Can I quit because I have to move to a different city

by george

can i quit and still qaulify for unemplyment because my job will not relocate me closer to my new home that i am moving to in a different city.

Hi George,

What state is Fontana in? Why did you have to move?

Usually, even in a state that might allow for benefits for moving under some conditions, will want to know these things.

Comments for Can I quit because I have to move to a different city

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Nov 22, 2009
Beause of relocation due to marriage
by: Missy

I am moving an hour and a half away in 3 months from the job I have had for four years and am happy with.

I am moving to live with my soon-to-be husband who lives and works an hour and a half form where I currently am. A next-to-impossible, and useless commute.
Cannot find work in or around his city so far. Can I collect unemployment until I can find a job there?

Hi Missy,

The answer is entirely dependent upon which state you live in. The majority of the states do not consider this good cause .. but there's a few.

Apr 09, 2010
by: Cassandra

Does Oregon consider this good cause? I've worked at a job for over two years now, that takes me 2 hours to commute to on public transit. Even when I leave early, sometimes I'm late, and it's just the way transit is, yet I keep getting backlashed at by my job- written up, talked to, etc. Leaving thirty minutes extra (2.5 hours before shift) should be plenty to get to work, but it doesn't always work...

Would OR care that it's such a hardship to get to work?

(Oh, and thank you for this wonderful site... :) I'm worried they'll fire me over attendance, and while I could probably find another job within a few months if pressed to, I don't want to be cornered with no rent money. Any and all information is appreciated.)

Hi Cassandra,

It sounds like you have always had to commute to work .. therefore, I would expect the unemployment department to say you accepted the conditions when you took the job so good cause can't exist now for quitting.

Additionally, if you were to quit .. the employer would probably tell the state you quit because you were being disciplined .. that wouldn't be good.

My thoughts are that you would be better off waiting for a termination, but to begin making efforts now (documenting) to work on being able to prove that it was not intentional misconduct.

Such as whether you left home earlier .. how much earlier would you have to leave .. maybe documenting public transportations departure and arrival times each day .. and ( just keep a little notebook).

I do have one question that I think is relevant ..

If public transportation were keeping true to "schedule times" how early would you arrive to work?

May 19, 2010
relocating due to marriage
by: Anonymous

Hi George,

I am currently working in Michigan, but I will be relocating to another city in Michigan which is about 4 hours away because that is where my soon to be husband lives. I am trying to obtain employment there before I quit my current job, but have not had any luck so far. If I quit my job that I have been at for 5 years so I can relocate and I am unable to get a new job within 14 weeks in the new city would I be eligible for unemployment?

Hi Anonymous,

Many states either changed or added provisions regarding personally compelling reasons to quit last year .. my suggesstion is to read the text of the information submitted to the ETA by the states outlining the changes and the date of effectiveness.

It's the incentive links at the bottom of the page.

George aka Chris

Aug 05, 2010
Considering move to be with kids
by: kerry

My ex moved my 2 young daughters to Colorado. They have been there a year and they are struggling. They are 6 and 10 years old. They are having emotional and behavioral issues. Mom lives in welfare housing and does not work. I live in Nevada and have a good job but know that the girls would be better off with me closer to them and therefore able to have much more frequent contact then currently (holidays only). Mom will not allow them to move back and has primary custody of them. What would I need to do i order to qualify for unemployment under atheory of good cause resignation?


I suggest you ask an attorney if there are any precedents allowing for a quit similar to your reason.

Nevada does allow for a voluntary quit under certain "personal need" circumstances, but I don't know if this is one of them.

You might also try doing your own legal research at They have a 24 hour free trial which can be useful.

Aug 09, 2010
by: beth

hi George
My husband and I live in Illinois and he is retiring from the united states postal service soon.
He is leaving IL to move to Arizona.If I quit my job can I collect my unemployment benefits? I have been working at my job 6yrs and I have been looking for work online in Arizona but no luck so far I am in the health care field ( not a Nurse)so I don't think I will have a problem once I am living there.

Hi Beth,

You just need to follow the link in one of the previous comments or check Illinois statute to find out.

The issue of moving to follow a spouse is provisional from state to state. If there is not a special provision which allows for this to ber a good cause reason .. you won't be able to collect.

Chris .. aka George?

