Career Woman

Collecting unemployment if you quit your job in the US: facts you should know


If you are thinking about quitting your job, one of the constant worries that comes with the thought is losing a steady paycheck. As career women, our jobs are a staple of who we are, but sometimes we must confront challenges in the workforce and make a change. With the cost of living increasing in urban areas each year, it is crucial to be making enough money to offset daily expenses. Many women who resign from their jobs don’t do so without good reason, and oftentimes these reasons can allow an individual to file for unemployment. When researching whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you should begin by considering the qualifications of your state and your reason for quitting.

Knowing what qualifies as “Good Cause”

Benefits will most likely be paid by the state if the reason for quitting fits within the categorization of “good cause.” Depending on the governing body’s political philosophy, states will vary on how the categorization is defined. However, the following situations are all usually filed as a quit with “good cause”:

  • Material change in employment contract – such as reduced hours or pay, a change in location of the job, and a change in duties
  • Travel issues – such as time, distance, or cost that can turn your employment into a hardship
  • Domestic circumstances – including family illness or a trailing spouse (where a spouse must move for their career, i.e. military)
  • Domestic abuse
  • Quit in lieu of discharge – also known as forced retirement or other coercive methods of resignation
  • Other reasoning – such as workplace discrimination, harassment, or violence; unsafe working conditions; and performing acts against the law as part of the job against will

Any of these situations may allow you to file for unemployment benefits after quitting your job. However, you must keep in mind that you first need to address the grievance with your employer in writing in order to preserve the employment relationship. Doing so is crucial to the filing and success of your specific case, and for your future employability.

Leaving for another opportunity

Additionally, situations befitting the “good cause” category of unemployment also include quitting for another job opportunity. Though this may seem improbable, many states will acknowledge your plea for benefits if you quit a job due to another prospect – but only if this prospect has already offered you a job. Without an offer, states will not provide benefits to a person who has quit for the sole purpose of seeking new employment. Thus, a person seeking unemployment benefits from this situation will usually have been offered a new position but it will not have materialized as expected, leaving the person jobless.

Quitting due to medical reasons

A final situation filed within “good cause” termination is quitting for medical reasons. It is important to know that this is not the same situation as filing for disability benefits. Rather, unemployment benefits are based on an individual who is physically capable to be working but has had to leave a position due to medical factors caused by the employer or workplace.

If a workplace environment is damaging to a pre-existing health condition, this may also be reason to receive unemployment benefits. Documentation citing the medical evidence that a condition has been caused or aggravated by is necessary to receive benefits for this situation, along with proof that the employer is unable to accommodate your condition. If the employer decides to make changes to accommodate you (i.e. moves you to a different department or office) while you are receiving unemployment benefits, you must be physically able to work thereafter once the threat is gone.

In knowing that you have recently quit your job with “good cause”, taking the proper steps to filing for unemployment should be done without difficulty. Before long, you can once again feel like a woman in the workforce by receiving money for your particular situation and being able to make ends meet.

About Jackie Edwards'

After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie Edwards now writes on matters relating to business, money and family finance. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues

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