Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

Good news on the homefront!  The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act was passed by Congress last week and is awaiting the President’s signature.

Here is the body of the press release:

Washington, DC -Tuesday, November 3, 2009. A comprehensive military
family legislation, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (S 475
and HR 1182), which will legally recognize military spouses by
providing them the option to claim the same state of domicile as their
active duty spouse, passed through the House and Senate with strong
bipartisan support, and is now being brought before the President to
become a law.

The bill was introduced by Congressman John Carter (R-TX), who
represents Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the country.
“This is fantastic news for our service families worldwide,” says
Carter, who has been pushing the legislation for the last three years.

Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the
companion bill into the Senate, which passed unanimously in August. The
legislation will amend the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of
1940 allowing military spouses to share a home state with their spouse,
the service member.

Currently, military spouses experience impediments in voting and
property ownership as well as deterrents in employment and education.
The bill offers fair treatment of the military spouse and improves the
quality of life for military families by allowing the stability of a
single state of domicile to call home.

Over 8,000 military spouses, friends and family members united to
support the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act on Facebook.
They shared their individual stories as they contacted Congressional
representatives to ask for support. Initially, Army Spouse, Rebecca
Poynter and Navy Spouse, Joanna Williamson, approached Congressman
Carter with their request to petition. “It has been a grass roots
effort by thousands of spouses across the country, who have campaigned
to get this passed, by telling their stories,” explains Poynter.

“The support from Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and
the Veterans Service Organizations who testified in our support is
greatly appreciated,” said Williamson, “and together we claim this
victory for all military families.”

This is exciting news for military spouses and will undoubtedly save us all time and possibly even money.

More info on how the MSRRA impacts your income taxes.

State-by-state Links to MSRRA information.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Laura B

    Yeah for common sense finally prevailing!

  • anonymous

    I recently had an unfortunate encounter. I was a banking center manager while being stationed in Virginia and my husband received orders to transfer to Kansas. I immediatly started sending resumes out to every bank and even other employers. The bank that I was working for didn’t have any positions open in Kansas. Even after moving to Kansas, every reply that I got back was that I was over qualified for their positions. I then applied for unemployment and was turned down. The response that I got back from unemployment was because I willingly quit my job I wasn’t eligible for unemployment. I asked to rep what I was supposed to do, stay in Virginia while my husband lived in Kansas? She appologized and said she didn’t agree with this either. Why hasn’t the government reviewed this policy for military spouses and their families? We relocate because the government gives us orders to do so. So, I don’t feel that I willingly quit my job. I have since accepted a much lower paying bank job.

    • Cindra

      I had the same issue recently with Virginia. Needless to say after my appeal it was clear they would not budge. I was unemployed from October 2010 to July 2011 and we have been sent to collections on all of our bills and had 1 vehicle repossessed. There should be something to help us out, but everywhere we turn, there is nothing.

    • drhampton

      I am also a military spouse. I worked for a credit union in Missouri. My husband received orders for us to relocate to California. I applied for unemployment with the state of Missouri and was promptly turned down because I “willingly resigned” and “without good cause attributable to work.” I appealed it at every level, wrote several letters, got involved with Missouri House bills that had been put on a back burner, and prevailed. At the last and final level, before it going to the Missouri court of appeals, I succeeded and received full payment of all weeks claimed over several months. I received the lump sum payment right before Christmas. Thank God!!! Do Not give up!!! There is always something that can be done. Call, call, call, and write, write, write. Do your research. Look up the state law where you moved form and find a congressman who is in line with benefits for military spouses. Make contact with him or her. Put that info in your letters to the division of unemployment and the labor and industrial relations department for your state. Don’t give up and pray! they concluded that I did not willingly quit my job because my husband had received orders from the federal government requiring that he move. Commuting was not an option for me (over 50 miles) and would work against “maintaining our family stability.” You can make this work for you!

