A Blogging4Jobs reader asked, “I was just laid off on 4/8. I live in Texas and if I can would like to find a job here. If by the end of May I do not have any success, I would like to relocate to California as my children live there (I am divorced). My question is, can I relocate and collect unemployment there until I find a job?”
Job seekers often consider all their options when looking for employment after being displaced. Sometimes we as job seekers are re-evaluating our priorities and choose to relocate for personal reasons and other times job seekers are moving to regions and cities where the employment picture is most more pleasant. Whatever the reason, this question is not unusual and is certainly one worth addressing with a blog post.
Yes, You Can Collect Unemployment If You Move or Relocate
The answer is yes, you can relocate and continue to collect unemployment. State requirements vary, however, so it is extremely important to visit your new local employment office as soon as possible and let them know you wish to transfer your unemployment benefits. The internet is also extremely helpful as well, and I recommend that you visit the current state where you collect UI as well as the new state you are relocating to. For example, if you are relocating to Alaska, you can visit their FAQ section of their website to learn about UI benefits in Alaska if you have relocated.
Most states will need time to re-evaluate your unemployment benefits upon relocation which is one of the reasons why it is so very important to do your homework prior to renting and packing the U-Haul. I also recommend that you have some money socked away to cover expenses while the state processes your UI transfer request. Just like when you initially file for unemployment and prior to its approval, you may go a period of several weeks without payment. It’s important to prepare for that possibility on the front end versus the back. This makes your move and transition much more pleasant.
One of my most popular blog posts on this site is from November 2008 where I list the Weekly Maximum Unemployment Benefits by State. Visit your state’s unemployment benefits page to obtain the most up to date weekly unemployment benefits information. Most websites also provide you information about the UI claim’s process including the ability to file UI online, by phone, and the review process and unemployment hearing. Having an understanding of the entire process is important in order to plan, protect, and prepare you and your family as you start this new chapter.