I left my part-time job. Can I get unemployment?

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Q. I was working a full-time job and a part-time job. I’m 61 and was at my part-time job for more than five years. I voluntarily left my part time job as 60 hours became too much for me at my age. Can I collect unemployment from this job? I still work at my full-time job.
— Unsure

A. We’re glad you were able to put your health above the part-time job.

But it seems you may have a hard time collecting unemployment benefits under these circumstances.

Unemployment insurance was created to limit the hardship faced when someone loses their job, said Samer Eshmawy, a certified financial planner with Modera Wealth Management in Westwood.

“While in most cases you cannot voluntarily quit a job and collect unemployment insurance benefits, you can claim unemployment benefits if you quit your job with `good cause connected with the work.’” he said

“Good cause connected with the work” means that your reason for leaving is directly related to your job and it is so compelling that you had no choice but to leave the job, he said. This is the case if you can show “unsafe, unhealthful, or dangerous” working conditions that left you no choice but to leave your employer.

Simply put, a claimant is determined to have voluntarily quit a job with good cause if the reason for leaving is directly attributable to actions of the employer or conditions of employment, Eshmawy said.

“In your case, it is my understanding that you quit your part-time job for personal reasons, being that the hours became too much for your age,” he said.

“This would mean that your reason for quitting is not connected with the work and in turn you would not be eligible for unemployment benefits.”

However, a claim’s examiner will review your claim and let you know whether you’re eligible for unemployment benefits during your fact-finding interview, he said.

Good luck.

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This story was originally published on Aug. 12, 2022.

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