Unemployment Benefits for Military Spouses
By Jenifer Jones
A South Dakota Senate Committee unanimously passed a bill that allows military spouses to receive unemployment benefits if they leave their jobs due to a spouse's military transfer. Senator Jeffrey Haverly is a sponsor of the bill. He says South Dakotans receive unemployment compensation if they are laid off or have a good cause to voluntarily leave their job. Senate Bill 123 adds a spouse's military transfer to the list of good causes. He says in the private sector, a transfer is often voluntary, while in the military is required.
"The military transfers by order have and will cause financial hardships, especially in the enlisted ranks of our fighting force," Haverly says. "Especially where the military member's spouse has had to work to make ends meet, not unlike the private sector. Again, the difference is the military order."
Officials with the unemployment insurance division of the state Department of Labor oppose the bill. They worry additional payments would strain a fund that has been hit hard over the past few years. But proponents say only a small amount of people would utilize the funds.
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