Apr 05, 2011
moving to another state can i collect
by: nelson

I've been in my current job now for more than 4 years and I'm trying to relocate due to my finances and to give my self a new start in pennsylvania, so my question is can I get fired and still collect or quit and collect or if I tell them I have to quit because I'm moving will this be enough to be able to move foward with my plans?. I'm coming from nj just in case
if anyone has any feed back please do tell

Thank you

Dec 05, 2012
Relocating and recieving unemployment
by: Anonymous

I have been at my current Job in California for 2yrs I and getting married and my fiancée lives in GA. If I resign from my Job to go live with my fiancée will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

California unemployment benefits - Questions Answers and Links

Feb 24, 2013
job is moving
by: Anonymous

I live in ohio ,have been at same job for 16 yrs . i drive almost an hour to work , my job is moving an i will be driving 2 hrs to work can i claim unemployment benfits if i have to resign thanks karen

Hi Karen

Because it is the employer altering a condition under which you were hired (location) and accepted the job in the first place, it just may be good cause to resign .. but don't forget .. quitting puts the burden to prove you also made some sort of effort to make sure there was no way to save the job .. to be on the safer side, thi is what I would do anyway to beef things up for myself.

Ohio is one of those rare states that always offers you a chance to add more information to get a redetermination .. before going to appeal hearings. Basically, it serves to slow things down .. if you ask me .. although this is just my opinion and beside the point.

So, I'd be trying to nail down right now, how OH stands on the issue of distance to work becoming good cause to quit. I'd start investigating by using theOhio UC Law Abstract (Discussion and links to some precedents)

And, I wouldn't provide my intent to resign except in writing politely detailing why I was forced into the decision to quit and the effective date would be the last day I only had to travel an hour to work.

Distance, travel and time to work is part of what makes up the elements determining suitable work.

Any questions about what you find .. let me know.


Mar 28, 2013
i have a question?
by: sherice

If Im having to quiet my job because of moving to another state can i get unemployment? I have worked at this job for 9 months or so its just fast food but i was promoted to manger 3 months after starting and im always covering shift only called in sick once and im a good worker. I simply i have nowhere else to go. i cant afford a place by myself, no friends that have jobs. and most of family is over crowded. I have a place a can go but its in California. I don't want to quit job but im running out of places to stay. Can i get unemployment for it? Is that good enough reason?

I'm going to avoid asking you any questions about your situation myself and just tell you that what you did tell me, isn't what good cause to quit is because it's doesn't even come close to what I tell everyone about quitting. That's to prove the burden you will be assigned because you are the party that ends the employment relationship.

With the information I have now .. all I can say is it may be good personal cause for you to move, but not anything that's going to rise up and meet the standard required.

Maybe if you delve a bit deeper into the other questions .. or read something else here on about what it takes to quit and collect unemployment, you'll be able to ask a question which includes .. a focus on the unemployment laws that apply to good cause to quit in the state you're in now.

Sep 24, 2013
by: Anonymous

We are planning on moving out of NJ to TN, I have been at the same job for 38 years and it is suddenly changing ownership and they will be cutting my pay by probably 20,000 a year so I will be quitting and finding another job (for less money also) but in the mean time my house is for sale so when my house sells I will be moving out of NJ to a lower cost of living state (TN) when my house sells and I quit the new job, can I collect unemployment without a battle?

Quitting to follow a spouse is a personal reason (vs. the standard expectation in most states that a VQ be attributable to the work, or the employer). So, in general, quitting to move means there must be a provision in the liable state's UI law that allows you to collect. However, this is still after presenting compelling and necessitous reasons for doing so. This usually includes being able to prove you exhaustive all possible remedies to maintain the employment prior to quitting.

On the other hand quitting due to reduced wages, or salary may be good cause to quit and clearly, attributable to the work. But, most states have a precedent which basically defines a percentage of the reduction as being good cause.

However, one should never quit in anticipation of a reduction .. because you can't have good cause .. until the cause actually occurs.

Nov 22, 2013
I wanna quit my job and move to New York City
by: Anonymous

I wanna quit my job and move to New York City
I lived in Miami all my life and want a new change
I live with family and just feel like there's not much here for me

I have a good job and will like to transfer but they are not going to give It to me
I did finish school so there's not much I can so but with this job experience I'm sure I'll find a good job but in New York I'll be alone I mean I have friends there but it's not the same without family you know I just need some more info to thoughts from people who don't know me and think it's a good idea


Since this website is about getting unemployment benefits, but you didn't mention them .. I'm wondering if you are expecting to survive in NYC until you get a job on FL benefits?

