Unemployment Benefits

When Do I Qualify for Unemployment Benefits if I Quit?

Unemployment benefits are in place to relieve your financial burden for a period until you find a new job. You may be asking yourself if I quit my job will I be eligible for unemployment benefits? There is no straight answer to this question because it’s a bit complicated and this depends on why you quit. You may be eligible if you leave for a good cause, and again it depends on where you live, unemployment programs are administered differently by each state.

 In most cases, you will not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits if you quit voluntarily. While requirements vary from state to state, some standard rules still apply nearly everywhere. Here are some conditions under which you may be eligible for unemployment benefit after quitting.

You Were Constructively Laid Off From Work

If you get constructively laid off from work, you’ll most likely be eligible for unemployment benefits. For example, if you feel the only option is to quit because of the dangerous working condition your employer is not ready to do anything about, constant sexual harassment, or you’re required to commit an illegal act, in this case, most states will allow you to collect unemployment benefits. If the reason for your dismissal is beyond your control, you’ll like be able to get the benefits.

You Quit for Medical Reasons

When you prove that you have a valid reason for quitting your job, you may be eligible for the benefits. For instance, if you resign because of an injury, disability, or illness, you may remain eligible in most states. However, some states only issue benefits only if the medical condition is related to the job. Another situation under which you can qualify for the benefit in some states is if you have to take care of a seriously ill family member. States laws vary on how serious a medical condition is and the family member that is covered.

Domestic Violence

Many states provide unemployment benefits for an employee that quit work due to the issue of domestic violence. In this case, you won’t need to prove you tried all you can to keep your job.


The state you’re leaving can recognize additional reasons for quitting your job, such as moving with a spouse who has been reposted or taken a distant job. To know more about your state laws about unemployment benefits, contact the state unemployment insurance agency.

Revised: May 7, 2018, 9:12 a.m.
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