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Unemployment benefits are designed for people who have been forced out of their jobs through no fault of their own. Generally, these benefits will be granted to people who have been laid off through structural employment changes made by their former employer rather than through negligence on their part or by a decision to quit. In Oregon, as in most states, a person cannot receive unemployment benefits after quitting except in very isolated instances.
Unemployment benefits are not designed to support people who can work but choose not to. Rather, benefits are designed for people who want to be employed, but who currently cannot, as they were recently laid off and they have no been able to find a job yet. For this reason, people receiving unemployment benefits in Oregon must be continuously on the hunt for a job and take any suitable position offered to them.
In order to receive benefits in Oregon, you must explain to the unemployment agency that issues benefits why you are no longer employed. The unemployment agency will then review the information and determine if you qualify for benefits. If you pass a preliminary review, the agency will contact your former employer about its decision to award benefits and confirm with the employer that you lost your job for the reasons you stated.
Unless you had good cause to quit, Oregon will deny the award of benefits to you if you voluntarily quit your job. This is because a person who could be working but choose not to is not the type of person for whom benefits are designed. While you may qualify for some other forms of government assistance, you likely will not qualify for these particular benefits.
There are several instances in which you can quit your job and still receive unemployment benefits. If a job is causing you emotional or physical harm--for example, if the working conditions are unsafe or you are being sexually harassed--you may quit without surrendering eligibility. In addition, if you are leaving in the first 30 days because the job was unsuitable, you will be eligible. In addition, you may quit while moving to escape domestic abuse and still qualify for benefits.
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Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.