  • Felicia

    I experienced having to get my license renewed in a state that we currently live in. One of their laws are if you have resided here for more than 30 days they consider to be a legal resident. I gave up my home state of residence in order to comply. I definitely didn’t want to but had no other choice. The sad thing about it is that in less than 4 months we will be transfering to another duty station. When this law is passed I would had to agree with the other ladies. It will definitely save us money, time and alot of frustration.

  • Stephen Desrosier

    This is great news!!

  • Christie

    How do we apply for this? Or show proof to our employment?

  • Kate

    The details haven’t yet been worked out. If you are on Facebook, I recommend that you link up with the FB group. That is the best way to stay up to date as it is interpreted and implemented.

  • NBostic

    We must have spoken to the same Virginia unemployment rep. I was told the same thing by three different rep’s. One told me, I should have stayed in Virginia and let husband go one without our family. At least, the other two were sympathetic to my situation, but I was still denied. I worked at the Veteran’s Hospital in Richmond, VA for an year. I loved my job, the people were great. I was really starting to jump start my career when I got the news it’s time to go again. That really needs to be address with military spouses that work and have to leave due to a military move. I am still looking for a job and I have been at our new duty station since August. I can work at the VA again, but unfortunately, it’s an hour from our house. Being the only parent here that is mom and dad because my husband is deployed makes it kind of hard to want to commute two hours away with three small children. I understand about my husband’s career and I support him 100%, but when it comes to my career. There is the understanding that I know I will never have a retirement or stability as long as my husband is a career soldier, but please give the spouse’s what we are entitle to whether it is un-employment or whatever. We have to sacrifice a great deal for our country, as well, so let us have our unemployment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian

    It is a testament to the lousy care that military people still actually get from the government that this kind of thing is still happening. They pass stupid bills about saluting but don’t take care of the spouses. Wait until you retire if you think you get treated bad now.

  • Mike

    first let me start with. I agree that spouses are treated bad. My wife has had to leave two jobs at the bank due to my transfers. I have been in for seven years six months and have moved four times already and they just give us these little raises. With a spouse that can not work because unemployment is rediculous now. I’m frustrated for my wife. But what can I say, I know better then that. So who stands up for our families when we really can not do it . The stress that the military puts on a person with the stupid games that are played at each command don’t help. The spouse should get a special pay for putting up with the military. Hahaha!!! Look at the divorce rate in the military and you would think that taking care of personnel would be a priority so we can all focus on our jobs better.

  • bigbluewolf

    Employee Withholding Exemption Certificate, Form VA-4

  • see Tax Bulletin 09- 10

  • Francis Parks

    I’m so sorry this happen to you,I to are a spouse of a military man, and hade no luck in finding a job here in Kansas after we move here.The only good thing came out of this was i got my unemployment, from the state of NC. I work for CFVHS for 5 years on to different tours to fortbragg, they have that set up for the military there, I got it for 2 years off and on.I hope more states take a page out of NC book on how to service us to.

  • princessj

    I totally agreed with all the spouses that posted. I am a military female, and my husband has to give up every job that he every had to move with me because the military says that I have to go. It is very hard and frustrated even for me (the wife) being the one who gets the orders to move. I have seen how hard it is for spouses to get a new job, benefits like unemployment. It disrupts the family, not forgetting moving the children away from their friends every three years or so. It is taking a toll not only on the spouse, the children and also the member it self. It is hard for some people to cope with, but what can we do, we sign up for this. It would not be so bad, if the military tries harder to work with the military member of trying not to move so often, there are times that they can stay put, but they have to move sometimes across the country. With the way the economy is, people have to give up their home, put ir up for sale or worst lose it to the bank, then you have to deal with the issue of finding another place to live. Spouses, i really feel your pain. all an all, this bill came too late for a lot of people, including my hushand.

