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Can I collect unemployment if I had to quit my job in Florida to care for an ill family memeber in another state?

(Charlotte, NC)

I quit my job in June 2008, due to a family members illness and had to relocate to North Carolina. I have tried for 71/2 mos to find a job, but I have been unable to due the cut backs.

I feel that I should be able to collect like everyone else is doing. I didn't get fired I left on good terms and due to the situation it was out of my control. I'm still a resident of Florida, but leaving closer to my mother for the time.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do, I'm in a really bad situation the my bills and behind on my monthly bills. I really need to help in the situation and have no where else to turn.

Hi Jackie,

I do understand your dilemma, but you did not tell us if you have been denied unemployment by Florida, so I'm just going to give you some general information to think about.

Florida does not have a provision to their statute for quitting to care for a family member. They do have one for a "workers illness or disability". But this is not to say Florida would not find your circumstances without good cause. To understand how this works read this. (opens in new window)

Beyond the question of whether Florida will allow benefits for your reason for quitting is your base period. Florida uses the typical "first four of the last five COMPLETED QUARTERS TO determine whether you have qualifying wages for unemployment and your weekly benefit amount. They do not have an alternative or extended base period. They could if they wanted to, but they don't.

This means if you filed today 2/10/09, your base period would be 10/1/07 through 9/30/08. The wages you earned within that time frame will be used to see if you are monetarily eligible and if so, how much you will get per week.

Since you will have wages in at least two quarters they will be able to make a monetary determination, but Florida will also determine the duration of benefits, which in Florida can be anywhere from 9 to 26 weeks...depending on how the wages are distributed throughout your base period.

In addition, to show you had good cause for quitting...for your reason, the state will want to look at things like:

Did a medical doctor recommend you move to take care of your mother?

Were you entitled to FML protection of your job before you quit and did you try this first?

If your employer was not required to adhere to the Family Medical Leave Act, did you request a personal leave?

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