If I Move Out of New York State, Can I Still Collect My Unemployment Benefits?

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Each U.S. state provides unemployment benefits to residents who are unable to find work. Because unemployment benefit programs are administered at the state level, moving from one state to another while receiving benefits may create problems — states generally don’t provide benefits to individuals who live in other states. Fortunately, the New York State Department of Labor provides logistical assistance to those from New York receiving benefits and moving to new states.

New York State Benefits

The New York State Department of Labor provides unemployment benefits to state residents. To qualify for benefits, residents must have earned at least $1,600 in one quarter of the base period as of 2011. A base period constitutes the four quarters, or one calendar year, previous to the quarter in which an individual applies for benefits. The amount of benefits an individual receives directly reflects the amount of money an individual made during the base period.

Leaving New York State

Those receiving benefits from New York state planning a move to another state should contact the Telephone Claim Center at 888-209-8124 or 877-358-5306 as long before the move as possible. The Telephone Claim Center is essentially the customer service line for unemployment benefits in New York state. Employees of the Center provide all the information benefits recipients need to transfer a claim to another state. Thus, while those moving are ineligible to continue receiving benefits from New York state, they can transfer benefit claims rather than undertaking the application process anew in another state.

Benefits Across State Lines

In some cases, New York state benefits cross state lines. For instance, if an individual lives in a state abutting New York, such as New Jersey, and worked in New York for the duration of his base period, that individual may file for unemployment benefits from New York. In rare cases, those receiving New York state unemployment benefits may continue to receive those benefits in another state. For instance, New York encourages unemployment benefit recipients to take part-time employment positions while on benefits. If an individual moves to an adjacent state but continues working part time in New York, that individual may be eligible to continue receiving New York benefits, rather than transferring benefits to another state.

Additional Information

If you receive New York state benefits and are thinking of moving, always call a Telephone Claim Center and speak with a state representative before making decisions of assumptions regarding the fate of your benefits. States do not make all information regarding such matters transparent but work with residents to find solutions to problems. Many websites provide misinformation regarding moving and unemployment benefits and may not prove reliable. Those living in other states but hoping to file for unemployment in New York or with questions regarding similar matters should contact the Out-of-State Resident office at 877-358-5306.