I Quit My Job in Massachusetts: Can I Get Unemployment Benefits?

| Jul 11, 2017 | Employment Law |


Unemployment insurance is designed to provide you money between jobs when you lose your Massachusetts job through no fault of your own, but is there ever a case where you can receive unemployment payments even when you resigned? Yes there are. 

If you’re contemplating quitting your job, and wonder if you could possibly get unemployment payments, here are four examples when it’s possible.

Valid personal reason
If your wife is in the military and is transferred from Florida to Idaho, and you quit your job to follow her, you’ll be eligible for unemployment payments from Florida. You always get the payment from the state you worked in. Each state has their own rules, but here is a list of which states offer unemployment for trailing spouses.

Based on current information you may be eligible for unemployment benefits in the following states:

  • Arkansas (any job transfer including military)
  • California (any job transfer, including military)
  • Colorado (any job transfer, including military)
  • Connecticut (military transfer only)
  • Delaware (any job transfer, including military)
  • Florida (military transfer only)
  • Georgia (military transfer only)
  • Illinois (any job transfer, including military)
  • Indiana (any job transfer, including military)
  • Kansas (any job transfer, including military)
  • Kentucky (military transfer only)
  • Maine (any job transfer, including military);
  • Maryland (military transfer only)
  • Massachusetts (any job transfer, including military)
  • Michigan (military transfer only)
  • Minnesota (any job transfer, including military)
  • Montana (military transfer only)
  • Nebraska (any job transfer, including military)
  • Nevada (military transfer only)
  • New Hampshire (any job transfer, including military)
  • New Jersey (military transfer only)
  • New Mexico (military transfer only)
  • New York (any job transfer, including military)
  • North Carolina (any job transfer, including military)
  • Oklahoma (any job transfer, including military)
  • Rhode Island (any job transfer, including military)
  • South Carolina (military transfer only)
  • Texas (military transfer only)
  • Virginia (military transfer only)
  • Virgin Islands (any job transfer, including military)
  • Washington (any job transfer, including military)
  • Wisconsin (any job transfer, including military)
  • Wyoming (military transfer only)

Constructive Discharge
Constructive discharge is where your job is so horrible that any rational person would quit the job. Lots of people think this is they key to getting unemployment after quitting a job, but the standards are quite high. It’s not as simple as “my boss was a micro-managing jerk.”

Generally, your situation has to be both miserable and illegal. So, you may be eligible if your boss was sexually harassing you, or you may be eligible if there were health and safety violations that put you in danger. If your situation is just annoying or difficult, you probably won’t qualify.

Company Relocation
If your company wants you to move across the country and you don’t want to move, you’ll be eligible for unemployment if you don’t take the new job. If they want you to move across town, it’s a little more iffy. It will all depend on the reasonableness of the commute. This reasonableness changes a lot with states. In Utah, where the speed limit is 80 miles per hour on parts of the interstate, a 50-mile move might be considered a reasonable commute. But, if that 50 miles is in a hugely populated area with heavy traffic where 50 miles can take 3 hours, it might not be reasonable, in which case you’d be eligible for unemployment.

Forced Resignation
You’re called in and told that you have to resign or else. If the resignation is their idea, even if you sign a letter, you should still be eligible for unemployment. The key thing here, though, is to document everything clearly and get it in writing. Many companies that want you to resign also don’t want to be obligated to pay for unemployment benefits, so will fight it. Keep copies of all communications and be prepared to appeal at the unemployment office.

Additionally, if you’re denied benefits, always appeal. You have nothing to lose by appealing.

If you have you been denied unemployment benefits by your employer?
I can help. I am an experienced attorney who represents employees at unemployment benefit hearings and appeals. In these challenging times your chances of obtaining benefits are greatly increased when you are represented by an attorney.

I offer my services on a flat fee basis and travel to hearings throughout Massachusetts.

Contact Attorney Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

Set Up A Free Initial Consultation