CNBC: Quit a job? You likely can’t collect unemployment benefits

Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. However, they likely won’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

Just over 4.4 million people quit in September, an increase of 164,000 from the prior record in August, the Labor Department said Friday.

The quits rate also jumped to 3%, another all-time high. (This measures the number of quits during the month as a percent of total employment.)

The “Great Resignation” may be attributable to many things — pandemic burnout, near-record job openings, higher pay, more workplace flexibility, or a reimagining of one’s career.

Whatever the reason, people who quit their jobs typically can’t rely on unemployment benefits as a financial buffer during their career transition.

“Generally, if you voluntarily resign your job, you’re not eligible for unemployment,” according to Paul Sonn, state policy program director at the National Employment Law Project. “It’s not something people who quit their jobs can count on.”

There are exceptions to the rule if workers have good reason to quit, Sonn said.

For example, workers who leave a job due to unsafe work conditions or “constructive discharge” (if an employer essentially forces an employee to quit) may qualify for benefits.

States, which administer unemployment insurance, interpret these rules differently.

“It’s something decided on a case-by-case basis,” Sonn said. “You’d need to apply for benefits and explain the situation.”

If states deny benefits, workers may appeal if they feel their voluntary quit constitutes a legitimate claim. The process often takes months, Sonn said.

Read the full article at CNBC

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