If so, I don't think moving at this time is a good idea because the quit would not be with good cause for the reasons you gave .. and Florida max weekly benefit amount is $275.

Better to plan and prepare for such a big and brave move.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


Dec 25, 2013
moving from PA to MA
by: Anonymous

I've lived in Philadelphia for the past 4 years and have been working at the same job as a machine operator for the past 3 years.

I recently broke up with my fiance who had been harassing me for the past 6 months, or so.

It's been difficult for me as my whole family is in Massachusetts, including my 4 kids.

Because of what's going on with my fiance, my landlord gave me a notice to quit possession of my apartment. This is also the reason my oldest son has asked me to move back to Massachusetts to live with him.

My question is, might I be eligible for benefits if I give my 2 week notice and move back to MA.


Hi Anonymous,

If it were me, I would be investigating whether the situation with your harassing former fiance might give me good cause to quit to escape domestic violence (Table 5-4).

However, even though Pennsylvania unemployment compensation law doesn't require a quit to be attributable to the employment and allows for resignations proven to be necessitous and compelling .. the operative word is proven.

I have merely assumed that when you used the word harassed, you meant violent abuse .. and that there may be police reports to prove you the good cause, another reasonable person (PA hearing referee) under similar conditions, would also quit to escape domestic violence.

Anyone needing PA UC is free to do their own research to expand their personal knowledge before they apply, right here.

But for purposes of explaining my position, that documenting your actions to preserve employment is also an advantage when it comes times to prove compelling necessitous enough to quit a job with good cause, you might want to read this PA court opinion. It points up a fact, that even an "expert" in UC, or the PA hearing referee and board of review, might not be as "reasonable" as the laws expect them to be and sometimes assume the testimony of an employer that doesn't appear to testify.

That's a procedural error.

Just sayin' the claimant only won the reversal when he finally appealed to a real court of law.

Oct 25, 2014
by: Anonymous

My fiance was relocated for work a month ago. I couldn't go because our lease wasn't up.

We were just notified at work the other day that layoffs were coming up, but at the beginning of the yr.

My lease is up at the end of november. i cannot afford to pay a deposit and a new lease to wait and see if i am on the lay off list in january. If i quit to move with my fiance, would i be eligible?

I am looking for work out there but they wont consider me until i am actually living there.

Oct 25, 2014
To Anonymous wanting help to know about quitting at end of lease
by: Chris

Hi Anonymous,

As I have tried to explain each time someone asks if they can move to follow a spouse, or an impending spouse, knowing the state the job you would be quitting is important.

Pretty sure I do give enough information to make you aware of why you still must be careful about quitting even if a state allows a quit for this personal reason.

And once you know if your state does allow good cause for a quit to follow a spouse, or possibly a fiance, such as in California, it's then important to find out for yourself precisely, what your state's section of unemployment law says, as well as reading some interpretations of how the law has been applied in specific states who have a precedent manual to see what may be needed to fulfill the burden of quitting.

Investigating your cause (reason to quit) before you quit, may be just a bit time consuming, but in my opinion, it is essential so you know what to expect and can prepare, in case state law simply doesn't allow a quit to follow, or the law is so constrictive as to not be of use to anyone except those following a "military spouse".


Jul 09, 2015
I can't afford California
by: Anonymous

I have been struggling to survive barely making it single mom with no support and my rent is going up my employer is reducing my hours I do not have adequate child care for my child due to how much I work I basically can't afford living here anymore my parents live in Oregon and have offered me lower rent and free child care anytime!! It will take time to find a job would I be qualified for unemployment while I look for work?

Jul 09, 2015
To: I can't afford California
by: Chris -

I think you may want to reconsider and refine your current reason of quitting due to financial difficulties and rethink the problem from a different angle .. some reason more aligned with how the California EDD can see your situation, and possibly as one considered to be quitting with good cause.

There really aren't many short cuts to quitting with good cause, because there few reasons we quit that provide a reasonable exception to the baseline about quitting.

You may think you don't have alternatives to try first .. before you quit, but the point of unemployment and a quit with good cause .. is that you can also prove you exhausted those alternatives.

A small difference maybe, but one that also has a huge impact on the final outcome.

