Can I quit & receive unemployment if my job makes my anxiety and depression worse?
(Please forgive me if this is too long):I've been on short-term disability from my job(started the job 2/18/08) since 2/23/09 due to a breakdown resulting from a couple of years of severe financial problems and the stress of my new job. My FMLA has run out, but they haven't laid me off.
I've had a history of anxiety and depression issues.
My job was a new position in Accounts Payable, to support the A/P Manager (just entering invoices & processing travel expense receipts, they said at the interview, nothing intense). It ended up within 3 months of hire in being a severely stressful job where I'm no longer an acctg. clerk but a T & E Accountant (I got a title change and I fought for a small salary increase). All I do is process travel receipts from employees (no entering of invoices), and found a lot of employees were stealing from the company. The company had no idea this was going on (they operate as if they are still in the 1940s or 50s--the technology and corporate structure is very dated-which allows for all kinds of infractions).
I told management several times that to process over 200 persons receipts each week, I couldn't do it on my own. The work load needs three people to handle properly, and my direct manager agrees (verbally), but they just aren't hiring. I've let my manager know repeatedly (verbally) that I can't handle all this work alone, that I was getting stressed out and burnt out. I've asked to be reassigned as well, to something less stressful, but no luck.
Anyway, the stress of the workload, coupled with my personal financial problems, resulted in a breakdown in Feb. I'm nowhere near being able to handle the stress of that job again yet.
My return to work date is 8/3. I'm terrified to go back to my job, afraid all the depression and anxiety will flow back and I'll be right back where I was last Feb. I'm not emotionally stable enough to look for another job. I'm still depressed and working on lowering my level of anxiety.
I read that if a job increases the severity of a health issue, that an employee can quit and receive unemployment (with medical documentation). Is this true? If so, is it true for mental conditions? Could my therapist send them something stating that returning to that position would be harmful to me and that I am resigning? Or, if I have to return to that job in August and I become sick again, could I quit then and receive unemployment? I just don't know what to do. Thank you for reading this long post.
Yes it is possible to quit a job with "good cause" if advised to do so by written medical documentation. But the situation is usually usually dissected.
They'll want to know if you first sought remedy for the situation by asking to be transferred to a position that could eliminate the problem of the work that is aggravating a health condition .. in your case "stress". For almost every voluntary quit "connected to the work" an individual must give the employer opportunity to provide a solution to the problem and Pennsylvania will want to make sure you "exhausted" all other possible alternatives before you quit.
It would be best to have some type of documentation showing you have done this.
But you have a problem because of this: "I'm not emotionally stable enough to look for another job. I'm still depressed and working on lowering my level of anxiety."
That statement will disqualify you for benefits because a person must be able and available for work .. and actively seeking work. So even if you are found eligible for unemployment benefits because good cause is found for the voluntary quitting you will be disqualified because you are not able and available. You of course would be able to collect the benefits once you show the circumstances which prevented you from being able to work or even look for work have been removed.