  • Kathryn Grau

    I also think that there will be some unpleasant surprises for military spouses who stop having state tax withheld for the state where they are working and then file jointly with their active duty spouse in a state that has an income tax. Texas, where this bill originated, and some other states do not have an income tax, so active duty members who have maintained their Texas residency, (or other states with no income tax) will benefit from not having to change residency or have tax withheld for the state in which they live.

  • Kathryn Grau

    As a navy wife and also an accountant/tax preparer working in Virginia I can say from experience that there are two sides to every situation. It would be great for military spouses to qualify for unemployment when they transfer, however, in VA an unemployment claim against an employer causes an increase in unemployment insurance rates for that company. Unless that also changed, a bill that made navy spouses eligible for unemployment benefits after a transfer would make employers understandably reluctant to hire military spouses in the first place.

    • SusanG.

      Texas doesn’t have an issue complying with the law and they do not charge state income taxes, so……. Apparently VA needs to learn how to budget! I understand that the funds come from unemployment taxes; however, I also understand that we pay into the tax system when we are employed.

  • Amanda

    Yes, you’ll generally still have to pay state taxes in the state where you work. But not having to change license plates, driver’s licenses, voter registration, etc. with every PCS will be a huge relief!

  • Rod Adams

    how about making it easy for military spouses to get jobs on military installation. military spouse preference is a joke.

  • Janet

    My issue as a military spouse deals more with the county taxes. We live on base and when it’s time for my state taxes I get deducted an arm and a for county “services” when in reality I live on base and only use base services (emergency, library, park, etc.). I don’t agree on paying taxes for services I don’t even use. I highly agree with military spouses getting preferences to work on base, there is no such thing as preference.

  • margaret

    Alaska – Once we got orders I had to quit my job because our landlord sold the house we were renting and had to move into a hotel for a month. Their unemployment office told me I could have left my daughter alone in the hotel room until my husband could get off from work – Who does that!!

  • Cedric

    All of these comments are just complaining about how much more the military should be doing for familie or what about this.How about a thank you I appriciate what you guys did for us. The amount of family care in the military today is hundred times better than it was just 10yrs ago, free education for your spouse, free money for education for your spouse and you, the pay is better, they are keeping you on an installation longer. Yes I know some of you will not agree with that part. The military isnt a job to get rich and if you have a degree of any kind you can always become an officer which pays a lot better than enlisted. If you are blaming the military for your divorce you marriage probably wasnt that strong to begin with. People stop complaining and take advantage of all of the benifits, a lot that are free, that the military has to offer.

    • SusanG.

      While I certainly enjoy the benefits that my husband receives for his service, I think the government also needs to understand that the spouses are going through hell trying to etch out a career of their own. We are put down for staying home eating twinkies all day and when a divorce does happen and a spouse takes half of his retirement, it is wrong. Seriously, it is so hard to find a portable career to actually build some retirement of our own, why is it so wrong to get half if we have faithfully supported and stood by his career? I realize I am ranting, but I am tired of folks who do not understand the plight of the military spouse. I love my husband and my country and I am proud of his service; however, I would still like to be a contributing member of society and have an easier time figuring out residency, unemployment, etc. END RANT

      • guest

        Gotta tell you…I’ve never had a problem maintaining a career, and a retirement fund of my own (with a lot of hard work sometimes, and I moved every 2-3 years before I even met my husband). The trick is to not do fields that require re cert after re cert and to choose a field that ties into the military community. I am a private employee but am trained in Geospatial tech so what I do ties in directly with military agencies and defense contractors. I think SOME military spouses get stuck in the “woe is me” mentality or chose fields to school in that aren’t portable because that’s what they “think” they should do. You might want to be a nurse but lets face it the re certifications are ridiculous sometimes when you move. Chose a field you might not think you’ll like but that ties in with military life and you could be surprised at just how easy it actually can be to have a career and your own retirement

  • Donna

    I think this new law is wonderful. Thank you to everyone that worked so hard to get this passed. Being a military spouse is frustrating. Having to start over at every new duty station is hard, and it is almost impossible to get a job on base. But this is a step in the right direction.

