46. Combined Wage Claims (Interstate Claims)

The UI system has a set of rules for workers who have worked in more than one state, have worked in another state for an out-of-state employer, or have moved to another state since they began collecting UI benefits. Under federal law, states are required to set up an Interstate Benefit Plan, which allows a worker who lost his job in one state to collect UI benefits in another state in which he resides. 26 U.S.C. § 3304 (a)(9)(B). The Massachusetts law governing combined wage claims appears at G.L. c. 151A § 66; 430 CMR §§ 4.05 and 4.09.

As a result of a 2009 change in federal regulations, interstate UI benefit claimants may choose to file a UI claim in any state in which they had wages during the base period and in which they qualify for UI under that state’s laws. 20 CFR 616 (Under a prior regulation, claimants could file a claim in any state in which they had base-period wages or in which they resided.)

The UI law of the state in which the UI claim is filed (i.e., the paying state) controls in interstate claims. 20 C.F.R. 616.8 (a). That state investigates the claim and, unless an issue has already been determined by the transferring state (any other state in which the claimant had covered employment and base-period wages and that transfers those wages to the paying state), determines eligibility and conducts redeterminations or appeals. If a state denies a combined-wage claim,
it must inform the claimant of the option to file in another state in which the claimant also had covered employment and base-period wages. 20 CFR 616.7(f); 430 CMR § 4.09(7). See UIPP No. 12-17, 2/28/17, Adjudication of Unemployment Insurance Combined Wage Claims Issues, available at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ETA/advisories/UIPL/2017/UIPL_12-17.pdf.

Where the claimant had collected regular UI from two states, the Board ruled that if the original determination of such eligibility was issued more than one year before DUA caught and corrected the error, the claimant cannot be required to repay DUA for those benefits, if there is no intentional misrepresentation by the claimant. BR - 0002 4648 63 (4/22/14).