unemployment benefits

After quitting can you get unemployment benefits?

Layoffs and unemployment benefits rose as the U.S. economy slowed in August 2022, MarketWatch reported. Unemployment benefit numbers have been rising in the summer months of 2022, with 260,000 people claiming unemployment at the end of July.

But laid-off employees are not the only ones who want to receive unemployment benefits. Individuals who have recently quit may also seek unemployment benefits. So, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.2 million Americans left the workforce in June 2022.

Also, if you’ve recently quit your job and are wondering if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits. An employment lawyer is here to answer your questions.

Can you get unemployment if you quit?

In general, unemployment insurance is only available to those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, according to USAGov. This can sometimes refer to layoffs or downsizing.

But according to National Employment Law Project attorney Jenny Gerry. There are ways to get unemployment if you quit.

“The key to getting unemployment insurance and whether you’re eligible to quit. Is whether you had a good reason to leave the job,”. “A lot of states (ask), ‘Would a reasonable person in your situation stay on the job?’”

These “good grounds for termination” vary from state to state. Some allow for unemployment benefits in cases of domestic violence, harassment or sexual assault.

The Unemployment Law Project lists these categories of good reasons that could make you eligible for unemployment:

  • He accepted a new job
  • Illness or disability of you or a family member
  • Moving with a spouse as part of a mandatory military transfer
  • Protection from domestic violence or stalking
  • Salary reduction
  • Hours shortened
  • Changes in workplace or commuting
  • Workplace safety concerns
  • Illegal activity in the workplace
  • A change in work that violates religious or moral beliefs

“If there are health and safety violations at work and you’ve reported them and your employer hasn’t done anything about them, then in most places you’re entitled to unemployment insurance because of that,” says Gerry.

With large layoffs at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to expand interstate unemployment insurance. This change included workers who were not normally eligible for unemployment. The federal government’s extended unemployment benefits for COVID-19 are no longer active.unemployment benefits

What are unemployment benefits?

“Employers pay (unemployment insurance) on behalf of the team member,” says Gerry. “So when it pays employees, it pays into this program. This allows workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own to receive partial wage compensation while experiencing bouts of unemployment.

So, each state offers its unemployment insurance program. Unemployment insurance recipients must report their benefits as income on their tax returns.

There are also several educational and training programs offered for free or at a low cost. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides retraining funds for laid-off workers. Trade Adjustment Assistance is for those whose job loss coincided with an increase in imports or non-U.S. production. The Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response program shares resources for transitioning to a job.

Other unemployment assistance programs include disability insurance, work-related illness or injury compensation, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Unemployed individuals also continue to have access to health benefits under COBRA, the Consolidated Appropriations Act. According to the DOL, you are eligible for continuation coverage if you are a qualified beneficiary. Meaning you were covered by a group health plan during or before the loss of employment.

How do you apply for unemployment?

You will need to apply for unemployment through your state. Many require you to apply online, but some also use email applications or phone claims.

When applying online, you need to state the reason for your unemployment. Gerry suggests choosing “other” or a write-up option that allows you to state that it was a good reason to quit. Honesty is important in this application, Gerry stressed.

The office will likely contact you to get more information about the nature of your unemployment status. They will also notify your past employer that you have applied to confirm your reasoning.

“If the reason your employer gave is different than the reason you gave in your original application, this could potentially lead to an initial denial of benefits,” explains Gerry. “And in that case, you’d have to appeal to show that no, this was a really good reason to terminate.

Above all, Gerry suggested applying for unemployment benefits even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible.

“There’s no harm in applying and being rejected, but it is if you just never apply,” she says. So, more blogs will be coming in the Education section.