Unemployment – May I Quit My Job and Get Benefits?

Posted by: Oct 20, 2020By Brian Stutheit

The law says an employee may not quit for personal reasons and still be entitled to unemployment. This only makes sense. People who are not able and available to work are not “unemployed.” So, be careful about quitting. If you want unemployment, do not quit your job because you are tired of it, it is hard, you want more money, your boss is a jerk, or your family needs you at home more.

You may quit and still get benefits if, among other reasons:

a) your employer violated your written employment agreement, except that you must before quitting follow all the dispute resolution rules in your contract;

b) you are subject to personal harassment not related to the job, but make sure you tell someone this is happening. Don’t just up and leave.

c) you are or become physically or mentally unable to perform the work, or you lack the skills to perform the work.

d) the employer made a “substantial change” in the working conditions and the change is substantially less favorable to the worker. Be careful with this. If conditions for other workers in your industry are similar to your newly changed working conditions, you may be denied benefits.

e) you have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder documented by a physician. To get benefits, you must begin a treatment program.

There are other reasons which justify quitting and still getting unemployment. Whether or not you will win your benefits depends on your own facts. If you can, get advice before you resign. And, before you leave, paper your file with the reasons why you must go.