't see Pennsylvania listed among the states that I would think this issue should keep people on their toes to ask that question .. before up and moving.

Chris

Apr 19, 2017
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About Quitting to Move from California to Texas
by: Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

Financial difficulties being the reason for a voluntary quit, is a reason I'd expect not to fly well as being good cause, unless the employer made a substantial change to the terms and conditions that can be proven to of cause the financial difficulties.

Even in a state such as CA where UI law doesn't necessarily need provisions in law, to create exceptions to the rule a voluntary quit is generally speaking, somehow attributed the fault of the employer (see Table 5-1), you will still notice if you read VQ 360 (B) in the California UIBDG. and other parts of that invaluable resource .. that is precisely what is expected of an employee who must make efforts to preserve a job .. to show they were desirous to remain attached to a job .. and the labor market.

My advice .. take some time to explore that UIBDG as you wouldn't be the first person that may of actually had another reason for quitting that could of worked better.

Apr 19, 2017
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Eligibility question about moving from California to Texas
by: Anonymous

I currently live in California but i can no longer afford to stay here.

I'm a single mom with 2 kids under 11 working a full time job. I plan on quitting my job and moving to Texas. Can i claim my UB in California before i move? Would i even qualify to collect if i quit for financial hardship?

May 26, 2015
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Changing Texas address to California
by: Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

Clearly, to continue collecting benefits from the state of Texas you need to change your address.

But, it never hurts to inform yourself of any locality provisions (discussion begins on page 26 which may, or may not be found in unemployment laws to influence your decision about moving.

You would of course still have to comply with a job search and all other conditional eligibility requirements to continue collecting, once you're in California and to be aware there may be an A&A issue during the time it takes you to move if you state you were able and available for work in that week.

May 26, 2015
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Moving out of texas claiming unemployment
by: Tyler

i am currently drawing unemployment in texas due to a layoff and am going to have to move back to california to my hometown soon to be able to stay above water. will i still be able to claim my texas benefits if i move out of state?

Sep 23, 2013
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Out of UI state into a state with double the weekly pay.
by: Anonymous

I had to move to Utah from Phoenix, Arizona because lost my job(fired), turns out it was a illegal dismissal. I was awarded by the unemployment by the company with no court or appeals. Plus the gave me a months salary, which they called a draw (a sales commission thing. I had to move and found out My "highest paid AZ rate $240.00 was only half (less)of Utah's top unemployment rate. $520.00

I still have not found work, family sickness keeps me here. My UI has run out, but EB is available.

I live in Utah, I want there rate it is almost livable. Does anyone know if this is possible.






If you want Utah's weekly unemployment benefits you will first have to find work in Utah that lasts long enough to meet the qualifying formula for that maximum Utah benefits amount.

You would also have to suffer a separation from the new work, for whatever reason, layoff, quit, or discharge that was found to be through no fault of your own.

You're barking up an imaginary tree Anonymous.

Chris

Dec 07, 2012
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moving to another state
by: Anonymous

After having exhausted all my resources and choices of having a place to live due to high costs. Although I had a job, I could no longer afford the rising cost of trying to remain in Louisiana. I lost nearly everything I had to Karina. I was never able to get back on my feet even with continuous employment. I had to move or be homeless. The only choice I had was to quit my job and move to Tenn. and live with my sister. I was able to get a job just after moving here, however was laid off at no fault of my own after 1 year. My unemployment benefits amount from my former employer here is about to run out and I need to know if I will be able to draw from wages earned in Louisiana. If not, are there any funds available that I can draw from my past wages until I am able to find another job.

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