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Is there a way an individual can quit their job and qualify for unemployment benefits?

John Peaspanen


Q. Are there any conditions in which an individual can quit their job and still qualify for unemployment benefits in North Carolina?

A. It is possible, providing you can prove that you had to leave your job because of circumstances beyond your control.

“Generally, the claimant must show that he/she had good cause attributable to the employer for leaving work,” said Larry Parker, acting public information director for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Employment Security. “There are specific provisions that will pay benefits to a claimant who leaves for reasons not caused by the employer.”

Parker said examples include leaving to relocate with a spouse who has obtained employment in a distant location, or a compelling health issue.

“Keep in mind, that someone needs to file in order to be found eligible,” said Parker. “There is no pre-determination of benefits based on a set of circumstances. Basically, potentially eligible claimants must have become unemployed through no fault of their own.”

Parker said all claimants, except those who are still attached to an employer’s payroll, must register for work with the Employment Security Commission, and file a claim for each calendar week of benefits they request. Another requirement is for the unemployed person to be actively seeking employment while receiving benefits.

“Actively seeking work means doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do,” explained Parker. “Unless otherwise instructed, a claimant must seek work in person on two different days with at least two different employers and must keep a written record of all work search contacts for periodic review by DES. Claimants must also be able and available to work.”

Bottom line – An end to your employment does not guarantee you will receive benefits, particularly if you initiate the break.

Parker said, “If they quit the job, the burden of proof is on the individual filing. Each case is looked at individually.”


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