  • JulieDB

    Hmmm… This wouldn’t work well for me. We own a house in WA and when husband retires in less than 3 years, he plans to be a resident here. We’ve been married for almost 15 years and I’ve maintained my WA residency. He is a PA resident. I don’t want to be a PA resident. I want to stay as a PA resident.

  • JulieDB

    I guess I don’t preview well. That should read, “I want to stay as a WA resident.” Dangit.

  • Angie

    I have had the same unfortunate situation with my husband being transferred and having to look for new employment and being denied unemployment. My husband got orders overseas. I was told that I didn’t qualify for unemployment because I was overseas. Here’s where I’m confused – if I start working here on base – my state’s tax would be deducted from each check. Why are they entitled to tax money but I’m not entitled to unemployment? I attempted to file an appeal – gave them my appeal statement and had given the unemployment office my stateside online number. I received a letter stating that I would get a letter detailing the appeal meeting. I never received a thing! Then a few weeks later I received a letter telling me that I failed to contact them for the appeal meeting and that I did not provide a number for contact and that my appeal was denied. I am never going to have the opportunity to stay with a good company unless it’s a national company with several locations and we happen to move to where another location may be. So much consideration goes to the active duty member but I can’t help but feel like major issues for spouses such as transfers/employment are slighted. I have been unemployed for nearly six months and ineligible for unemployment. Something has to change and I’m surprised this issue still exists for all the boasting that is made to help support our troops and their FAMILIES!

  • Robyn

    Laura B, with all do respect you need to fight that finding for not qualifying for unemployment, military spouses qualify as long as you give prior employer proper notice you get it. I am a Marine wife and after 2 months of not getting work I filled, you will have to send your spouses orders but you qualify ” to maintain family unity” is the reason you qualify. take care and Semper Fi

  • kathy

    Unintended conquences. Will we still get in state tution if we keep home state residency? Not to mention how do u comply with home stae rules? Delaware requires an inspection at DMV to renew regristration. how does thids workin the real world? 8000 is NOT a smaple of the entire military community!

  • Tunisha

    I think the key part of the bill is that it is an option. If you are happy with your “home” state, no need to change. As for the comment made about appreciating the military is a bit misguided. I’m sure there isn’t a single military spouse who doesn’t appreciate it and all it provides in terms of housing and opportunities to see new places, and community building. That said, it is difficult to uproot a job, school, community and feel no support or sympathy in the new location, to struggle with rebuilding. It’s a tough life that we didn’t necessarily choose. We chose our spouses and it comes with territory, so we just try to cope. I’m glad that this bill is up for approval. It makes a step in a more spouse/family-friendly direction.

  • Tracy

    Robyn–not every military spouse who leaves a job due to PCS qualifies for unemployment. Unfortunately, whether a spouse is eligible is left up to each state, so there are those of us out there(myself included) who are denied because the state we live in doesn’t extend unemployment benefits to a spouse who “voluntarily” leaves a job. My denial letter said that although my reason for leaving my job was a good one, I didn’t qualify since I was not laid off, and my appeal was subsequently denied because of the way state law is written in Louisiana.
    I don’t understand why people continue to believe that any discussion of military life amounts to complaining, or that as a spouse, we get free everything(I don’t get money handed to me for school)–it is a unique situation with unique challenges. I am glad the law is finally a reality, but it doesn’t help me, and likely won’t, since my spouse and I do not currently have the same state of residence. I have no way to get residence in his state because we don’t live there, so our taxes will continue to be a mess.

  • Donna

    It’s about time! Over the past 17 years, in addition to the problems encountered by other spouses, I have lost several THOUSAND dollars in employer contributions to retirement plans because we never stay in one place long enough for me to be vested. Perhaps Congress should look into some type of waiver for that.

