• David Manes

Can I collect unemployment benefits if I quit?

Most individuals who quit their job think that if they quit they are ineligible for unemployment benefits (“UC Benefits”). It is a common misconception. The truth is that in some situations, if an individual quits their job, he/she may still be eligible for UC Benefits.

When applying for UC Benefits after quitting, Section 402(b) is applied. When trying to obtain benefits under 402(b) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law (“Law”), you have the burden of proving that you quit your job for “necessitous and compelling reasons.”

Section 402(b) of Law specially states that:

An employee shall be ineligible for compensation for any week in which his unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature, irrespective of whether or not such work is in “employment” as defined in this Act. 43 P .S. § 802(b) (emphasis added).

What constitutes a “necessitous and compelling reason” that would allow you to obtain unemployment benefits under 402(b) of the Law?

An employee’s medical problems can constitute a “necessitous and compelling reason” for quitting where the employee is unable, either physically or emotionally, to continue working. However, the decision to quit because of your medical problems must be made in good faith. Good faith occurs when you made a reasonable effort to maintain your employment by telling your employer of your medical problems so that the employer might provide an accommodation to allow you to continue working. Once you have informed your employer of your medical problems, it is their duty to offer you an accommodation to allow you to continue working. If your employer does not provide you with an accommodation, and you quit as a result, you have a “necessitous and compelling reason” to quit and may be eligible for benefits under 402(b) of the Law.

Domestic, filial, and marital circumstances may constitute a “necessitous and compelling reason” to quit. What is encompassed under domestic, filial and marital circumstances?

1. Childcare – if you have problems obtaining childcare for your children and you quit for that reason, you may be eligible for benefits under 402(b) of the Law 2. Martial problems – if your spouse had compelling reason to live in a life care facility and you quit to relocate with them, you may be eligible for benefits under 402(b) of the Law 3. “Follow the spouse” – if your spouse finds a new job in another area and you quit your job to join your relocated spouse, you may be eligible for benefits under 402(b) of the Law

It is important to remember that these are just some examples of situations that may constitute a “necessitous and compelling reason” to quit.

Working conditions can also constitute a “necessitous and compelling reason” for quitting. A substantial and unilateral change in the terms and conditions of your employment can constitute a “necessitous and compelling reason” to quit. A change in hours, pay, or job duties are all examples of substantial and unilateral changes in employment. Unreasonably dangerous work conditions, which could jeopardize an employee’s health, can constitute “necessitous and compelling reasons.” However, you must have first communicated your concerns to the employer prior to quitting.

As previously stated, these are just examples of what constitutes a “necessitous and compelling reason” for quitting. When you quit your job, you have the burden of proving you had a “necessitous and compelling reason” for doing so. Even if you fall into one of these examples, it doesn’t mean you will be found eligible for benefits under 402(b) of the Law.

#402b #NecessitousandCompellingreasons #Quitmyjob #voluntaryquit

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