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Quitting a Job Voluntarily to Move Out With Your Spouse

Updated : August 4th, 2020

Your spouse shifting states or countries for work can be a strain not only on your relationship but on your monetary condition as well. Though many individuals now take the bold move of quitting their own job and moving with their better halves, the shift can affect your career and make a marked difference in the family’s bank balance.

Quitting a Job Voluntarily to Move Out of City/State/Country With Your Spouse

Unemployment Benefits aim at making sure that such shifts are easier, though usually, they cater to individuals who have been laid off or were facing issues of health or harassment – not those who have voluntarily chosen to quit. Looking to provide funds for workers who are between jobs to be able to sustain their livelihood and support their dependents, the Unemployment Benefits adhere to strict eligibility criteria.

The “Good Cause” clause

The primary requisite to be eligible for unemployment benefits is that the reason for you quitting your present job was beyond your control and through no liability of your own. In fact, voluntarily quitting is itself an automatic nullification of the clause.

Fortunately, some states within the US have instituted the Good Cause clause, wherein spousal transfers are acknowledged as a valid reason. It is important for you to have a comprehensive understanding of the laws of your state of residency – make sure if you qualify for benefits before sending in your resignation letter.

Military and non-military transfers

Depending on the state you reside in at the time of the transfer, the state laws will determine which kind of transfers will be acknowledged as a necessary move. Thirteen states in the US recognize only military-related job transfers of either spouse as a clause within which the other can apply for unemployment benefits. Nineteen others recognize both militaries as well as other shifts in placement from one city or state to another, and certain states such as Alabama, Vermont, Hawaii, and West Virginia do not acknowledge spousal transfer as a valid reason for benefits at all.

For a full list of state-wise laws regarding unemployment benefits, refer to

The Application Process

The first step to the application process is knowing the laws of your own state, which will help not only in you know whether you are eligible or not, but also if any queries are raised during the review process by the labor department.

An application form is available on the state’s labor department website, which you will be expected to fill and submit for review. Make sure that the reason you state for quitting is stated clearly, as is your marital status; most often states only recognize legally binding marriages and not domestic partnerships or consensual relationships.  

Four major concerns are looked at by the review board, which you must also keep in mind.

The first is a distance of relocation, how far your spouse is being relocated from your current residence and whether or not access is truly hampered due to the shift. If the commute to and fro is reasonable, or even within the same state, the claim will be denied in most states. Shifts that are recognized without an issue usually look at inter-state commutes.

The second is the legality of the relationship, whether or not the marriage is official. Some states do allow leniency for fiancés, but very few recognize domestic partners as eligible for benefits.

The third is individual laws of the state, wherein the laws can be considered not only based on the state of residence but also the laws of the state you are relocating to. You have to know that once your state of residence rejects your claim, it is close to impossible that the state you are relocating to will allow for the claim to be passed within their jurisdiction.

The last of these is more for you than for the review board, it is for you to know the limitations of unemployment benefits once you have been approved. The process doesn’t just begin and end with the approval of the application, in fact, there are many times wherein the benefits are not enough to cover your expenses at all.

The primary requirement as an individual applying for such benefits is that you have been consistently in search of work for a minimum period of six months, though this time span may vary from state to state. Also know that the amount you receive per week will reduce according to your previous earnings, as well as proportionally to the time you remain unemployed.

Military Spouses

Military shifts, officially known as Permanent Change of Station (PCS), has a direct impact on the financial condition of the family, considering the loss of income of the spouse is inevitable.  

The government provides for a very functional system within which a military spouse is provided assured benefits, in all but five states of the US (the exceptions being New Hampshire, Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio, and Idaho). While the military is continuing to work with the five states that deem PCS as a voluntary shift for the spouse, some of the other forty-five even take it a step further, by being lenient when it comes to the employer’s status on unemployment filing, supporting the military spouse during the shift, and assuring that the new employer does not discriminate against them because of the constant shifting.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator

Unemployment Benefits Calculator caters wholly to individuals who are in a status of flux when it comes to their working status, be it because of voluntary reasons or causes beyond their control.

Besides providing information about the process, varied state laws and what to be aware of also brings you the Benefits Calculator, which gives you an approximate of how much you will receive on a weekly basis.

The calculator looks at your current salary, weeks of unemployment and the state you reside in to calculate the amount you are eligible for, preparing you for what is to come. While the calculation depends on your earnings, there is an upper limit of weekly benefits that cannot be exceeded.

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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