Unemployment insurance in paid out to people who are able and willing to work, but unable to through no fault of their own. This usually means people who voluntarily quit their job will not receive unemployment. However, here are a few common exceptions which are considered good reason for quitting that allow you to still receive unemployment.
Typically, you are eligible to receive unemployment if you quit your job to take another job, you quit a job because of unavoidable life changes, or your working conditions have changed to make quitting a necessity.
While criteria for receiving unemployment benefits vary from state to state, here are the most common exceptions that allow you to receive unemployment benefits even if you quit your job.
You Quit to Take Another Job
Gap periods in between periods of employment are usually considered good reasons to receive unemployment benefits. If you are moving jobs, changing careers, or taking a position elsewhere, then you should apply for unemployment. In some states, continuing or higher education is also considered a valid reason for quitting a job.
You Quit Because of Sickness, Disability, or Death
Sickness or disability that causes you to be unable to continue working your current position is almost universally considered a good reason for quitting a job that will allow you to collect unemployment.
Additionally, if the death, sickness, or disability of a family member would also cause you to be no longer to hold you current position, then that is also grounds for collecting unemployment.
You Moved to be with Your Spouse or Domestic Partner
Voluntarily quitting a job because you are moving out of the area to follow a spouse or domestic partner is a good reason for quitting that allows you to take unemployment.
Partnerships that are not legally recognized, such as long term girlfriends or boyfriends, may not be approved.
Prevention of Domestic Violence or Stalking
If you are the victim of domestic violence or stalking, then quitting a job in order to prevent it is usually an acceptable reason to quit and get unemployment.
Your Employer Significantly Reduced Your Usual Pay or Hours
A total drop of income of 25% or more is usually a good reason to quit your job while still receiving unemployment. The thought here is that even if you have a job available, such a sudden drop in income may make it unworkable given your financial and family obligations.
Your Employer Changed the Location of Your Job
If your employer is requiring you to commute longer or farther than previously, you are likely eligible to file for unemployment even if you quit the position voluntarily.
If you reported a safety problem at work through appropriate channels, and your employer has not fixed the issue in a timely manner, then you are probably eligible for unemployment.
Investigators are likely to keep the severity of the safety violation in mind when determining what is a “timely manner” and whether it warrants you quitting your job. The more severe the problem, the less time you would need to give you employer to fix it before justifiably quitting.
Illegal Activity at Work
If you told your employer about an illegal activity that takes place at work, and they have not taken steps to fix it in a timely manner, then you may also be eligible for unemployment even though you voluntarily quit.
Changes In Work Go Against Your Moral or Religious Beliefs
If the parameters of you job have recently changed and violate your established religious or moral boundaries, then it is possible it quit and receive unemployment. For example if you are a Muslim who is now required to cook pork products.
You Entered an Approved Apprenticeship or Training
Some states have pre-approved apprenticeship or training programs which you can receive unemployment while you are attending or waiting to attend.