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In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, a claimant must (among other things) be out of work "through no fault of their own." Typically, this criteria is only satisfied if an employer actually terminates
an employee. However, employees are eligible to collect UE benefits when they voluntarily leave their position in a very limited set of circumstances which may include to provide care for an ill family member.
The EDD will examine whether leaving work was absolutely necessary before it will award benefits. Specifically, the EDD states: "Generally, the claimant's presence must be necessary in order to care for the ill family member. The claimant may need to personally provide nursing care for the ill person, or the claimant's presence may be necessary in order to care for minor children belonging to the ill family member. For example, the claimant's mother may be critically ill and no one else is available to care for the claimant's younger brothers and sisters, or the normal household duties, such as cooking and cleaning, require the claimant's attention."
Further, the illness must typically be regarded as "critical." Specifically, Title 22, Section 1256-10, provides:
"(c) Compelling circumstances requiring the claimant's leaving of work and presence . . . include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The claimant knows or reasonably believes that a member of the claimant's family is seriously ill, physically or mentally, and there is no reasonable alternative to the claimant's presence, or a family member is in danger of death."
For more information from the EDD on this subject, visit this link:http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Voluntary_Quit_VQ_155.htm
Scroll down the page about 20% for the relevant information.
For a more general overview of the eligibility requirements for UE benefits, visit this link:http://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/eligibility.htm
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