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Relocated to another state for Domestic Partner

by John
(Lake Mary, FL)

I recently relocated to Florida from Virginia with my domestic partner of 10 years. He was laid off in Virginia and found a new job in Florida. His income is primary in the relationship, so I quit my job to move with our family.

I now have been unemployed since November 1st 2008 and my savings are drying up. Since I have moved to Florida, I have sent out hundreds of resumes without any response. I have attended many job fairs and average at least five resume/applications a day.

Do I have a claim for unemployment benefits?

Since my employment was in a different state, the website advises me to contact their 800 number, however I have not been able to get through even to wait for a person for 4 days. What will I need to know for this situation?

Thanks for your help

Hi John,

Neither Florida nor Virginia allow for benefits for a voluntary quit to move with a spouse or domestic partner (with the exception of certain military spouses). Virginia's statute says:

§ 60.2-618. Disqualification for benefits.

An individual shall be disqualified for benefits upon separation from the last employing unit for whom he has worked 30 days or 240 hours or from any subsequent employing unit:

1. For any week benefits are claimed until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment, if the Commission finds such individual is
unemployed because he left work voluntarily without good cause. As used in this chapter, "good cause" shall not include (i) voluntarily leaving work with an employer to become self-employed or (ii) voluntarily leaving work with an employer to accompany or to join his or her spouse in a new locality. An individual shall not be deemed to have voluntarily left work solely because the separation was in accordance with a seniority-based policy.

Any state's stance on voluntary quitting to follow or move with a spouse can be found in this chartbook published by the USDOL It also has the information about the length of the disqualification and the conditions that need to be met to purge the disqualification. This almost always requires a person to return to work and earn a specified amount of money. Of course to collect unemployment the separation from the subsequent employment would need to be qualifying.

I think this is one of the most frequent questions I get. I do know the USDOL is researching the viability of establishing "personal" accounts for unemployment and I suspect the exclusion of this reason among other good, but disqualifying reasons for quitting prompted the study. I'm hopeful the new administration will be more assertive in finding positive solutions.

The system's concept is too static and becomes more and more ineffective from it's inception. There has been very little change in 75 years. And I am in agreement with many others that things need to change because we've certainly changed since 1935.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


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