Can you receiveSSI or unemployment if you quit your job and stay home to watch your sick child?

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Can you receiveSSI or unemployment if you quit your job and stay home to watch your sick child?

Daughter diagnosed with depression. She is on medication and was admitted into the hospital for attempted suicide.

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can probably not do this

1) Unemployment is not available if you voluntarily choose to leave employment--even if it is for a laudible reason, such as to take care of a sick or depressed child. If you are terminated (though not for cause), you can collect it, but not if you opt to stay home.

2) Supplement Security Income, or SSI, available if *you* *cannot* work. It is not available  if you can work but choose not to; and it is also not available to you for another's disability. If you daughter is an adult and was working but now can no longer work owing to a disability (including possibly mental illness), it may be that she can collect SSI--but even in that case, you would be able to get SSI.

3) Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, while it would be unpaid (unless your employer voluntarily choose to pay you), you may be eligible to take up to 3 months off while preserving your job to care for your daughter. You and your employer must both meet the eligibility requirements.


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