Can I Apply for Unemployment in Michigan if I Worked in Ohio?

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Michigan residents should always file for unemployment in Michigan, even if they worked in Ohio.
Michigan residents should always file for unemployment in Michigan, even if they worked in Ohio. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Normally, you must apply for unemployment benefits in your state of residence. People who cross state lines for work or who have recently moved may think that the process of applying for unemployment can be confusing. Not to worry — it's actually very simple. Anyone who resides in Michigan and has not filed a claim elsewhere should apply for benefits in Michigan — even if he worked in Ohio.

Unemployment Insurance Contributions

When you work in Ohio, your employer must remit payroll taxes to the state of Ohio. Ohio then creates an account for unemployment compensation in your name. Although it may seem that — given the fact that Ohio has your unemployment insurance funds — you should apply to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, you should actually apply for benefits through your state of residence.

Interstate Claim

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will accept your unemployment claim the same as any resident's and then use the information you supply to retrieve your unemployment insurance funds from Ohio. States transfer funds all the time, especially in situations where workers cross state lines. Michigan will receive your unemployment benefit funds and then administer them in accordance with its unemployment compensation program rules.

Relocation

If you recently moved from Ohio to Michigan, you should also file an interstate claim. It doesn't matter if you haven't yet worked in Michigan. Michigan unemployment representatives will collect your work history and use it to coordinate with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to secure funds for your benefits. You cannot compare Michigan and Ohio benefits and file in the state you prefer.

Prior Claims

If you filed an Ohio claim before relocating to Michigan, then you must continue receiving Ohio benefits for the life of your claim. When you move, inform Ohio Job and Family Services of your new address and it will continue working with you throughout your unemployment and job search. Filing a second, concurrent claim with Michigan is not only againt the rules, but it can constitute fraud, compromise your initial Ohio claim and potentially result in jail time.

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