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Can I Collect Unemployment if My Job Relocates?

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When your job relocates to another area, it can be hard to determine whether you should go with it. On the one hand, it’s your source of income. On the other, moving to a new area is stressful, especially if you have a family to think about. Fortunately, you can collect unemployment in most situations if you decide to turn down a relocation.

Company Relocation

It’s not unusual for a company to move an entire base of operations or just a department to another state, or even another country, for economic reasons. The company can offer you the opportunity to move with it.

Change in Employment Terms

Whether you’re an at-will employee or If your employer moves your job to a place outside of a reasonable commute, it’s considered a significant change in your employment terms. As long as the reason you no longer work with the company is a result of this change, you can collect unemployment benefits.

Applying for Benefits

Each state runs its own unemployment insurance program, causing the rules and regulations to vary slightly between states. Contact your state’s labor office to determine how to apply for unemployment benefits. You can usually apply the day after your loss of work. Call the claims line or log into the claims website.

Proving It

After you apply for unemployment benefits based on the fact that your job has relocated, the state contacts your former employer to confirm the facts. If the company says that your job separation was for another reason, you’ll have to provide proof to the state. You can use any written form of communication from your employer, such as a memo or a email, or statements from your coworkers.


Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.

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