With all the preparation a uniformed military spouse must complete BEFORE leaving the military, special consideration must be taken for the military spouse as well!
In this article, we'll take a look at how military separation and unemployment benefits affect both spouses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a program called The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX) provides benefits for all eligible ex-military personnel. Each of the states administers this program on behalf of the federal government.
Certain conditions must be met in order to qualify:
In order to file for benefits, there are a few things you need to know. The law of the state (under which the claim is filed) determines benefit amounts, number of weeks benefits can be paid, and other eligibility conditions. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor recommends a few other things for you to do in order to file a claim. You should contact your State Workforce Agency as soon as possible after discharge. It may be helpful to have a copy of your service and discharge documents (DD-214 or similar form) when you open your claim. In many states, you may now file your claim by telephone and/or internet.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states have made unemployment benefits available for military spouses.
In general terms, if you leave your job voluntarily (in other words, if you quit) you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, when you leave your job due to a military transfer, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits depending on the state you're moving to. Several state legislators have recognized the fact that the needs of the military dictate when you have to leave your job. With that in mind, you may be able to qualify for assistance based on the unemployment laws in the state you're moving to.
So, when you get your orders to move, it might be a good idea to let your current Employer know that the reason you're leaving your job is that the military is moving you and your spouse. And, before you head out, check with the state Department of Labor at the location of your next duty assignment. That way, you can arrive prepared!
U.S. Department of Labor
National Conference of State Legislatures
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