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

by george

can I quit my job and still qualify for unemployment because my job has refused to relocate me closer to my new home that I am moving to in a different city.

Chris's Answer to quitting to move to a different city

Click here for more Q&As about getting unemployment when you quit to move

Hi George,

Sounds as if you at least got the gist of what the burden is when quitting a job .. that it must generally be, attributable to the work, or an employer.. Correct?

But beyond that .. you left out so many variables that could make this situation go for, or against you, I can really only direct you to the basics of the burden someone must prove when moving.. if good cause is even a possibility.

First, having good cause to move is at it's core a personal reason to quit a job, unless it's the employer moving .. who makes commuting to and from your home .. impracticable for all intents and purposes unless you move then good cause might be wrapped up in all the legitimate reasons people have for opting not to move to follow a job.

But quitting when we move away from our job, is contingent on what state you would be collecting benefits from via a provision that creates an exception for moving that is contingent on the reasons why we choose to move.

Where is Fontana? I'm guessing it's California.

Usually, in a state that allows good cause for benefits for certain personal reasons, it's reasonable to expect you will be held to a standard of proving why your reason for moving was compelling and necessitous.

California and Pennsylvania would be instances of state laws set up like this.

Those two states, where UI laws do not specifically restrict a quit to being
attributed to the fault of an employer there is no need for a special provisions that might allow good cause to move, such as is the case when you follow a spouse.

But it also doesn't mean CA and PA aren't allowed to require an individual to prove the circumstance that drove them to move, were made for a reason so necessitous, any reasonable person would be compelled to make the same decision to move.

For instance, when a spouse accepts a job in a different city. You can prove it wasn't a lateral move made by your spouse to accept the same work at the same pay in a different city.

So, even in states where attribution of fault to the employer isn't required, or when a provision in law allows good cause to move to preserve family unity, or the commute isn't practical, you may be good to go .. unless your employer has a transfer policy that could be accessed by you. If you didn't document your pursuit of a transfer to continue with your employer, you may of given them an argument to legitimately dispute your right to collect UI for voluntarily quitting to move.

It's up to you George. I don't know if you can prove to whatever unemployment department you're dealing with that you made your move to a different city with good cause, but since you mentioned it, why your employer's refusal to relocate you closer to your home .. might carry the weight of your burden to prove.

All I know for sure about you and your benefits George, is that I know it will be up to you to put on your thinking cap and if it were me, well before quitting .. or moving. WHERE ARE THOSE RULES ABOUT GETTING UNEMPLOYMENT WHEN QUITTING TO MOVE?

About Chris -

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.

Jan 27, 2016
moving from Philly to Florida
by: Marianne

I am planning a move in the summer to Florida from Philadelphia. My daughter will attend college in Florida and also my boyfriend lives there and we do plan on getting married. If I cannot find a job before I move, which is hard because I can't afford to fly back and forth for interviews, can I collect unemployment. I have been at my employer for 16 years.

Jan 27, 2016
For Marianne: Moving From Philly to Florida
by: Chris -

Pennsylvania is different from most other states in that it's UI laws do not specifically require a voluntary quit be attributable to an employer, as is the case in most others that do, but which might that then require insertion into law of a special provision to create the exception of good cause when quitting to move.

The issue is addressed in DOLETA's Non-monetary Comparison charts.

In PA unemployment law minus the baseline attribution of fault to an employer, or the work for good cause, it instead says personal reasons of such a compelling and necessitous reason can be good cause to collect unemployment compensation.

However, I want to make clear, because people have a tendency to wishfully assume the best, that to meet the intent of the words compelling and necessitous, the standard applied is the "reasonable person standard".

And given what I know about trying to collect PA benefits, that often means one literally may need to prove the fault is attributable to the employer, or at least put forth a competent argument as to why making efforts to preserve the job, would of in fact, been futile.

As for your reasons you will be quitting your job:

Because your child will be attending college in Florida .. forget it.

However, if you do happen to check out the UI law comparison charts, table 5-6 and footnote 13 is also of concern for the other reason you mentioned .. that your boyfriend lives in Florida and you two plan to marry at some point.

