If I have uncontrolled ulcerative colitis and have been flaring for over a year, can I quit my job and collect unemployment?

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If I have uncontrolled ulcerative colitis and have been flaring for over a year, can I quit my job and collect unemployment?

I work in a stressful field (legal) and am barely able to do my job anymore. I have constant bathroom needs and often don’t make it in time, as well as chronic pain in my midsection. I deal with clients and attend meetings where running to the bathroom every 20 minutes is impossible. I’ve been working with my GI doc, but so far the meds either don’t help or put me in terrible pain so he took me off them. I try not to eat all day but then I get dizzy and tired and have problems staying focused. Additionally, I am up 4 – 6 or more times a night using the bathroom.

Asked on August 10, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is doubtful that you can collect unemployment. Typically, to collect unemployment when one is not terminated or fired, one must be "constructively terminated"--this means, something about the *job* must have changed so you  can no longer do it. Typical examples are being transfered to a location with an unreasonable commute, or being transferred from day to night shift, especially if one has a family to take care of. However, your own health issues are not a change the employer made.

You may, however, be eligible for disability, such as through the state or even through your employer (if it provides disability insurance); you might also be able to apply for an get SSI. You should speak with an employer with benefits or administrative law experience, to see what you may be eligible for. Good luck.


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