Do You Have to Live in the State You Worked in to Draw Unemployment?


One of the most difficult challenges in life is to deal with being laid off from your job. Unemployment is not only financially challenging, but can be emotionally draining. Financial assistance is available to help as you transition to new employment. Every state provides unemployment benefits. These benefits are intended to partially offset your loss of income. Knowing how and in what jurisdiction to apply for unemployment benefits will help you receive assistance as quickly as possible.

Apply Where You Worked

  • If you worked in one state and live in another, you may be wondering where to apply for unemployment. Each state participates in the unemployment benefit program called the Federal Interstate Benefit Payment Plan. Under this program, you are required to apply for unemployment benefits in the state in which you worked. This holds true, even if you do not reside in that state.

Contact Your Nearest Unemployment Office

  • Contact the unemployment office in the state where you worked. An agent will provide you with instructions on how to file a claim. Frequently, states allow claims to be filed online or over the phone, eliminating the need to commute to the state where you worked.

Weekly Claim Forms

  • After filing your claim, wait for your approval. This usually takes approximately two weeks. Once approved, you will receive instructions on how to file weekly claims along with the required claim forms.

Continue to Seek Work

  • As you receive unemployment benefits, continue to seek work. The benefits you are receiving are intended to give you some financial support as you work to make the transition to a new job. Keep a record of all of your search efforts, as the unemployment office may require documentation you are actively seeking employment. Remember, finding a job is often a full-time job in itself.

Report to the Unemployment Office

  • If you have not found employment by the time your unemployment benefits expire, report your situation to the unemployment office. You may be eligible for supplemental benefits, often referred to as "extended benefits".

Discontinuing Benefits

  • Once you find new employment, report your work status to the unemployment office promptly, so your unemployment benefits can be discontinued. It is illegal to accept benefits for which you are no longer eligible.


  • If you are denied unemployment benefits, you can appeal the decision. The unemployment office will provide you with the procedures and forms necessary to file an appeal. You will receive a notice of hearing, where a hearing officer will listen to the merits of your claim and make a determination if the original denial will be upheld, or your appeal will be granted.


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