Unemployment Compensation: Special Rules for Servicemembers

What is Unemployment Compensation [UC]?

"Unemployment compensation” [UC] programs provide weekly income to workers who can’t find jobs. UC can help you get by if you are unemployed or only able to find part-time work. Weekly UC payments also include a small amount for dependents. Typically you need to have earned a certain minimum amount during a "base period" in order to qualify. The basic benefit period is 26 weeks, but often you can claim more weeks, especially in times of high unemployment.

Where do I apply? 

Each State has its own rules about how to qualify, how to apply, and how much you can get.  Go here to find out details and where to apply in your state.

Are there any special rules for servicemembers? 

Special laws allow some members of the military and their spouses to qualify for UC as a result of military service.

  • Former active duty military personnel (and certain reservists) may qualify for “Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members” [UCX]. This federal program allows you to use your military hours and earnings to qualify for benefits. Follow link below for more details.
  • The spouse of a military member who leaves a job because of the spouse’s military transfer may qualify for UC. This will depend on the laws of the State where you have moved. Not all States provide this benefit. Follow link below for more details.


Last updated May 2018