Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by workplace stress that you were ready to quit? While that thought is sometimes tempting, quitting a job can complicate your claim for unemployment benefits. Keep reading to learn more about how you can get unemployment if you quit due to your health or stress.
Can You Get Unemployment If You Quit? It Depends.
Simply leaving your job isn’t enough to qualify for unemployment. Instead, you must meet a series of criteria that evaluate the amount of time you worked for your employer, your earnings, and the circumstances surrounding your departure.
Instead, you must prove that you lost your job for reasons that were out of control. If your employer fires you or you quit for personal reasons, you may be ineligible for Texas unemployment benefits. “Personal reasons” might include quitting because you didn’t enjoy the work, wanted something closer to home, or better hours. However, there are significant exceptions to this rule.
You Might Qualify for Unemployment If You Leave Your Job Due to Stress or Health Issues
Under Texas law, you can get unemployment if you quit for good cause. “Good cause” is a legal term and means more than just a good reason. You typically must show that you had substantial grounds to quit or that your employer’s actions forced you to quit. This includes situations where you quit because you’re not getting paid, there are unsafe working conditions, or you’re dealing with a significant medical condition.
What Must You Prove?
So, when can you get unemployment if you quit because of stress? It’s important to remember that your employer doesn’t have to offer you a stress-free work environment. To qualify, you must prove that:
- Have a medically documented health condition
- Lost your job because of medically-verified stress or another health condition (and at no fault of your own)
- Are now able and available for work
What Is a “Medically Documented” Reason?
Good cause is determined on a case-by-case basis. The unemployment agency will review your medical situation to see if it was in fact serious enough for you to leave. If you quit due to “medically documented” reasons, you may be eligible for unemployment. This may include suffering a condition that is trigger by stress.
A medically documented reason refers to visiting your doctor during your time of employment. You may be eligible if your doctor recommended you change your job. It’s important to visit your doctor and review your situation before deciding to quit. You may need to present medical documentation when your job loss occurs to apply for benefits.
Did You Seek Less Stressful Duties?
You may also have to report actions you took in order to seek less stressful duties. For example, you might have to show that you reported your stress-related issues to your employer and asked for accommodations or help. If your employer denied or ignored your request, this could be powerful evidence supporting your Texas unemployment claim.
Since you are required to engage in job searching on a regular basis to qualify for benefits, payments may be suspended until you become physically and mentally able to work. You are not guaranteed to be eligible for the full amount of benefits or you may be eligible to receive them for a specific time period. It may also help to seek time off from your employer before leaving your place of employment. If you have specific questions about your Texas unemployment benefits, contact Allmand Law Firm for a free initial consultation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Stress Claim?
Any time you’re claiming you quit for good cause, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced lawyer. Good cause unemployment claims are some of the most complicated and you’ll need to perform a careful analysis. An attorney will look at a variety of evidence and issues, including:
- Your medical records and forms your doctor might have completed
- Your personnel or HR file
- Communications you had with your employer, including emails and texts
- Your former employer’s policies and procedures
Based on this and other information, we’ll help you understand your legal options and rights.
It’s important to emphasize that, in order to get unemployment if you quit, you will need supporting evidence. If you don’t have medical and employment records documenting your condition and detailing your workplace issues, you might face an uphill battle. To learn more about the types of evidence you might need, contact an attorney today.
Workers With Medical Conditions and Disabilities Need to Know Their Rights
In addition to Texas unemployment benefits, workers who suffer from stress or have a medical condition might have other legal rights.
- Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you may get up to 12 weeks off unpaid medical leave with job protection.
- Disabled workers can request reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Because stress-related ADA claims are difficult, you should consult with a lawyer beforehand.
- Under certain circumstances, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation if you are unable to work due to an occupational mental health issue. Again, these claims are very difficult in Texas, and you should consult with a lawyer before filing for benefits.
- You might have a short-term or long-term disability insurance policy, either personal or through your employer, that pays benefits if you have a medically-documented stress disorder or other health condition.
While Allmand Law Firm focuses on Texas unemployment issues, we’ll help you assess your other options — and will refer you to a skilled employment law attorney if necessary.
Can You Get Unemployment If You Quit? Ask an Experienced Attorney
Allmand Law Firm’s experienced unemployment advocates guide workers through their stress and other health-related unemployment claims. If you’re looking for help with an unemployment claim or appeal, contact us today. At a free initial consultation, we’ll listen to your side of the story and assess your claim.