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29 August 2011

Neth: New Law Allows Military Spouses who Relocate to File for Unemployment

A new law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor goes into effect today, allowing the spouse of an active member of the military to be eligible for unemployment benefits if accompanying the spouse in the event of a military transfer.

"Missouri is the proud home of Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force base. Each year, our military families face moves from base to base for the good of our national defense and these transfers cause unique financial pressures. In many cases, the non-military spouses may have to leave their employment due to a military transfer. Generally, individuals in Missouri that voluntarily quit their employment to move with a spouse are ineligible for unemployment benefits. This new law recognizes that spouses of military service personnel who must quit their jobs due to a military transfer are not quitting voluntarily but for the good of our nation. With this new law, the state is recognizing the sacrifices of military families who are relocating," says Department Director Larry Rebman.

Robyn McCullem, mother of two small children, is relocating from Missouri to join her husband Private First Class Ryan McCullem in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. She has worked as a Distributor Sales Consultant for the past three years. Her last day was Friday and she filed her unemployment claim today. "Being a military spouse presents its own unique challenges when it comes to having a full-time career. Leaving behind a job you love and uprooting your family isn't voluntary when you are a military spouse," says McCullem. "It's nice to know our state supports those who have to make big career sacrifices and transitions to be with their soldier as they continue serving our country."

House Bill 136 was sponsored by House Representative David Day, of Dixon. Rep. Day serves as Chairman of the House Veterans Committee. Prior to this new law, military spouses were not able to collect unemployment in Missouri if they left their job to travel with their spouse to a new duty station. Missouri is the 39th state to allow military spouses to file for unemployment benefits until they find full-time work.

Based on 2010 figures, this new law will provide benefits to more than 200 military families a year. For more information or to file for unemployment benefits, visit

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