Nebraska military wife fights for unemployment after moving overseas with husband

A military wife from Nebraska moves with her husband to Germany and had to fight for unemployment after leaving her job
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 12:05 PM CST
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GERMANY (WOWT) - Since August, a military couple from Nebraska has been fighting for unemployment benefits from halfway around the world.

They made a long-distance call for help to 6 News for answers here on the home front.

A couple’s Nebraska life was packed into boxes and shipped overseas. Kelly Wilkinson moved with her husband Master Sgt. John Wilkinson who has been deployed to Germany.

“I had to quit my job after eight years,” Kelly said.

She filed for unemployment in late August.

“I worked and worked so long, I put this money into my unemployment, and I am looking for jobs, remote jobs because that’s all I can have, and I feel that it is my money.”

But her claim was denied, she says because she couldn’t actively seek employment in Nebraska.

“They were saying she doesn’t even qualify for any unemployment benefits because we are in a different country now,” Sgt. John said. “I don’t think they really took into consideration the fact this is a mandatory military move. It wasn’t that she quit her job because she didn’t want to work there anymore.”

One income for now, the deployed couple appealed to get Kelly’s unemployment.

6 News’ Mike Mcknight contacted the Nebraska Department of Labor and she got a new assessment of her qualification for unemployment benefits.

It says no disqualification is assessed and she’s cleared to receive unemployment benefits, including about three months in back payments.

“I feel that any military spouse that has a full-time job and has to give up her full-time job for a military move should be able to get unemployment,” Kelly said.

Unemployment benefits to help pay for settling into life in a foreign land where her husband is hard at work protecting our freedom.

A spokesperson for the labor department says the ruling means the deployed military wife is eligible for unemployment benefits.