"13" Moving to follow a spouse is only allowable if reason for move was beyond spouse’s control and there were insurmountable
economic circumstances.

If it were me, I'd be doing some research to see what PA precedents were cause for that interpreted footnote.

Interpret reasonably. And remember the length of employment with one employer may be pivotal to some points a person may need to make .. to show, or rebut good cause at an unemployment hearing, but in your case, the 16 years is irrelevant to the good cause you are seeking for a voluntary quit for a personal reason.

Feb 12, 2016
Relocate or no job
by: Anonymous

I have been with the same company for 11 years. They are telling me I need to relocate to another city 1.5 hours away. If I do not, I will not have a job anymore. I do not want to uproot my life to move. It will also not be the same position. Will I qualify for Unemployment?

Feb 12, 2016
Question for the last commerter
by: Chris -

What state is this relocation, or no job ultimatum from the employer occurring?

And just to narrow the question somewhat, is the employer insisting you relocate yourself, or to another location where work is available? Which would now mean we're talking about a change to the terms and condition of your employment and whether the offer of continuing work is still suitable work, as it was when you first accepted it.

Distance, not necessarily time of commute, which could be valid in how some states determine what is suitable, may also play into your decision to take, or refuse.

Feb 12, 2016
relocate or no job
by: Anonymous

I live in Ohio. The distance is 100 miles plus. They have not told me exactly where in the city the offices will be. That is also an issue of where exactly do I move to if I do not know where the offices will be in the city. They are restructuring that market. What happened is a larger corporation bought out the company I work for. They are telling me I must relocate due to restructuring and combining our offices with their current offices in the city I currently work in. So there is still work in my current location, but they said not a spot for me. So they have plans to grow a new market and asked me to relocate to do this job and take this position.

Feb 12, 2016

by: Chrisl

So, in case you didn't check out the criteria for suitable provided by DOLETA on that page I linked to, whether you accept, or not, the offer from your new employer (mergers and buyouts usually end up sucking for at least some employees) it sounds like a substantial change to the terms and conditions of your original hire by the employer to me, and that means if you refuse, it could potentially be a quit proven to be with good cause attributable to the work, or employer.

But now that I know it's Ohio, and since I know the suitability of any job is a factor/issue for any state's unemployment insurance program, I'd next go to Ohio's UCRC website and peruse the Unemployment Law Abstract (look for IX) for that issue and the cases that set a precedent related to Suitable Work, or Refusal of Suitable Work .. for Ohio Benefits.

(Sorry about the mess of the links on my resource page, but chasing after state specific info to find where they keep moving information to, long ago, exhausted me.)

You need to at least look, if only because your employer has made an offer of employment that could for many possible reasons literally make the offer unsuitable.

However, having shown you where to look for your answer, one of the points I've always consistently made is that when someone like you, in your current situation, accepts an unsuitable job, the argument that you did have good cause to refuse for reasons then attributable to the employer .. disappear when you accept the "new terms and conditions of employment".

Feb 23, 2016
Evicted from home have to quit to move to another state
by: Mom of 1

I'm being evicted the court gave me the max time of 6 months to stay in my apartmen. I can't find the same or any rent that I can afford plus childcare in nyc with my pay also I have a aunt has a room for me in her house in ct but I would have to leave my job of 7+ yrs because of the distance. would I be able to collect unemployment benefits untill I find a new job in ct.

Feb 24, 2016
Quitting due to moving for personal reasons in Connecticut
by: Chris -

Hello Mom of 1.

The best place for you to research your issue of good cause to quit when you move for personal reasons that don't sound to me as beinbeing attributable to the work, or employer, if your current job is in Connecticut, is their UI precedent library.

I have a link to any state UI precedents I've ever been able to find one the resource page.

By the way, I missed that you currently live in NYC. I have a link to their interpretive UI index as well.

Apr 01, 2016
by: Anonymous

I am relocating from MI to Alabama.

I have been on this Job for three years, but because of some medical condition I am moving to a warmer climate.

Can I get unemployment till I get on another job in another state?

