Can I Claim New York Unemployment From Another State?

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Much of New York's workforce consists of people who reside across state lines in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. Out-of-state residents who find themselves unemployed can find the situation confusing. However, New York has systems to deal with this scenario. Unemployment insurance claimants from outside New York can make use of a special toll-free help and claims line.

Claims Lines

The New York Department of Labor has two unemployment-insurance claims lines for out-of-state residents who were working in New York. Recorded information and department representatives help claimants complete appropriate paperwork and begin the process to receive benefits.


Unemployment eligibility requirements are the same for out-of-state claimants as they are for New York residents. Those who are laid off, are fired without just cause or quit due to unfair employment practices may claim unemployment. Additionally, workers claiming unemployment must have worked for an employer who made contributions to state unemployment insurance via payroll contributions. Independent contractors and business owners do not usually qualify for unemployment benefits unless they made voluntary contributions.


To determine your benefits payout, New York examines your prior year of earnings and uses the highest point to determine your official unemployment wage. Those who earned more than $3,575 during their high quarter receive the maximum benefit of $405 per week as of 2011. This lasts up to 26 weeks for a total payout of $10,530.

Alternate Method

People can also choose to receive unemployment through their state of residence. When a state such as New Jersey receives a claim, its unemployment program can arrange for a transfer of funds from New York to New Jersey. Then New Jersey's unemployment program will administer benefits according to its rules and regulations. In many cases, this may result in higher weekly payouts and total benefits for the year. The only proviso is that a claimant cannot apply to both states.