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Can I collect unemployment if I quit my job because it caused me to develop anxiety/depression?

by Anonymous
(Rhode Island)

I worked in the state of Rhode Island in an extremely stressful job. It came to a point where I started to have anxiety attacks and depression because of it. I was put out of work for 2 months and put on medication by my doctor. I had to file an fmla leave of absence from work which was granted and I was granted TDI (temporary disability insurance), from the state of Rhode Island while I was out of work.

About a month after returning to work I gave my 2 weeks because I realized I could not stay due to the mental illness it was causing me. The DOL of Rhode Island has my TDI application and must have obtained my medical records for tdi so would I have "good cause" for quiting my job?

Hi Anonymous,

Rhode Island's statute on voluntary leaving and what constitutes good cause is very skimpy. So I went to my favorite page at the DOL and clicked on the "nonmonetary eligibility link.

What we can get from this chart is that Rhode Island does NOT require that good cause for quitting must be attributable to the work and the issue of establishing good cause for a "workers illness depends on how the state interprets your reason.

Undoubtedly, the reason you've stated for quitting is attributable to the work and your inability to do the work due to a medical condition. I really wish you had said that your doctor advised it...and preferably in writing. I also wish you had provided a bit more information about your efforts with the employer to make the work accommodating to your illness, since it was a voluntary quit, but you should pursue unemployment.

Understand that regular unemployment benefits, carry with them the requirement of the claimant to be available and able to work.

I suggest you also check out what RI says about refusal of suitable work. There is a phrase in that statute which has relevance to your circumstances.

Oh and by the way, the Americans with Disabilities Act will be different in 2009. Click here to read more about the ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act, which will change things.

Please stop back by to let us know how things work out for you. It's an important issue and your experience may help the next person.

Thanks, and All the Best,


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