This week, we continue our Unemployment Vocabulary series with the concept of “Interstate & Combined Wage Claims.”
Have you ever received a claim from a state within which you haven’t done business or at least reported wages? Did you think the state possibly made a mistake by sending a notice of claim? This is a common reaction with the assumption being that the state just made some sort of mistake or misdirected a claim. Upon further investigation, however, these claims are usually for past employees who did work for you, and their wages were correctly reported in the state where they performed that work. So what happened?
Sometimes a claim is paid by one state, using wages earned during the base period, to a claimant residing in another state. The state in which the wages were earned pays the claim, but the state where the claim was filed acts as the other state’s agent in making the decision to award or deny benefits. We call these “Interstate” claims. Even though the employer may not operate or report wages in a given state, the claimant may still file for UI benefits. This can happen following a move/relocation. Occasionally, a claimant lives in a border community residing in one state but filing in another state because the employment office or the location of the work is closer (i.e. D.C., Maryland & Virginia).
Another concept we deal with from time to time is a “Combined Wage” claim. This occurs when a claim for unemployment benefits is filed in one state using the wage credits from two or more other states where base period wages were earned and are then combined in a transfer to give the claimant the most beneficial claim. This typically occurs when a claimant has worked in multiple states during the base period, but hasn’t earned enough in wages in one of them to become monetarily eligible to collect. By combining wages from multiple states, the claimant is able to establish a higher amount in the base period and increase their weekly benefit amount.
As with most of our Unemployment Vocabulary, it helps to have experts in your corner to help guide you through the complexities of the differing rules and regulations within unemployment claims management. Let us know if you have any questions or how we at Employers Edge can help.