Apr 01, 2016
You're not just relocating to a different city
by: Chris -

Asked and answered .. many times, however, I wanted to point out that what you did tell me about your situation suggests you are quitting and relocating due to some health related issue.

So now, that gives you a different type of question to search for an answer in the other Q&As. ..

One that is about your ability to pull off a quit with good cause due to your own(?) health related issue.

The question mark is because both a worker's own illness and an immediate family member's are both common issues found in the state unemployment law chart, specifically, the non-monetary comparison chart also found on the unemployment resource page

Take my word .. health reasons are rarely with good cause when the need to move is based on self diagnosing yourself.

And in Michigan .. you might even find a decision that explains why, or what you may still have to do, if you ever need to prove the choice to quit might of literally been attributable to the work .. or the employer.

Search bar for this site is in the upper right hand column, of every page.

And the link to the Michigan Unemployment Decision Digest can be found in this ragtag list of bookmarks I use.

Jun 29, 2016
Relocating due to school location
by: Anonymous

I have been working at my job for the past two years. I am having to resign my position to relocate to another city here in CA.I can't ask to be transferred due to my job being only around the county and I will be moving 3 hours away and can't be commuting back and forth. Would that be a good cause to qualify for unemployment until I find a job?

Jun 29, 2016
What Do You Mean by School Location?
by: Chris -

Although California does allow good cause for a voluntary quit to move for some personal domestic reasons found in California's UIBDG, the concern you raised for me at least , was in what you didn't tell me about the need to move because of a school's location.

Quitting employment to go to school, or continue going to school is generally found to be without good cause, because the needs of the employer, or the party that pays the tax for regular unemployment insurance benefits, reasonably should trump the needs of the individual who chooses to quit a job, so they can continue going to school.

This too is addressed in the UIBDG (Unemployment Insurance Benefits Determination Guide).

You might also read some of the Q&As about unemployment benefits while attending school to more thoroughly understand that even when someone doesn't have to move due to a school location being changed, why benefits are also affected when a student literally limits their availability of time to keep working while attending school.

Basically, my concern is you didn't address anything I would think needs to be evaluated for the possibility of good cause, but because you mentioned school at all, I'm leaning toward it being unlikely you would be allowed to collect if say .. you're moving to attend a different college for .. grad school .. or something along those lines???

Jul 13, 2016
Left job because of location
by: Recent Jobless Grad

Hello, during undergrad I worked on my university campus where I dormed for 3 years. As a student, I was able to stay there over breaks and continue to work. After graduating in May, I moved back home which is too far from campus to commute. My job was great, they loved me and I loved them, but didn't make enough to rent my own place out there and work, and I had to leave and search for jobs closer to home. Do I qualify for unemployment under NYS law?

Jul 13, 2016
For Recent Jobless Undergrad
by: Chris -

I can't say whether your situation for quitting a job on campus to move because you could no longer afford to live in the area would qualify you under NYS unemployment law and it's interpretations of good cause to quit to move.

But what I can tell you is your situation, of being a student who worked on campus raises concerns for me, about whether your employment was even covered by unemployment insurance.

There's a chartbook titled Coverage, published by DOLETA. In it, right below the following paragraph, is a clarifying state by state chart you should look at to find out.

Service by Students and Spouses of Students—FUTA excludes service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university by a student enrolled and regularly attending classes at such school. FUTA excludes service performed by a student’s spouse for the school, college, or university at which the student is enrolled and regularly attending classes, provided the spouse’s employment is under a program designed to give financial assistance to the student, and the spouse is advised that the employment is under such student-assistance program and is not covered by any UI program. Also excluded is service by a full-time student in a work-study program provided that the service is an integral part of the program. The following table provides additional information about states’ legal provisions with respect to student employment.

I've assumed a lot I know. including that you worked as a student in NYS and that you just moved home to somewhere in NYS that makes commuting .. no longer practical.

In addition, even when employment is covered by NYS UI, it's important to acknowledge when a quit is for a reason that may be considered good personal cause, but not covered by a specific provision in unemployment law. Quitting due to financial hardship is one of those reasons I would personally avoid like the plague .. unless of course there is some way to meet the burden by making the choice somehow attributable to the work, or employment.

