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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Question Can people travel out-of-the country while claiming unemployment?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    My friend was getting unemployment benefits, he travelled out of U.S. in between, does he need to report? Is it legal to claim the benefit if he continues to send out resumes and calls for interviews while he is out of the country? Does he abuse any regulation/law and possibly face a penalty?
    He said he wasn't aware this before when he was claiming unemployment a year ago.
    He has a family emergency back in his home country and has flown several times back while he was claiming benefits on-line. He is worry now because he heard it may be a problem when he try to apply for naturalization/citizenship.
    I want to ask for him here, does anyone know if any law consider it as a benefit fraud and will this comes up in interview of naturatlization? Can he amend anything now or it is too late? Every advice is appreciated, thank you!What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    This may or may not be a problem depending on very specific facts. It is also a requirement for collecting benefits that you must be available for work if offered. While an occasional weekend at the shore might be overlooked, it's hard to claim you were available for work if you're out of the country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    It MIGHT raise a flag if a claimant files for benefits claiming to be available for work but they aren't anywhere near their home. (you can tell approximately where somebody is by their IP address). Of course maybe I am giving the unemployment office too much credit......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Actually, the system isn't that good. It isn't that personalized, they're not really that much into "Big Brother is watching you." They've been keeping pretty busy the last three years just going for the very basics.

    If you don't ring up as a fraud somewhere in the system, crossmatching of ss#'s etc. and someone doesn't call in upon you and tell them you're out of the country and filing for benefits, you very probably won't get caught. It is, when it comes down to it, sort of an honor system.

    And if you didn't get caught back when you were filing for benefits, you VERY likely won't be caught at this point unless you have a big old attack of conscience and go in and confess and offer to pay back those weeks you were out of the country. At that point, they'd open an investigation after the fact, determine if you were available for work during the weeks you were out of the country, set up an overpayment if determined appropriate, and take your money. There'd be some penalties involved if an o.p is determined, you might have to repay all the weeks you drew after you returned to this country and continued to file.

    If he did continue to fill out resumes and apply for jobs on line while he was out of the country, and he ajures that if he had gotten an interview or opportunity, he'd have returned at once to go on the interview, or if he was called in by the unemployment office he'd have come home and gone in immediately, he very probably would remain eligible while he was out of the country. There's no specific law that states that you have to be inside or outside the borders of any particular state or country while making your job searches. "Able (physically ready to work) and available(if offered a suitable job, I could have accepted it) and actively seeking work(demonstrated by job seeking activities) " is more the criteria. Lots of claimants go to other places to apply for work while drawing benefits. Visit family members while there, of course.

    But unless an act of fraud in your unemployment was taken into the court system for prosecution, believe me, it doesn't have jack anything to do with immigration and they won't find out about it. Unemployment is administered by the state, citizenship/immigration is federal. While court records cross match, agency records usually do not in most cases.

    If they had been going to catch that he was out of the country, they'd have done so while he was receiving benefits. The only other way would be, as I said, if he went back in and confessed and went through the overpayment and repayment process just for the cleared conscience. They might actually determine that there WAS no fraud anyhow.

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