Does Quitting Your Job Mean No Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are offered to help ensure that people who end up without a job are able to pay their bills, keep living in their homes and feeding their families.  There is no doubt that the service is a necessary one.  What happens if you intentionally quit your job, however?  Are you still eligible to file, or do you need to make the tough decision to stay in a dangerous or stressful environment to keep making money?  

In most cases, quitting your job means that you cannot collect unemployment benefits. After all, they are only offered when you are unable to find a reasonable offer of employment – and that includes your old job.  There are some exceptions to this, however.  For example, if your employer greatly reduces your hours or pay to the point where you are unable to pay your bills, you will find that you are likely able to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Other exceptions include assessing whether you have a medical condition that prevents you from keeping the job, sexual harassment, discrimination, threats, or a work environment that is hazardous or dangerous to your health.  In these cases, you can often qualify for unemployment, although your employer can fight you on the decision or say that you are ineligible.  You can dispute this with a judge, though hiring an attorney to help represent you may be necessary. 

In summary, it is possible to get unemployment benefits if you quit your job for the right reasons, but know that the road ahead of you may be difficult.  If you are in a dangerous or unhealthy position, however, the process may be worthwhile despite the frustrations.

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