For instance, such might be the case if someone was working for .. let's say Walmart. Assuming Walmart has some transfer policy that includes non-exempt employees, a person might actually consider they would still need to prove they availed themselves of a company "transfer policy" and then make sure they had sufficient documentation that might possibly show the employer unreasonably denied them a transfer for a reasonable reason to request one.

Like I've said in the past, good cause is about the claimant's ability to prove the fault as being attributable to the work, or the employer .. even when a state unemployment law doesn't require it, or has a provision that makes an exception to the rule of attribution of fault.

Point being personal good cause reasons still requires an employee to jump up to the pump, so to speak and prove they actually made "reasonable" efforts to preserve their job, so as to shift the burden of fault.

That an employer can easily argue to show a lack of effort put forth actually forces the claimant to a higher standard of quasi-legal law best suited to proof of exhaustive efforts to show they were literally desirous of remaining attached to their job.

I know, more than most want from me .. but I don't care as long as I can get the point across to at least one person .. that may actually want to read what I have to say .. for free.

Jul 22, 2016
by: Anonymous

My husband has a new Job in Charlotte NC. However we are currently living in Sacramento Ca. I have been with my employer for 8 years in August. Would I be able to apply for unemployment?

Please scroll down the comments to find the California Unemployment Insurance Determination Guide (UIBDG). You will easily find a satisfactory answer there as well as becoming informed as to any bases you should cover prior to actually voluntarily quitting a job to relocate to a distance impracticable to commute to work. And be aware, the answer to the question would likely be much different if you ever are put in the same position once you find a job in NC.

This is a common issue for voluntarily quitting and the USDOL addresses the topic state by state in the Nonmonetary Eligibility chartbook I link to on the Resource page.

Chris -

Nov 16, 2016
Forced to relocate to No Calif. from So Calif.
by: Anonymous

I moved to So California 4 years ago to take care of my ill mother, moved in with my Mom at that time and have been working full time for 3 1/2 years as well. Due to my Moms health conditions, shes doing better now but, requires more care/attention then I can provide working full time. My sister & her husband moved my Mom in with them in October2016 to help care for her and honestly she is much better off their since my sister is a stay at home mother & can provide the care and attention my mom really needs. My mother has cardiomyopathy and has had 5 surgeries and is now with a pace maker, followed by pericarditis which caused her heart failure followed by 3 months of recovery from the last surgery alone. Once done with that diagnosed with cancer... Happy to say now cancer free for 1 yr but def took a toll on her health. Fast forward to this past April2016.

Due to her heart issues she was put on a blood thinner and on the 3 dose she began to hemorrhaged which was a result of where the radiation was focused on. We are very lucky she survived that plus all before. All of this in the past 3 1/2 years.

Fast forward to today...Since the move in Oct, I was able to stay with my sister & her husband for a lil over 2 wks due to housing..since then I have been couch surfing trying to find a place to live since my sister is under section 8 and I am unable to live with them. After really looking at my situation I have come to the conclusion that given my current situation I cannot afford to live on my own. I dont make much and with bills, monthly living expenses I am in no position to continue living here. My family up No California has offered me a room free of all expenses due to my situation and I cannot pass it up, otherwise I will be living in my car very soon. Given the situation would I qualify for unemployment? I will be giving 2wks notice on 11/28/2016 have no other option. I am unable to save money since I dont make enuff to afford a room, rent in So cali is very very expensive and my extended family has no room for me either since everyone has their own situation going on and do not know to many ppl outside my family. Im stressed and just overwhelmed by this all which moved very quick. A response is appreciated. Thank you

Nov 16, 2016
For: Forced to relocate to No Calif. from So Calif.
by: Chris -

My advice is to identify the cause for which you are quitting first and bone up on how it works when unemployment law is applied.

California has an excellent resource called the Unemployment Insurance Determination Benefits Guide (UIBDG). It is still available via a link, on U-Tips unemployment law resource page.

