General Question

simonedb's avatar

What to do about my past out of state income when filing unemployment?

Asked by simonedb (50 points ) March 5th, 2010

To file unemployment, they ask you “Did you work in a state other than California during the last 18 months?” My answer is “Yes” – which takes me to “The answers you provided to the questions on the previous page indicate that special handling is required to file your unemployment insurance claim.” They ask me to call a number, but the number is busy 19/20 times. The one time I got through to a menu, I eventually got to the area I needed, but it said the operators were busy and hung up. Any clue what I should do?

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4 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

The way I see it, you have two options – (1) pretend you didn’t understand that first question and answer NO instead, thereby circumventing the whole bureaucratic red loop, or (2) go down to the appropriate office and speak to someone in person (but that could be a serious time commitment if it is anything like where I live).

Trillian's avatar

Wow. Busy huh? Freakin’ typical. You could probably speak with someone personally at the IRS.
Alternately, since it’s taking so long anyway, you could just write to the HR department of that company and request your W-2. I’d send it Certified mail, just to be safe. If you haven’t already received a W-2, it may be because you moved and the mail didn’t find your new address.

Jewel's avatar

I am so sorry. My son has been through this a few times. and it is a nightmare. Neither state wants to pay, so they avoid, deflect, confuse and ignore. The only good thing in all of it was that as an unemployed person, he now had time to do all of the legwork required to corner some of the important individuals in the process. He got his U.I. but he never got it all. There was always some weeks overlooked, or some proof missing.
I hate to say it, but @lilikoi has a good idea (#1).

srmorgan's avatar

In most cases the state where you have applied is going to have your income records for the last, in this case, 18 months somewhere in a database. The issue is getting his out-of-state records added to his income base so that his UI can be properly calculated.That is why it would not be a good idea to ignore the instruction and exclude the out-of-state income, his benefit would be based on the combined gross income, California and the other state.

Did he work for the same employer out-of-state? That is one way to get quarterly earnings records to submit to California UI. It may not be sufficient as they will want the “official” response from the other state.

I agree that you will get this resolved much more quickly by showing up at the local office of the Department of Labor in your area. You will be best off with some type of earnings records from the other state. Your W-2 for 2008 and/or 2009 would be good to use for verification.

I live in North Carolina so I can not tell you exactly how this will work, but from experience I would do the following:

California is in the midst of a budget crisis and staffing levels are below what they should be. Employees are p****d off.

Get there early, they will be in a more responsive mood early in the day than they will be at 4:00pm.

Wear something presentable. Business casual is ideal. Don’t go in there looking grungy, they stereotype people by their appearance. Why take a chance?

Have all of your documentation available, with you, with a copy to submit to the UI person. May not help but it can’t hurt.

Most of all, treat this like an interview at a new employer. SAY GOOD MORNING. You are there to get this person’s help in restoring your income. He or she is not a lazy state flunky, he or she is the key to getting your cash flow re-established.

Sorry if I have gone on too long, but attitude goes a long way.

Week before last I had to go to DMV with a title issue on my daughter’s car. My number came up and I walked over to the clerk and said “good morning” and I got the funniest look from her because most people probably walk up to her angry over the wait or something else. Her expression changed to bright when she realized I was being pleasant and she ended up helping me through my issue when she could have just shuffled me off to wait on another line.

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