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Can I collect unemployment in TN for quitting my job for my mother-in-laws health reasons?

by Kathleen
(Tennessee)

My Mother-in-law lives in Florida and I live in TN. Her husband had cancer and she multiple medical problems. At the time I thought that I would have to go down to Florida to help her. My employee checked if I would be able to take Family Leave and I was told that because she is not related to me that I wouldn't be able to do this so I had to put in my two week notice. It ended up that I didn't have to go to Florida but then my son started to have Psychiatric problems with depression and was hospitalized for a week. I never filed for unemployment because I just thought when you quit that you couldn't get it. After reading a few questions on your website now I am wondering if I would qualify for it or is it too late. I quit in August and it is now October.



Hi Kathleen,

I'd say as it stands now, the central issues is whether the employer was wrong to say whether you wouldn't possibly qualify for FML.

Without FML, a person may be qualified if they can show that they exhausted efforts to "maintain the employment by requesting a personal LOA.

The primary thing to remember about quitting and collecting unemployment is it is almost always necessary to prove that you were provided with no alternative to quitting and that's in a state that allows benefits for personally compelling reasons, such as Pennsylvania or California.

Tennessee has no such provision, they require that the quit must be attributable to the work. They also do not have a provision which might allow it to perform filial obligations.

You had already quit for another reason when your son developed problems .. so it is irrelevant to the reason you quit.

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