You seem to want to stress your need to leave work, is due to financial difficulties .. but that is rarely enough to establish good cause .. unless it is somehow connected to other circumstances .. such as quitting to follow a spouse due to a commute that would be impractical.

This is what the UIBDG has to say about financial difficulties being a compelling and necessitous reason to quit a job in California .. and receive benefits.

Title 22, Section 1256-18 (b), provides:

An individual who leaves work due to financial difficulties has left work without good cause unless there are compelling circumstances to establish that a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment would have left the work.

In P-B-274, the claimant resigned his employment in order to obtain money due him under the employer's annuity plan. The cost of medical care for an infectious skin disease had depleted his funds during a period when he was unemployed because of a trade dispute. He needed money immediately to continue the treatments. The Board, in ruling that he had compelling personal reason for leaving, said:

It appears that these funds could be made available to the claimant only upon termination of the employment relationship . . . . The claimant has testified that he had an immediate need for these funds because of the expensive medical treatments which he was undergoing. It is our opinion that the claimant was prompted to take this action for compelling reasons, not only because of the immediate necessity for funds which would not have otherwise been available to him, but also in view of the continuing nature of his disability.

The fact alone that a person had financial difficulties will not afford good cause for quitting employment. Even though the financial difficulties may have been aggravating and distressing to the claimant, they will not afford that degree of compulsion necessary to support a finding of good cause. Other factors must be present to support a finding of compelling circumstances.

My only suggestion to you, is that you might want to read further under section VQ 155 (Domestic Circumstances) and see if there might be a more viable circumstance of quitting for personal good cause, to fit with your current situation.

Mar 12, 2017
Moving from Philadelphia to Delaware
by: Anonymous

I have been in my job in Philadelphia for 10;years and I plan to move to Seaford Delaware. I am moving because I was given a home that is paid for and I will be responsible for taxes and insurance. Also utility bills. Can I get unemployment. I am moving 2 hours away.

Mar 12, 2017
Quitting to Move from Philadelphia to Delaware
by: Chris -

Although the State of Pennsylvania's unemployment law allows for a person to prove they had good cause to voluntarily quit their job for personal reasons they found to be compelling and necessitous, I have serious doubts if having to pay taxes and insurance on a home you were given would be found to of been compelling and necessitous to provide no other reasonable option, but to quit your job.

To compare what makes your circumstances and reason for quitting, to that of someone who might have good personal cause (to prove why the reason is compelling and NECESSITOUS ..

Let's take the person who has also worked at their job for ten years, but their spouse comes home and tells them they were just offered a new job (assuming the spouse earns more and isn't accepting a job that would be a unilateral move .. monetarily) they indeed might have good cause to quit .. if they can prove they didn't ignore a company's transfer policy, just in case that could of preserved their job.

Once efforts to preserve a job are exhausted .. then the move becomes necessitous and compelling because the distance to their job would now become a matter of being an impracticable commute.

Hope this helps you make your decision about the possibility of UIBs .. if you do move to pay the taxes and insurance .. on a house given to them .. another person might be thinking of as potential "rental income".

Apr 17, 2017
New mother relocating
by: Anonymous

Im in TX. I quit my job due to commuting issues. I am moving to a city closer to family because I am single and pregnant and need reliable support/ childcare while I work full time. My new home will be nearly 2 hours away and my old job would not offer part- time positions or a work from home position. There are no other establishments to transfer to as well. I am currently seeking employment in my new city. Would I be eligible? If not, could I appeal?

I'm going to suggest that after you click this link, you go to section VL 150 and review the variants for quitting with good cause in Texas.

150 is the section applicable to quitting and cause being due to distance to work. I can also imagine you may have to find something closer to quitting due to other personal reasons, like financial difficulties.

You didn't detail for me why you think your employer refused to accommodate with those changes you asked for, which literally was because you need to move, causing the substantial change to the terms and conditions of your employment.

Was your request to work from home, or work part-time a reasonable request to ask of this employer .. or suitable to whatever position you may of held.

Did the employer have a transfer policy applicable to your position with the company?