  • Heather

    If we are earning money in a new state but maintain residency in a different state, are we going to be excused from paying taxes to that state? If not, I don’t see how this will benefit me.
    On the job front, I would like to see a movement of spouses join together. I have faced much discrimination in CA, VA and now TX. We moved to TX in July and I have been told by several employers here that they do not hire military. I worked with a placement agent who was shocked that employers were so brash to make such a comment. I went to school for an advanced degree and earned a specialized certification to try and eliminate this problem. I am sad to say that now I have a lot of education and no job due to employers being so discriminatory. Most states are “Right to work states” which means ANY employee can leave at any time without a reason. My experience is that most military spouses tend to stick with jobs for the entire portion of their time in a location. Civilian workers tend change jobs more frequently. I wish employers would see how much military spouses have to offer and stop being so short sighted.

  • michelle

    replying to the comment by Janet above, I am quite sure you drive on county, city and state roads which are all maintained by those funds, no one can survive on a military base alone. Most bases don’t offer Jr. high and high schools thus kids are attending schools supported by that community.

    • SusanG.

      There are a few bases left with those schools on them. Even military members do not survive on base alone, yet they are exempt from local taxes if they are not in their home state. Basically you haven’t made a sensible point with that logic. Nice try though;)

  • Mark Mitchell

    This is great news and I hope the President signs this soon. I am what seems to be few, a male military spouse. My wife is active duty army and I too feel that we should be able to claim the same HOR home of record, especially since we are from the same state.

  • MJ

    This has been a hassle every time I try to do our taxes ourselves. Moving mid year and having to pay state taxes for two states for myself and a different one for my husband was confusing and the programs didn’t know how to keep up! It’d be great to file in the same state.
    Question on income taxes, though – AZ has income tax, which would be our legal state of residency. KY, where I work and TN, where I’m currently living, do not. Would I still pay AZ income tax or am I exempt b/c I work in a state without it?

  • Jamie

    I too had to leave a good job because my husband was deployed to Korea. I really liked my job!! Us spouses get pulled everywhere the soldiers do. I had to move back to Arkansas just to get by. My family has had to cushion us from this deployment. Our soldiers don’t get paid enough, yet it’s next to impossible for us spouses to get jobs and keep them! I’m not even talking about a career, just a simple job for extra income! I didn’t even try for unemployment because I knew I would be denied. It’s absolutely ridiculious how much is being done to our soldiers and our families and the public thinks we are making it up. Well no we’re not. We are seriously treated horribly, and it’s about time we got a good deal! Thank you Congressman Carter!!!!

  • John

    I am a CPA and am married to a retired military officer.
    I have made inquiries of income tax authorities from several states in the aftermath of learning that this bill passed.
    The affected state tax authorities are meeting to develop a consistent policy as to how to implement the law; this meeting is sponsored by their organization, the ATA.
    The law’s wording leaves much to be desired and is subject to much interpretation. The ATA hopes to provide formal guidance to folks before the end of this year.

  • Jon Jones

    Military Spouse Preference for getting a job is rediculous. What was the point of having that? My wife has applied to 25 jobs on usajobs and havent herd a thing back?

  • Amelia

    I like this. I don’t want to give up NC residency for TX. I came here to be with my husband! (I’ve never lived anywhere else than NC and plan on going back when my husband gets out.) I can’t drive anymore because I can’t afford to go home just to go to the DMV and have my name changed. I wish I could just mail in the documents and drive. I can’t vote either since my ID doesn’t have my address and my DL has my maiden name. I miss my freedom….

  • DD

    The bill has passed and was signed by President Obama on November 11,09.

