I quit my job for heath reasons and just filed for unemployment. What info should I have to support my claim?

by K.S.
(Michigan)

I'd been working in a highly stressful environment for almost 3 years and my health has really been affected by it. I've been to 2 medical Dr.'s and 1 dentist who all agree the stress level at my job has contributed to the deterioration in my health.


I had also been to the medical/nurses department within the company and they are aware of the health issues/stress I was experiencing- after a while they knew me by name.

Before quitting I spoke with my immediate supervisor and then his supervisor. I explained my situation to them both and also asked for suggestions and other work opportunities within the company. I was directed to the Human Resources department and they had a meeting with me to attempt to find another position within the company, but they didn't have anything available.

During my course of employment I attempted to resolve issues. I'd been through therapy, attempted lifestyle changes at home and work, but things just got worse.

After a point, I felt hopeless and dreaded going to work. It began to affect my performance at work as well. I brought this to the attention of my management when let them know that I was aware of the problem and was attempting to resolve the issues.

I visited my local physician and my previous physician as well as my dentist (because of damage to my teeth/jaw from grinding b/c of stress) and they all agree that my job, if not the cause, was a major contributing factor to my health issues.

I was referred to many specialists, but none could conclude an exact diagnosis...other than stress that led to my issues.

On the day I quit, I discussed my decision with my immediate management and again with his management. They both understood my reasons for leaving and both stated they "wished there was something they could do".

The higher management person even offered to be a reference on my resume-I have her contact info. I've been looking for employment, but it's scarce-needless to say (Michigan), and I have a family that I have to help support.

I have already filed the claim, but my date to call in isn't until the end of March, so the decision has yet to be made.

What can I do to support
my claim for unemployment?

Also, does the granting of unemployment depend on the previous employer and whether they feel I should receive it or not?

Also, while waiting to call can I work at a part-time position or seek employment? If I find work, but it isn't close to what I was making, can I still get benefits? I need to work somewhere in the meantime to get some income while I look for steady employment.
Suggestions?
Thank you.


Hi K.S.

Let's start with your last employer having anything to do with whether you get benefits or not. Yes. They pay the taxes so whenever someone applies the employer is notified and responds with their version of the cause for separation.

Doctor notes would be a good idea as well as any documentation you may have showing it was addressed with the employer, but I'm wondering now why you made no mention of the employer offering you the option of FMLA, or whether you refused that option .. because that would not be good for your claim as FMLA is a legitimate employee protection and alternative to quitting that preserves a job and could also, establish just how much your stress is connected to the job. And that can lead an employer to accommodate health restriction and find an alternative suitable job for you to do, or not and then that would make them the moving party ..

As for taking part-time work while you wait for your eligibility interview, that's the whole point of collecting unemployment. And looking for and accepting suitable work after you file a claim is a requirement detailed in the unemployment claimant handbook.

Each week you file while waiting for your eligibility interview, you would report how much you earned in that week and depending on how much, you may still be entitled to a partial benefit amount for that week.

Partial unemployment is determined to be work less than full-time, but if you make more than your total potential weekly benefit, partial benefits for that week will likely be cancelled out once the formula is applied.

All states have a formula for calculating partial benefits. Information and partial unemployment benefits formulas are easily found at the USDOL State Comparison Charts. Click here to find the link to the chartbooks.


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