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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

Unemployment compensation: even if you quit, you may still qualify

If you voluntarily quit your job, you are generally not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. However, there are some instances where you can quit and still qualify. I know this seems counterintuitive. If you chose to be unemployed, you should not have a right to benefits. But there are circumstances where you still can be entitled to benefits and it makes logical sense. Let’s take a look at some of the instances where you can quit your job and still be entitled to benefits.


If some form of fraud was the cause of you quitting, you may still be entitled to benefits. For example, if an employer promised you a certain wage and then backed out on it once you started working, this would constitute a fraud and you could still qualify for unemployment.

Health was endangered

If your health or life was endangered by an employer’s failure to keep the workplace safe, your decision to quit may be justified. You may need a medical doctor’s opinion or other evidence to show that you were in danger, but if you can show it you can still qualify for benefits.

The nature of your work has transformed

If your job has changed so dramatically or your wages were reduced so greatly that your job no longer resembles what you were hired to do, you may be able to quit and still collect. You will have to tolerate small changes in your job and wages, but if the transformation is great enough, you can quit voluntarily and still collect your benefits.

You were subjected to intolerable or illegal conditions

If you were subjected to some form of discrimination, harassment or a hostile environment and your employer refused to correct it you can quit and still qualify.

Change in the location of your work

If there was a change in the location of your work that made it impracticable for you to commute there you may be able to quit and collect. It cannot be a distance of a few miles, but if it is substantial, you will be justified.

Your spouse had to relocate for work

Not all states recognize this exception, but some do. So check your local laws and contact a local attorney to confirm.

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