  • jenna

    i think that this will help out the familys .. alot more than what has been done my husband cant even afford for me to move with him because if i go then i cant have a job waiting knowing i would be going i quit a job that paid the bills no problem just to get a job that when it was time for me to go that i wouldnt miss he can bearly afford to send money to help when needing it . so maybe this will help and then i can finally be with hubby … and and he can have his family besides the army …

  • Rhonda

    I think this is wonderful..we were stationed in VA for 3 years and each year I had to pay a $300 property tax for my vehicle, now we are in MA and having to do it again each year. My husband residency is in FL and they don’t have this tax. this will save us money each year…also the employment issues from above. I also was in banking and was a level 2 in FL making $35,000 and when I moved to VA they had to make me a level 4 (higher) just to make the same money as I did in FL. I could go no higher in my position in VA…they do need to recognize that when spouses apply of unemployment…Good luck to you Jenna. Its tough being away from the hubby. Mine is Navy and goes on deployments 6 months at a time.

  • Laura Roberts

    Ok so we transfered from GA to AZ. I don’t have to change my drivers license or tags?

  • Tom L (retired)

    I am retired military, 20 y3qrs. I
    too went thru this transfer headache, I am extremely thankful foe the change for current military families. Patience does work if given enough time .

  • Andrea

    I agree that spouses who transfer with their active duty member should be eligible for unemployment benefits, at least temporarily. I had to leave a great hospital pharmacy job recently, and have had trouble getting a comparable job. I finally got another job, but had to accept a >$10/hr pay cut. By the time I can start this new job, I will have been unemployed for 4 months. That’s a huge amount of money we have lost, and if I could have gotten even a little compensation for that time, it would have been a big relief to us.

  • John Moore

    We are stationed in Maryland but live in Virginia. With out vehicles we have to pay a property tax. The active military member is exempt but since my wife is on the title we have to pay the tax anyway. Will this bill make it so we do not have to pay that property tax if her home of records is another state?

  • maggie

    This is for Cedric – are you a military spouse I think not. We are not complaing this is our life and stuff we have to put up with. And where is all that free stuff. We pay for alot of things Especially if you are an Officer – education is not free, child care is not free, groceries are not free, Dental is not free believe it or not we pay a premium along with a portion of the bill, Eye care not free, housing not free, utilities are not free, we usually have to pay a large deposit for most of them. I can go on…I am a grateful spouse – my husband works long after closing time and weekends as a Nurse Practioner and he does not get paid overtime or comp time. Then when his patients see him in public and start asking for refills and about their pain. Please….Nope not complaining just dealing…

  • Petra

    I think this is great and yes, many miss the point of this being OPTIONAL, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to change your HOR, but you CAN claim your husband’s. As for the lady who had to go live with her parents while her husband got deployed and thus had to quit her job? I do not quite understand the why behind this. The last two times my husband deployed, I stayed put and kept doing whatever it was I did. I am excited to be able to claim my husband’s HOR instead of having to change mine all the time, so thanks to everyone who worked for this!

  • Amy

    It is about time this was done. However, it does not truly solve all problems. I moved to NV with my husband. I have a ND drivers license, because we are military I was able to keep my ND license here in NV as well as our ND tags. My license is now ready to be renewed. I contacted ND state DMV, they will not allow me to renew it as I don’t live in the state. This is the state I vote in, and lived for 7 years. My Husband claims MN. I can not get a license in MN as They told me we don’t live there. I was told by both states this bill applies only to taxes and nothing else. So I am now stuck getting a NV license.

  • Tara

    Regarding Virginia unemployment law, I thought there had been a change to policy that allowed military spouses to collect unemployment. This is the link I found (see the “no voluntary quit” section):

  • Stephanie

    OK, so now its a law, where can we go to get this done, i mean is there anyone (tax agency) who would know what they are doing

  • Stephanie, From what I have been hearing and reading, all the major tax services are aware of the law. It is the residency part that is a problem, and that isn’t actually a tax issue. Also, the base legal services and volunteer income tax assistance are quite familiar with it. Many of the larger bases are offering seminars on the changes, as well (Bolling Air Force Base, for example, had it today.) I would check with your JAG office to see if they are offering a class to help you best understand the law.

