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House Bill 136 - One Year Later

>>AMY SUSAN: It's been 1 year since House Bill 136 passed allowing the spouse of an active member of the military to be eligible for unemployment benefits if accompanying the spouse in the event of a military transfer. We talked with one military family that said this new law was a lifesaver.

>>JASON MEUSCHKE: My wife was given a early retirement package that kind of hit us fairly quickly, so I did what I could to find a job while we were in Japan. I found one and got one lined up like November of 2011. We were home in December. When I was getting ready to start the job in January, the job was no longer there. It was no longer available due to for unforeseen circumstances. So when I went to the department of labor to sign up for benefits, that's when speaking with the people there pointed out they're programs available to you because you're a wife's veteran status. That was amazing because I wasn't even aware of it before then. So people there at the Department of Labor were really the godsend that helped us out.

>>GRACIA BACKER: House Bill 136, signed by Governor Nixon one year ago, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible members of military families throughout Missouri. To date, we have paid over $620,000 in benefits to approximately 140 eligible family members.

>>JASON: We were already under a financial strain, so without this law in place, it saved us is really what it did. It helped us survive.

>>SANDI WILLIAMS: When we've told the spouses about it, when we hand out the packet that has information about it, it takes a load off their shoulders because they don't have to scramble to take any job. Now they have more time to go into a career or find job that fits them.

>>JASON: It was a huge relief to know that while I'm looking for a job that we're going to be taken care of.

>>WILLIAMS: Thank you to Missouri for passing this law! We're going to market it a whole lot heavier now as people come to base and go through their right star process, we'll announce it so that their spouses know that they're eligible for this program now, without a lot burden on them.

>>JASON: This makes me proud to be a Missourian. That people thinks so highly of our veterans and their families I'm definitely happy to see they're willing to do these kind of things.

>>GRACIA: To all our great service men and women, please accept our heartfelt thanks for serving and protecting our country and our state.

>>AMY: For more information about military benefits, follow the link found under this video.