Job Relocation & Unemployment Benefits


Job relocation might be especially exciting if you get a corporate relocation benefits package. However, you may prefer to leave your job rather than move or, perhaps worse, your employer is not offering a relocation option and plans to eliminate your job. Unemployment compensation eligibility varies from state to state, so you may qualify for unemployment, depending on the conditions of losing or leaving your job because of the relocation. Check with your state to determine if you qualify for unemployment given the job relocation issues.

Voluntary Job Leaving

In most circumstances, if you voluntarily leave your job, you will not qualify for unemployment benefits. If your employer plans to relocate your position, it may ask you to relocate. If you choose not to move to the new location and voluntarily leave your job, you may not be able to collect unemployment. This may also apply if the company is closing one location and creating new jobs in another and offering displaced employees the opportunity to work in the new office, depending on the availability of jobs and the distance between locations.

Job Layoff

Employers may approach an employee to ask about their willingness to relocate. If there is an open discussion between the employee and employer, an agreement can be made to terminate the employee under amicable conditions. This could allow the employee to file for unemployment.

Spouse Relocation

Some states may allow you to collect unemployment benefits if you leave your job due to your spouse’s relocation. Though this is considered voluntarily leaving your job, you may still qualify if you can show that you had no alternative but to leave. For instance, Pennsylvania allows you to claim unemployment if you can show that your spouse’s job relocation was beyond his control and created a situation in which you could not financially maintain two separate residences.

Appealing a Denial

When your company moves or requires a relocation of your position and you do not move with it, the reason for job separation, according to the state, may be unclear. If you receive a denial of unemployment benefits from the state, you can appeal the determination. You may have to appear in court to explain why you should receive unemployment compensation. The state will provide you with written notice of denial and appeal rights and you should continue to file claims until the final decision.

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