  • Celine Sanchez

    Please assit with information on this and how

    or where in the state of hawaii I may get the

    waiver or paperwork to pursue this benefit. Is

    this applicable to this tax year – 2009.

    Thank you. Celine

  • m pennington

    Okay I moved from Michigan to California to marry my husband. Then from california to Japan. I now need to renew my drivers licence. My husband is a resident of Michigan but I had to be a california resident because I lived and worked there. I dont know anyone there anymore. I need to change my residency back to michigan so I can legally drive.We were extended here in Japan and I dont even know where to start.Help?Where can I get the paper work for the state of Michigan?

  • m pennington, MSRRA doesn’t have any impact on driver’s licenses (unfortunately.) I think you are probably going to have to call Michigan as their website doesn’t say anything about military spouses. You may be able to renew your California license. Good luck to you!

  • Ric

    A lot of states have recently changed laws to allow spouses who quit jobs to because of PCS moves to collect unemployment. My wife is currently fighting with Virginia. Even though she legally qualifies they still froze her benefits and are requiring a hearing to determine if she should continue to get her benefits.

    Another hoop to jump through for the screwed over military family.

    • Ginnele

      I am in the same boat as we speak. I appealed it 1 time already and it was denied again. I am considering taking it to the next level. We should all get together all of us from VA and fight it together. They used a court case from 1989 to reference the denial of my claim, when the law supposedly changed in May of 2009???

      • Lizzie

        I am from Virginia too and am trying to appeal. I think it’s unreasonable to say I left my job without good cause when my husband received orders $3000 miles away! I gave my employer plenty of notice. I’m also running into the same issue of finding work without taking a large pay cut. I’ve applied to tons of jobs and nothing. It’s not my fault the unemployment rate here is twice as high.

        I was also thinking of fighting. If we did a class action or even addressed a letter to the President as a plea, I thought maybe being an election year he may help. Virginia says they will only approve if it is federally funded. How does a state with such a large military area treat the military and it’s families this way?

  • Nikole

    Virginia is still having issues with approving unemployment for military spouses. I had to leave my job on June 8th for a military PCS move. The state we moved to allowes military spouses to claim unemployment (one of VA’s rules) and I have filled every week. I also recived an aproval notice in the mail. Then I got a notice that I had to have a fact finding phone call. I was then denied. I have since filed an appeal but I have now been unemployed since June. With the amount of military in VA you would think that they would have been one of the first states to enact this. Our income has been reduced by half and we are struggling just to buy grocerys every week.

    • Ginnele

      I am in the same boat, had a 12 year career in VA, had to move to CA due to my husbands orders. I was denied my claim for unemployment and also on my appeal. I am seriously thinking all of of VA folk should pool together to fight this. It is rediculious that the laws have changed in 2009 and yet they are still not approving claims.

  • Noel

    Has anyone ever heard of Tennessee paying unemployment benefits to a military spouse? I just recently had to leave my job in TN due to a PCS. I filed for benefits and was denied because I voluntarily left my job. I am going to appeal the decision, but was wondering if anyone had dealt with TN before on the issue? In my denial letter it states that although my reason for leaving my employer fit my personal needs it was not an approved reason to receive benefits. I realize that my husband was the one given orders to relocate, but it’s not practical financially for us to live in two separate states the way TN believes you should.

    • Jill

      I am curious too…..I live in TN and will be moving to GA in August. I hear TN is a no go though :( Unfortunate for us…hope it changes soon :)

  • Christin Rollins

    I have to agree with you all, yes we have great benefits as military but that we are denied our unemployment is just wrong. I am in the same boat. I moved from KY to NY and am being denied because NY does not have substantially the same law as KY. @Noel, TN says absolutely no go to unemployment. I have a friend down in TN on that.

