Unemployment Insurance For Military Men And Their Spouses

Author : Jeff

Updated : June 11th, 2019

This article will address problems and queries on unemployment compensation (UC) faced by ex-military men and their spouses. If you fall into that category, we’re sure that you will find this article helpful!

Unemployment Benefits For Service Men

Is there UC for ex military men and their spouses?

Yes.The federal set up in US has a separate unemployment program for ex servicemen and their families.The program is called Unemployment Compensation for Ex Service members (UCX). UCX provides income support to former  military servicemen when they are released from active duty.

Additionally, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act states that ex servicemen too should be treated equal to other unemployed individuals in the country. This means that they can avail compensation from Emergency Unemployment Act (EUC08) as well as Extended Benefits (EB) once they stop qualifying for UCX.

Eligibility and benefits

The general rule is that the ex serviceman applies for UCX in the state where he is searching for a job. The criteria for eligibility and benefit amount varies from state to state. In general, the rules for eligibility for ex servicemen and civilians are quite similar. Also, the benefit amount is usually decided on the basis of wages earned during active military service period. This means that two servicemen who have same record of service and earnings may earn different benefits in different states.

Also, the ex-servicemen who performed active service earlier must have left the service under honorable conditions or completed a full term of service or should have been released from service with full honors. If the servicemen was a reservist earlier, he must have been on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days.

Previously self-employed servicemen

If an individual was self-employed, prior to becoming an active serviceman, he may have been excluded from UC benefits. But once he retires from active service, he shall qualify for UCX benefits. However some states do not provide benefits for such people who are trying to re-establish a small business.

If you’re looking at applying for UCX benefits, please visit our Benefits By State section.

UC for Civilian Spouses

Spouses of servicemen who quit their jobs to travel with their spouses to wherever they are posted, will not be eligible for UC. Folks who quit their job because a spouse was transferred are usually considered to have carried out a “voluntary quit”, rendering them disqualified for UC. Hence, most states do not cover such individuals.

In some states, once the spouse resumes working, in which ever place they relocated to, he/she will no longer be considered unfit for UC provided they earn stipulated wages and work for a certain period of time. In some other states, the period of disqualification is for a certain period of time, even if they have not landed a job, they may qualify for UC if they are actively searching for other jobs. Once this period of disqualification is over (time varies from state to state) or if the job market is down, or if the person is not able to find employment due to a reason that is not theirs, they shall qualify for the UCX benefits. There are 23 states in US that allow a person to qualify for UC if they quit their job to accompany a military spouse who was transferred.

UCX funding

The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemen is funded by the federal government through a federal account in the Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF). The federal government reimburses each state for each unemployed worker whose base period wages were earned in the military services.

Bottom Line

Being unemployed can be a tough problem for many. If you are an ex-serviceman, consider that you have earned a respite after serving your country. It is an honor that many fail to get. If you are the spouse of a military personnel, who had to quit your job, tell yourself that your spouse’s job is something that calls for sacrificing for the sake of the country. This also means that you may have to make sacrifices too. Try to stay positive and calm, we’re sure things will look brighter in the near future. Cheers!

If you have questions, please post it in our community discussion board.

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    1. Angie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  1. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in the state of Texas. When I called and asked how to go about with the extension, I was told that the extension were done away with in 2013. I’ve been looking for work and have yet to find something. Is it possible to receive an extension or are my exhausted benefits the end of the line? And if there is a way for an extension, how do I go about the claiming process?

    1. Jarese,

      I can understand your situation. The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available.

  2. I’ve been receiving UI bennifits for 3 months. I was surprised yesterday when I opened an email asking for one of the companies information, why I left, etc. I called the UI office this morning and was told that this fortune 100 company is able to reply, furthermore fight my claim and possibly making me pay back the claim. I’m just very confused how they, the old company can chime in 12 weeks after my claim was already processed. Even more confused, as the original letter has that companies name on it.

    1. Evan,

      If you suspect something amiss, please raise an issue with the Unemployment Office. This might be a classic case of fraud.

  3. Hi Jeff,
    I am in California and last month I exhausted all of my unemployment, I turned 61 and never thought that age would be such an issue but can’t seem to land a job. Question – if I don’t get a job by the end of my “current benefits years end” can I open a new claim and be able to receive additional unemployment after my current benefits year runs out?
    Thanks, Don

  4. Can you receive unemployment while receiving severance payments or do you need to wait until all severance is paid to start receiving unemployment?

      1. I’m confused. When I called the Texas Workforce Commission they said Emergency Unemployment Compensation has not been offered in Texas since 2013.
        I asked about Extended Benefits. They took my information and I received a determination that I was eligible. The next day I got another determination that I was not eligible due to:
        ” Issue: Insufficient Wages Between Benefit Years
        Decision: Your claim is not valid. We have cancelled your claim and cannot pay you benefits.
        Reason for Decision: Our investigation found you have not earned wages equal to six (6) times
        your weekly benefit amount since the beginning date of your last benefit year.
        Date of Cancelled Claim: 09-22-19
        Beginning Date of Your Last Benefit Year: 09-16-18
        Law Reference: Subsection 207.021(a)(7) of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act.”

        Actually I had earned ~30k from a severance package since the beginning date of my last benefit year.
        Six times my weekly benefit amount is only~ $3k??

        Any idea?
        Any help would be appreciated.

    1. If you are receiving continuing severance payments, you are not eligible to file for UI benefits until those payments end. You should file your claim after 7 days of the receipt of your last severance payment.

  5. I have been trying very hard to get a number I can call to have one (1), I say again one (1), question answered. I am a contractor and have been working in many states in the course of my career. My last job was here in Mobile AL at ST Engineering Aerospace and I saw something about needing to be employed for 18 months in Alabama to qualify for benefits. I had a claim in Tennessee and they have a way of filing when you have worked in different states. I forget what it is called but my question to you is does Alabama have a way that I can file after working in different states?

    1. Kevin,

      Please note this is a private forum. If you’ve filed from TN, suggest you reach out to the Unemployment Office for clarification.


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