Jul 23, 2015
Office moving
by: Anonymous

My job is moving to a city about 45 minutes from the current location in IL. I only live 5 minutes away from the current location and did not know about the move when I accepted the job 2 years ago. If I tell them I am unable to make the move can I collect unemployment?


Jul 23, 2015
To: Office Moving
by: Chris

When an employer is the one moving, it can be a substantial change to the terms and conditions of the original you were hired under.

And sometimes a change, when substantial to an employee for some reason .. such as time/distance/cost of travel may have a such an unavoidable negative impact on the employee, that the job is becomes "unsuitable" thus giving them good cause attributable to the employer.

However, having told you this .. pretty sure if you check the Illinois Unemployment Law Decision Digest .. (here's the link to the digest) you'll realize an extra 45 minutes to get to and fro from work alone, probably wouldn't equate good cause and that limiting one's travel time to five minutes to get to work would make them also seem to not be meeting the conditional eligibility requirement of being able and available .. and looking for new suitable work.

Not that I couldn't think of a different approach to why this move might be a problem, but those would also likely, be addressed in the digest.

As it stands now .. if it were me .. I'd get my car tuned up, or check into if I could get a discounted pass for public transportation.

Aug 01, 2015
Moving due to military
by: Kayla


I was wondering if I am eligible to collect unemployement. My husband is in the airforce(currently station in washington state) and we were notified that we need to move across country in a month and a half to Delaware. So I would need to quit my job because of my husband's military career. Am I eligible?

Aug 01, 2015
Quitting to follow a military spouse for Kayla
by: Chris -

Hi Kayla,

Quitting to move is generally thought to be a personal reason in most states, however, because most states also require a quit to be attributable to the work, or employer, you now must look to see if the state you would be collecting benefits from has a special provision in it's unemployment laws just for such events as yours.

Looking stuff up in state unemployment laws can be a pain, depending on which state we're talking about, so try my favorite resource to determine if moving to follow a spouse, military, or otherwise, is allowed in Washington State.

DOLETA's non-monetary comparison chartbook would be where I'd check first. (For the current year of course.)

There's a link to the comparison charts by year on the UI law and resource page.

Nov 24, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have been working remotely from Washington state for the past few years. My company is now asking me to relocate to other states where it has physical offices. If I don't relocate, I need to look for a new job. Can I collect unemployment benefit if I choose not to relocate?

Nov 24, 2015
To: Relocate in Washington State
by: Chris -

Was relocation any part of your original hiring terms and conditions, a few years ago?

The underlying issue is whether any refusal to relocate to a different state to work for the same employer would be found as with good cause, because moving to a different state could make the new offer of continuing employment .. totally unsuitable for YOU.

Suitable work, in my opinion anyway, is subject to a necessary self-evaluation to learn if one or more of the criteria that makes a job, or job offer go either way.

In general, distance usually has a minimum number of miles that must be exceeded by the employer offer .. which is generally found in precedent case law.

Focus on all the real reason for the unfeasibility of accepting the offer of continuing employment.

Moving and potentially having to sell a house, or simply choosing not to uproot your family, or just not wanting to move in general, or the additional expense, or unfeasibility of paying for more housing away from home, are usually considered to be good cause reasons to quit when someone refuses even an offer of new work that would otherwise be suitable if not for something amounting to a substantial change to the terms and conditions of the origininal hire made by the employer.

In general it seems clear moving to a different state may be all you need to consider .. but your efforts, or willingness to continue in the employment .. so as not to appear detached from the labor market, could clearly be argued now and proven, before you refuse, if you know what things would best be documented, that could also support rand in theory dissuade, any appeal argument should you initially receive benefits, but face an employer who has a cost control company blindly appealing findings with simple strategy .. something along the lines of ...

Claimant voluntarily quit without good cause because continuing suitable work was offered. We wish to appeal the determination and request a hearing by phone.

It may be a simple minded tactic, but it works often enough because people do refuse suitable and it also works on others who don't consider their position from the angle of UI benefits first, nor can they provide even one document, such as an email, sent to an employer that outlines the new offer of employment and the new terms and conditions as compared to the old one that would make their refusal .. a reasonable choice and the employer's offer of continuing work .. unsuitable form most reasonable people.

Don't forget to use the chartbook above to learn more about the criteria of suitable work that is used for purposes of unemployment benefits.

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