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If you are laid off in New York State and your spouse gets a job in Texas and you want to move with them, where do you apply for unemployment benefits, New York State or Texas?

by Dena Mandel
(Syracuse, NY)

In August 2008, I secured a full-time teaching position, Assistant Professor, at Syracuse University, Syracuse New York. In April, I was informed that due to cuts in the budget, my position would not be renewed and that my appointment would end in May. During this time my husband got a job in Texas. So for several months we were forced to live in two different states. Since my position is not being renewed by Syracuse University, I would like to rejoin my husband in Texas and look for a teaching position there.

My question is: Should I apply for unemployment benefits in New York State because that's where I worked and was laid off (as of the end of May) or should I apply for for these benefits when I arrive in Texas at the end of May where I will look for a new position (I have already started applying for new jobs in Texas and I do have some job prospects but I may be out of work for a few months until these jobs would start.)

Hi Dena,

I think you should file in New York. You could actually file in either state, but confusion can erupt when filing an interstate claim.

Since you will be moving to Texas when your position ends you will need to register for work (this is just a requirement for unemployment) and I do believe standard operating procedure will require you to register for work through Texas and adhere to their job search requirements.

If you opted for filing in Texas once you arrive there, it would be an interstate claim, which just means that Texas would need to contact the state of New York because NY is the liable state even if Texas is the paying state. The opportunity for a monetary boo boo increases. (This is just an opinion I hold .. nothing concrete:)

Filing in the state where the wages were paid simply cuts out the middleman and more than likely reduces the amount of time between filing and collecting benefits.

I hope this helps.

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