Can I Transfer My Unemployment Benefits From One State to Another?

When you worked in one state but now live in another state, it’s a situation for an interstate unemployment claim. This is an unemployment claim where one state pays you benefits but receives the funds to pay those benefits from another state. Interstate unemployment claims involve an agent state and a liable state, each with its own responsibilities. They also take a little more time to file and settle because they involve two states communicating with each other.

Interstate Unemployment Claims

An interstate unemployment claim is one where you live in one state but the covered work for your claim was completed in another state. This can happen if you commute to another state for work, but more often happens when you live and work in one state but then move to another one. Through an interstate unemployment claim, one state manages your unemployment benefits but another one actually funds the benefits.

Agent State Responsibilities

In an interstate unemployment claim, the agent state is the one you live in and the one that manages the claim. When you contact the unemployment office, it’s the one in the agent state and they are the ones that distribute your payment to you. When you certify for your payment by calling in to the claims line or logging in to the website, it’s with the agent state.

Liable State Responsibilities

The liable state in an interstate unemployment claim is the state the covered work was completed in. When your employer paid payroll tax on your salary, it was to the state the work was completed in, and so they are the ones that have the funds. Since your liable state funds your unemployment claim, their laws also determine your eligibility and the amount of the compensation payments.

Filing Your Claim

When you file an interstate claim, it can be more complicated than a regular unemployment insurance claim. Therefore, most states require that you either appear in person or speak to a live claims representative on the phone to file one. You will need your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of any dependents. You will also need your employment history for the previous 24 months, including the employer names, employment dates and salaries for each position. You apply to the agent state and they contact the liable state with your information. With the state-to-state communication, interstate claims can take up to two weeks longer to process than regular claims.