I really don't care to venture any more guesses as to your situation .. but the link is where I would begin objectively reviewing my own burden, if I had voluntarily quit a job .. for either reason .. in Texas.

May 17, 2017
Relocating from Arizona due to soon to be husbands job in Texas
by: Anonymous

Hello, my soon to be husband (fiancé) acquired a position in TX and we will have to relocate as he will be making much More money than me and I could not afford our current rental and bills on my own. I was forced to quit my job of 5 years in Arizona as I will not be able to commute to work from Texas. Can I apply for UI benefits in Arizona while I look for employment in Texas?

Please see R6-3-50155 in the Arizona Administrative Code about unemployment benefits to have good personal cause to quit for this reason, when the reason is not attributable to the employer.

I for one would feel safe in assuming the St. of Arizona didn't use the word spouse, for no reason, but because that's enough to make a difference as to whether you are allowed to collect, or not.

Chris -

Sep 01, 2017
Relocating California to Illinois
by: Anonymous

I work for a company that resides only in CA and my girlfriend is being relocated (military) to Illinois. Employer gracious enough to let me work remotely until end of September. I'm not quitting, but I'm assuming they're letting me go? Is this considered being "fired" or me "quitting"? What unemployment benefits if any and/or what state do I start looking for those benefits? Thanks in advance


I've got a couple links going to California's UIBDG, for your review with regard to the two separate questions you posed.

1. Is your situation a voluntary quit, or discharge? I couldn't really tell you at this point.

2. But, you need to know if good cause for quitting to trail a military member, but not your spouse, is even a possibility under California Unemployment Law.

And for good measure, I'm throwing in some more info about good cause for quitting when travel, time, or distance from work enters into an equation .. for potentially other reasons.

Chris -

Dec 06, 2017
Can I quit and move to another state and collect?
by: Elicia

Me and my mother are being forced out of our home and the only place we have to go is to family in another state. Would we be able to collect unemployment. I live in NJ but were moving to ME. Any advise is a big help thanks.

Check the non-monetary state law comparison at the USDOL.

Good cause to quit to move is detailed in the charts when you click the nonmonetary eligibility link and it includes all states, not just NJ.

Chris -

Apr 19, 2019
Moved in California
by: Larry

I recently started work with another company who took over my current company of 4 years properties and I took the job out of good faith.

I was commuting 92 miles round trip to work.

I currently bought a property that increased my commute miles to a hundred and one miles round trip.

14 of those miles are driving through cliffs and has added 45 mins to my overall commute time.

Would I be eligible for benefits if I quit my job to focus on finding work closer to home and because I have also had an increase in monthly bills and am going into debt trying to maintain this job.

Hi Larry,

Since your question pertains to California unemployment law, I do know that state provides for the possibility of benefits, when one quits a job due to having to move for a handful of reasons.

But I also know meeting the burden one has to meet when they quit, to be eligible, is what's also causing me to err of the side of saying no, I don't think you would be allowed to collect.. if you quit.

California, like other states, provides for the possibility, but then the EDD also looks closely at the reason one says they moved, in the first place.

This means I expect you will have to answer questions about your reasoning for why you moved.

Eligibility to collect unemployment for personal type reasons, is premised on questions/answers to uncover what made a personal reason so compelling and necessitous, another similar reasonable person would of also felt compelled to move, or quit their job because they moved.

Benefits, when moving to a new home/property, mean to me, it was the claimant who ultimately caused a substantial change .. to the terms and conditions of their existing employment relationship.

I'm sure the California EDD would consider the reasons you provided for wanting to quit your job, of a good personal cause nature. I just doubt your reasoning will be sufficient to meet the EDD's conditions, when they test it for eligibility to collect unemployment benefits.

Conditions for quitting to move, among other things you mentioned, are explained well, in California's Unemployment Insurance Determination Guide .. EDD UIBDG, for short.

I suggest reading the entirety of section VQ 150, because I could of missed something you didn't include in your narrative.

However, I definitely think "D" will be very helpful to explain where "no" came from for me at least. Hope the link helps.


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