My job was eliminated this year. I have been looking for a new job for months. I want to move to another state with warmer weather and a better job market. I don’t want to jeopardize my unemployment compensation though. Can I collect unemployment compensation if I leave the state?
The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) uses very specific criteria to determine eligibility for unemployment compensation. Weekly benefits may be affected if a claimant is not actively looking for work, if a claimant becomes self-employed or if a claimant applies for unemployment compensation from any other state or federal program. There are additionals reasons why benefits may be denied as well.
If you move out of Massachusetts, you must contact your new state’s unemployment office and explain that you have moved from Massachusetts. Your unemployment compensation claim will still be subject to the same requirements as when you were a resident of Massachusetts. These type of claims are called “interstate” claims. There is a dedicated telephone number at the DUA for interstate claims. This number is (617) 626-6140. You can also visit the DUA website at www.mass.gov/dua.
Before you make a move to another state, you should research the economic climate of that area. One good resource is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). You can research statewide unemployment data. While the Massachusetts unemployment rate has crept up over 9%, there are states like Florida that are hovering around 11%. You can also find further detail on unemployment rates of major metropolitan areas.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
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