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Can I collect unemployment if I quit to move out of state to be closer to a parent who is ill?

by Dee

I currently live in Texas. My father passed away recently and my mother has some health issues that require me to be closer to help care for her. She lives in California. If I quit my job in Texas to move out of state to help care for my mom, will I be eligible for unemployment benefits? I can move in with her and will look for full time work, but I will need to collect UIB until I can find a new job.

Hi Dee,

You should first read the Texas statutes. Normally FMLA will protect us for 12 weeks from having to quit instead of being forced to make a choice, but you still need to check a states UI statutes because after those 12 weeks, collecting unemployment may not always be a possibility for us unless the UI statutes provide for benefits when quitting to care for a "parent".

Remember that most states require that a quit be "attributable to the work".

This presents a problem in some states at the end of FMLA .. and FMLA almost always requires medical documentation to prove the need for it.

The truth is that an employer might actually want to end your employment after FMLA, but not all state statutes actually include parents as a good reason to "quit" employment even if we seek "all alternatives" to quitting.

So I suggest you read two sections of the TX code 207.045 and 207.046

As I see it the only way your situation
might actually be possible for you is to be able to prove that you had no choice left to you, but to quit .. is under section 207.046 (1)

TX statutes mentions nothing about parents medical problems as being good cause to quit .. only minor children and spouses and only with medically verifiable documentation.

But the language in (1) of 207.046 "the work-related reason for the individual's separation from employment was urgent, compelling, and necessary so as to make the separation involuntary" presents the possibility that you might be able to collect benefits if the employer denied an extension to your FMLA leave by denying a personal leave which you provide a date to return to work in the near future. And I wouldn't request this personal leave without further documentation.

In other words if you can prove you were fired vs. quitting and that you were fired because the reason you requested the leave was compelling enough that an employer should have allowed the leave and the refusal to allow it becomes a discharge without good cause. Or if the employer has locations in California .. requesting a transfer?????

Your first problem to me, is that you just want to care for your mother, but you first need to request FMLA for any opportunity at all to collect benefits because it is Texas you will be collecting from .. not California .. which by the way has some much different statutes as far as who we might feel compelled to care for.

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