Unemployment Due to Health Reasons

Updated : June 11th, 2019

Resigning from your place of work for unavoidable reasons takes a toll on your life in all ways monetary, besides the emotional and career-related setbacks. One of the leading concerns that act as a cause for voluntary resignation from your place of work is health issues, either your own or of a close family member. Long-term or chronic illnesses can surpass your sick days, forcing you to call it quits to recuperate.

Unemployment due to health reasons

A Medical Leave Act enforced within a company allows you leave for as long as twelve weeks, but beyond that resignation is inevitable. Such a resignation qualifies for Unemployment insurance in the majority of states in the US, but it is important for you to have a concrete idea of the process, eligibility, and limitations of the benefits provided.

Breaking the News

The first step is to get the company into the loop; reaching out to your boss or the manager and letting them know that such a decision on your part is inescapable. Allow them to meet you halfway, and explain that the decision you are taking is for the best. It is advisable to take a rough resignation letter with you at the time of this meeting, along with a letter from a doctor to support your claim.

The most important aspect of this step is to end the relationship you have developed with the company over the years on a positive note, as future references and a possible re-entry into the workforce should be kept open for debate.

Immediate termination or a few weeks’ notice

There are times when the news of an illness requires immediate attention, wherein giving any notice to the company is not possible. Even so, strive to give at least a couple of weeks’ notice if you can, as this not only gives the employer time to hunt for a replacement for your position but also allows the drift to be amicable and without tension.

You can also strike a position of compromise, tell them that you will work from home or maybe come in a few days a week to wrap up the project and help the company transition. Trust us, these little efforts on your part could help greatly in the future when you return to your career goals.


Qualifying for Unemployment insurance requires the fulfillment of four main criteria –

  1. Your ability to work must be hampered beyond your control.
  2. Your weekly earnings should have diminished by approximately 40% or more due to the reason above. (Subject to change from state to state)
  3. Approximately six hundred hours of work should have been accumulated in the past year of your working, all insured. (Subject to change from state to state)
  4. Your sick leave credits must be exhausted before opting for resignation and the consequent claim for Unemployment insurance.

Besides these, any Worker’s Compensation you are already in line for can nullify your Unemployment insurance claim.

Duration of Benefits

A standard clause provides you with about 10 to 15 weeks of benefits, wherein the benefits have to be utilized within a year and then you must re-apply for an extension if need be.

You are usually entitled to approximately 55% of your past income on a weekly basis, though this may vary from state to state. That being said, there is an upper limit on the benefits, so you will either get 55% of your income or the maximum limit specified in the clause, whichever is less.  The limit is usually a sum of $450 per week.

The Application Process

Your application for Unemployment insurance must be submitted to the Labour Department, which will review your case. It is extremely important that you are crystal clear in your application with the reason for your quitting your job, providing all the necessary supporting documents and doctors’ letters.

It is a good idea to go through the exact laws of your state of residence available in, so that you are prepared for the eligibility criteria with all the necessary proofs and papers, and are not taken for granted by false denials of your claim.

Sensitive handling of the situation

The chaos of having to quit your job and re-adjust your life can be a very difficult turn of events, and that too because of reasons that can cause stress and anxiety in your daily functioning as well as your relationships with others.

Though this is easier said than done, look at the long-term impact of a hastily handled resignation and attempt to keep it as clear and constructive as possible in the given circumstances. An affirmative and confident conversation with your superiors at your workplace and colleagues can save you a lot of time and effort when I come to reinstating your long-term goals, so make sure they hear it from you and not through other sources.

Eligibility Checker has a number of tools and guides dedicated to those who are in the process of filing for Unemployment Insurance and Benefits. One of these is the Eligibility Checker, a tool essential in a nation like the US where each state functions according to its own laws to a great extent.

While general rules remain constant, the Eligibility Checker gives you a simple yes or no regarding whether or not you are eligible, taking into account your physical and mental capability to work, your employer’s payment of Unemployment Tax and if you lost your job by quitting, being fired or being laid off.

These three pieces of information along with your state of residence are used to judge your primary eligibility, after which you can dive into the process and individual criteria, which is available on the website as well.

  1. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  3. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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