Where to File Unemployment

unemployedThe most frequent question we get these days is about unemployment – specifically WHERE one applies.

The link below is a good discussion on this. The confusing part is that it doesn’t really use the proper verbiage to address travelers – where one “lives” can be different based on context and travelers don’t “live” at the assignment per se.

The default answer is that you apply in the state you last worked (reporting taxable wages) UNLESS you are an independent contractor – if you are a contractor you apply in your home state. The employer/agency pays into unemployment systems in the state that you are working so that is the first stop. Every state is different so there is no one answer that fits all.

Now, keep in mind that we are tax advisers, not unemployment benefits administrators 🙂 However, having served the contingent staffing industry for 20 years, this is a very common event and filing in the last work state is the normal approach.

Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak

Where to File for Unemployment


  1. I am currently drawing unemployment. I had a contract position that was supposed to start next week but they cancelled it a few days ago. My agency said they will have to pay me for two weeks because of being so close to the start date. I won’t have actually worked so can I still draw unemployment for those two weeks I am paid?


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