Can I Draw Unemployment in Kentucky if I Quit?


If you quit your job, you often can’t count on collecting unemployment benefits. Federal unemployment regulations require that all state unemployment programs only offer benefits to those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. In Kentucky, that means if you quit your job, you must have done so for just cause. When you apply to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET), it will verify that you quit your job and request information proving the situation falls under the just cause requirement.

Quitting Your Job

Resigning from your job, giving a certain amount of days or weeks notice, or just not coming back to work are all forms of quitting a job. Most people try to line up a new job before they quit their old one but sometimes a situation requires you to leave the job immediately. Whether you gave notice or just didn’t come back to work, quitting your job can put your Kentucky unemployment eligibility in question.

Unemployment Eligibility

Kentucky unemployment regulations require you to be unemployed through no fault of your own to collect benefits. Quitting a job generally makes you ineligible for unemployment. The only exceptions are situations where your quitting the job can be attributed to your employer’s actions. Even then, the reasons generally must fall under the a violation of the federal and Kentucky labor laws. Since the OET reviews each claim individually, you won’t know if your claim is eligible for sure until your file your initial claim.

Employer Verification

When you file your initial claim, the OET asks you why you separated from your last job. Then it contacts your former employer to verify its version of events. If your former employer says you initiated the job separation, the OET will contact you for further information about the reason you quit. As the separation initiator, the burden to prove your job separation falls to you. If you can’t produce sufficient evidence that you quit for cause, your claim will be denied.

Proving It

Anything that can back up your claim for unemployment benefits can be used as evidence in the Kentucky unemployment application or appeals process. The best type of evidence would be some sort of written communication from your employer verifying the reason you quit was for cause, such as emails or a company memo. Photographic evidence of labor law violations are also useful. If you can manage to get notarized witness statements from anyone who witnessed the reasons you quit and can verify they fall under the just cause category.

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