Can You Qualify for Unemployment in Texas Due to Relocation?

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Relocating with a spouse doesn't completely disqualify you from unemployment in Texas.
Relocating with a spouse doesn't completely disqualify you from unemployment in Texas. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

If your spouse's employer relocates him to a new city, county or state, your family may have no choice but to move to a new home. If the new location is too far from your job, you may resign and search for new employment closer to home. Depending on state law, you may or may not qualify for unemployment insurance compensation under these circumstances.

Trailing Spouse Provision

If you leave your job to follow a relocating spouse, some states may not consider this an acceptable reason to resign. In this case, the state may not approve your claim for unemployment compensation. However, other states, including Texas, have a trailing spouse provision that allows you to collect unemployment when you follow your spouse to his new job. Under a trailing spouse provision, you may collect full or reduced unemployment benefits depending on your circumstances and state law.

Texas Law

If you relocate to follow your spouse, you can file for unemployment insurance compensation from Texas. However, Texas doesn't consider a relocating spouse to be a completely valid reason for leaving your job. As a result, Texas typically decreases the number of weeks you are eligible to collect unemployment insurance compensation. In most cases, the amount of benefits you receive each week will be the same as it would have been if you weren't a trailing spouse. If you left your job to follow a spouse who is a member of the military, you can typically draw unemployment benefits from Texas for the same number of weeks that you would qualify if your employer had laid you off.

Other Guidelines

To collect unemployment from Texas as a trailing spouse, you must still meet the other eligibility requirements. You must have earned a sufficient amount of wages during your base period, which is the first four of the five quarters that preceded your claim. You must be actively searching for employment in your new location, and you must file weekly claims with the Texas Workforce Commission to request payment and report any earnings you had during the week.

Considerations

If you disagree with the determination the Texas unemployment department makes on your claim, you can request an appeal hearing. Though Texas doesn't always offer full unemployment insurance benefits to trailing spouses, it does recognize other compelling family matters as acceptable reasons for leaving work. For example, if you leave your job to escape domestic violence or because of a family member's temporary illness or disability, you may qualify for full unemployment compensation in Texas.

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