November: Military Family Month
Earlier this month, President Obama declared November 2011 as Military Family Month in order to recognize the “resiliency and generosity” of those families whose loved ones serve to protect our nation and provide a sense of security for Americans in their everyday lives. In doing so, the federal government encourages citizens to support these families, as many military spouses are each day single-handedly taking care of children while also bearing the burden of concern for their loved one’s safety. Additionally, earlier this year, the Obama Administration implemented the Joining Forces Initiative in order to “enhance learning opportunities for our military children, champion our military spouses as they advance their careers and education, and providing better mental health counseling to heal the wounds left in war's wake.”
In Missouri, House Bill (HB) 136 went into effect in August 2011, to honor the sacrifices made by spouses of military men and women who must move their homes after their husbands or wives have been transferred to a new duty location. HB 136 allows workers who must quit their jobs to relocate to be with their active military spouses to receive unemployment benefits while they look for work. Furthermore, these spouses can receive a temporary license to practice their occupations or professions in Missouri. With this legislation in place, Missouri is able to support not only military troops, but also provide them with some peace of mind by helping support their families. Watch a special video about two Missouri military families that have benefitted from this new law. So far, there have been 29 determinations written under the new trailing spouse law.If you are a military spouse you can contact the Missouri Division of Employment Security and file an unemployment claim. You can also file a claim online at the Department’s Division of Employment Security webpage.