Search This Site.

Can I collect WA State Unemployment if I quit to relocate with my husband?

by Jessica
(Washington state)

We currently live in Washington State and my husband has just been accepted for a job in Nevada. I havent been able to find a job. Do I qualify for unemployment in Nevada? I am currently leaving my job with a good standing but obviously am moving with my husband.

Hi Jessica,

Not NV, unless you have wages in NV.

Now, please indulge me the opportunity to answer for everyone that has the same question.

According to the 2010 "Non-Monetary Eligibility Chartbook" at DOLETA it "sounds" like it should be possible for you to collect unemployment from WA state unemployment ..

The fact that it is possible, is qualified in footnote 4.

It says, "WA – to relocate for the employment of spouse or domestic partner that is outside the existing labor market area,
provided that claimant remained employed for as long as was reasonable prior to the move".

BUT, I have taken to double checking the ETA Recovery website for "modernization incentive payments" because of accuracy issues I have found with this years chartbooks.

If true, they should have received an incentive payment for being so generous. (This was part of the stimulus).

What was meant by "remained employed for as long as was reasonable prior to the move" was the part that first set-off alarm bells. And it went off again, only louder, when there was no reference to an incentive payment for the quitting to follow a spouse provision.

So I checked the WA State unemployment laws which I despise because they always seem to be changing them and you have to pay attention to "dates" and see if they crossed
something out.

This is the
statute itself, which has it's own set of footnotes.

I think they must have even confused whoever wrote the DOLETA Chartbooks, because this is what seems to be the relevant statute.

"(iii)(A) With respect to claims that have an effective date before July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer: (1) Is outside the existing labor market area; and (2) is in Washington or another state that, pursuant to statute, does not consider such an individual to have left work voluntarily without good cause; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;

(B) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer, is outside the existing labor market area; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move"

It's no wonder they did not receive an incentive payment.

It does not sound promising .. unless your husband is in the military, but I'd really like to hear from anyone that has had luck getting unemployment when the quit to follow a civilian spouse.

Sometimes, one can work their way around a statute, if somehow, the quit becomes attributable to the work. An employer transfer policy meant to retain employees is the first thing that comes to mind.

Here is another good starting place to research "WA unemployment" if you need to learn more about the WA State appeal process for any issue.

Comments for Can I collect WA State Unemployment if I quit to relocate with my husband?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 30, 2011
Can I collect unemployment if I quit my Job to follow my husband out of the country, only to return to Washington state 8mo later because we are seperated and I need to support myself?
by: Annonymous

Hello, I am very interested in hearing if I can collect unemployment after quiting my job in May 2010 to move out of the country to join my my "new" husband, wrking in Russia. I could not get a job in Russia. The marriage did not work and we are seperated and discussing divorce. He is still working/living in Russia and I am now back in Washington state desperately needed to support myself. Would I qualify under these unique circumstances and because I am back living in Washington state?


You might, you would have to know if WA had a provision in their statues at the time you quit to move to Russia .. and now if your base period wages will be enough to monetarily qualify for unemployment benefits.

The best place to check for provisions which allow for quitting to follow a spouse is on the ETA Recovery site. There are links at the bottom of the page which take you to the actual text of the laws each state submitted to the feds to receive payments from the stimulus.

As far as knowing whether you will monetarily qualify .. you would need to open the most recent years Monetary Entitlement chartbook and if necessary .. maybe follow along with me a bit about unemployment pay.

Aug 18, 2010
Following a spouse
by: Chris -

Thanks for what Texas says on quitting to follow a spouse.

There is a wide variance from state to state as to how this reason for quitting is dealt with.

Some states make it impossible, while others questionably interpret a provision which allows it.

If anyone needs to know if they can quit to follow a spouse, they should concentrate solely upon the law of the state where they are quitting and then search high and low for interpretive decisions which further explain the law.

It's the lack of interpretive decisions which explain .. that allows assumption by the non-legally trained, that makes them think they will be okay.

And as in your case are forced to appeal "ERRONEOUS INITIAL DETERMINATIONS".

Aug 18, 2010
Relocated With My Husband
by: Gloria

I don't know how different the Unemployment laws are from state to state, however, I got married and relocated to Washington State with my husband last year from Texas. Even before I relocated to Washington State, I started looking for employment here. When I arrived in Washington State, I continued to look for employment, however, I still applied for unemployment. My original claim was denied because my employer stated that I quit my job voluntarily, which was correct. TWC said that I quit without "Good Cause Connected With The Work for leaving" and stated that term is used in the law of unemployment insurance, to mean such cause, related to the work, as would induce a person who is genuinely interested in retaining work to nevertheless leave the job. So I appealed the decision.

After appealing, and by the Grace of God, the denial was overturned because according to Section 207.045 of the Act provides that an individual who left the individual's last work voluntarily without good cause connected with the work is disqualified until the individual has returned to employment and worked for six weeks or earned wages equal to six times the individual's benefit amount, UNLESS THE INDIVIDUAL LEFT WORK TO MOVE WITH A SPOUSE FROM THE AREA WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL WORKED. IN THAT CASE, THE CLAIMANT SHALL BE DISQUALIFIED FOR NOT LESS THAN SIX NOR MORE THAN TWENTY0FIVE BENEFIT PERIODS FOLLOWING THE FILING OF A VALID CLAIM, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION ACCORDING TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN EACH CASE. (Sorry for all of the caps, but there was no way to BOLD this part of the letter for special attention).

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Unemployment Benefits Questions.

} }