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Mom Died - Still to hard to return to work

by Josh
(San Francisco)

First thank you for this helpful site. I will try to keep my question brief.

I have been on Intermittent FMLA to care for my Mom who was placed on Hospice. She now has past away and I am taking it harder then I thought I would yet after seeing her shink away into nothing, I guess it's with good reason.

I am not ready to return to work and I am not sure when I will be able.

If I do not return in the time allowed and am terminated or quit, can I collect unemployment until I get myself together?

I have been with the bank for over 15years now and have all the supporting medical documents yet the part I've read here about being ready and available I cannot say I am.

Any suggestions would be helpful and again thank you for your kindness with helping us all figure out our best options.


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Nov 23, 2015
Unemployment Once the Reason for Intermittent FMLA Has Passed
by: Chris -

Hi Josh,

The answer is no Josh, you, nor anyone, can collect regular unemployment benefits when you don't meet the conditional eligibility requirement to be able and available to work and seeking a job.

But, you live and work in California which means you live in a state that has an alternative solution to access a partial wage replacement for your own short term inability to work.

Generally, in other states the possibility exists via employer provided disability insurance but in California the option of California disability unemployment benefits might also work in your case .. under certain conditions.

(Note: Anyone not in California, your state likely doesn't have SDI, or state disability insurance, but your employer may provide it .. so check.)

Any individual in your position, is free to approach an employer to request an extension, or a new leave for time to deal with your own grief and it can become one of those
needed efforts to show you tried to protect own job.

However, you would still likely need documentation from a physician advising additional time off for the reason of your own mental health issue for any family medical leave time.

The concern to me when I get questions about quitting for health, or personal issues such as yours is the tendency to self diagnose their own ability to work.

You can do it if you want because you are employed at will, but usually, the question revolves around also collect UI benefits and that is what changes things.

Self diagnosing is not sufficient cause for a medical leave to collect benefits which are paid for by employers.

People are found to of voluntarily quit their job when they fail to return from leaves on time.

However, who really knows the results of any efforts made to protect a job due to medical issues.

It could go either way .. the employer acts ethically and tells you what they need from you and by when to extend, or create a new leave, or they refuse to acknowledge new medical concerns documented by a doctor and that is when the employment may be seen as a discharge for something other than misconduct.

It can get complicated Josh .. because this area as it relates to unemployment insurance benefits .. is subject to a lot of strategy from employers .. just to increase the potential for evidence, or lack thereof to deny benefits.

It's why I think a little coaching can go a long way to explaining what goes on, or is going on.. on an individual basis.


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