Virginia Now Offering Unemployment To Military Spouses

June 18, 2014 | Kate Horrell

Beginning 1 July 2014, military spouses who have worked in Virginia will be eligible for unemployment compensation if they leave their job to follow their spouse to a new duty station.

Virginia State Senate Bill 18 was passed in March 2014, and broadens the definition of “good cause” for leaving a job.  Voluntary resignation to follow a PCSing active duty spouse will now be considered “good cause” and will therefore allow those former Virginia employees to claim unemployment benefits, provided that the state to which they move provides similar benefits.  After the Virginia law changes on 1 July, this will include every state except Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, and Vermont.  (Ohio has been working on this issue.)

The non-availability of unemployment has been a regular complaint of military spouses who worked in Virginia and resigned from their job to move with their active duty husband or wife.  This change will be most welcome by those folks!


  1. Mac says:

    Does this cover PCS orders to go overseas?

  2. Kate says:

    Mac, I think it should. It is still the same situation: you are claiming unemployment in Virginia based upon the fact that you have to leave Virginia due to your spouse's PCS orders.

    Let us know what happens if you apply.

  3. Tmj says:

    I was just denied. I guess because I'm returning to the states from Overseas and my employment wasn't in Virginia.

  4. I have my phone hearing to determine eligibility in VA tomorrow morning! I turned in a copy of the PCS orders with the letter of resignation for my teaching position. Let's see what happens…