    I don’t understand why lazy people who got fired get their money and us military spouses don’t. If it wouldn’t have been for the same government telling us to move, I wouldn’t have moved. And yes we all know what the military brings with it but it should be equal across the board. I just want what is rightfully mine, and if a state is not willing to pay it back out then we shouldn’t have to pay in to begin with.

    I worked for an organization that helps mililtary families and they have started to advocate for a change in rules since myself and my friend have endured this. check them out at

    Maybe if everybody signs up and tells their friends we can get something going like it worked for the HOR issues.

  • Jinnie Kassaw-Adams

    Hi Everyone,

    @ Christin,

    Thank YOU CHRISTIN,for mentioning the CAUSE! I so HOPE everyone here and more will get on board and help each other reclaim your territory as discriminated, abused, and forgotten military spouses!!





    It is wrong on so many levels, the way you spouses (primarily wives) are being treated! I do hope you will all join in a HUGE SISTERHOOD EFFORT AND JOIN THIS CAUSE:


    help stop the inequality of unemployment. It should be the same from state-to-state! NO MORE of this garbage of one state being different than the other, and word-play so that one never knows how the outcome will be. I’m fed up with it. As a legal assistant, I can’t give legal advice, but I can read the law and understand it, and in Christin’s case, there is NOT ONE reason I see that she isn’t getting her’s. I’m really mad. I know the statute I’d scream in their faces, but she is denied. WHY? I DON’T KNOW…BUT I’D PAY TO ASK IN PERSON!







  • Jinnie Kassaw-Adams


    I have no idea why the link did not work in my previous statement. Forgive the all-caps! I get really excited. And mad for you.

    Name of the Cause on Face Book, just in case the link does not work again:

    STOP denying Military Spouses unemployment benefits after quitting jobs to relocate with family.

    STOP all States from disqualifying Military Spouses their unemployment benefits when there is a compelling family reason such as quitting a job to move to Warrior’s new duty station.

    Again, I’m sorry to have offended anyone w/ the caps! My passion takes over sometimes. I am here for you if there is anyway I can help. Contact me at FB.


    Jinn Kassaw-Adams

    Cause Administrator

  • Barbara

    I was able to draw unemployment from the state of Florida with our PCS to ND. I was even eligible for emergency funds after my first round ran out. These funds did not come from my previous employer but from the state itself so it doesn’t go against the companies claims. To bad all states don’t do this!!

  • Leslie

    I am a military spouse of 18 years and we were stationed in OH for 6 years – moved to N. VA for 5 years and have moved back to Ohio. I have signed up for the PPP and so far no luck. Any job that I have applied for I haven’t been contacted for an interview, or the PPP doesn’t have any affiliation with the location I applied at. I enjoyed my job in VA and it paid well but I could not stay in the area and be able to afford it with our 2 children. Since we have moved back to OH our son has been diagnosed with Aspergers as well as having a learning disability. While stationed down there – none of the doctors ever offered to have him tested, they just treated it as him being a normal boy who was just going through a stage. I only quit my job so that I would follow my husband so that I can at least try to offer my children some sort of stability while they have an active duty military father. I have heard the saying before “if they wanted you to have a family they would have issued you one” well how fair is that to tell someone that you can’t have something that other’s have. Military spouses deal with so much and to deal with the constant deployments, tdy’s, pcs and playing both mom and dad for long periods the last thing that we all deserve is being told that you don’t qualify for something that is out of your control. Why can’t laws be changed and spouses given or offered more opportunities?

  • Anon

    Learn to spell people

  • TeMac

    We live overseas and are being transferred back to States next year. We are almost sure it will not be in the State that we currently claim as our residence due to the fact that there are no positions available that he can transfer back to. So we will go whereever the Fed govt tells us (where the job is). My question is, will my child receive immediate residency in another State (for college purposes) that we are transferred to since it is being chosen by the Fed Govt?

    • KateKashman

      If you or your husband are on active duty, then yes. All states recognize the dependents of active duty military as in-state residents.

      Hope that helps.