Can I Get Unemployment if I Quit My Job Due to Depression?
Call Today! 310-641-3335 / Hablamos Español

Can I Get Unemployment if I Quit My Job Due to Depression?

Quitting your job does not usually allow you to qualify for unemployment compensation. However, there are situations in which you had good cause to quit your job, and you may prove eligible for unemployment benefits. 

In California, such benefits are available for those quitting their jobs for a “substantial and compelling reason.” The reason may involve their working or personal lives. The formal term is “good cause to quit.”  

A voluntary quit occurs when the employee either resigns or stops working when work is still available. This is the type of quitting under which the employee is not under pressure to leave. When the employee is given the option to quit rather than get fired, that is not considered a voluntary quit.  

The decision to quit was not an easy one. Almost everyone experiences depression at times. Severe, prolonged depression is a serious illness affecting millions.  A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law understands the difficulties and pain you face. We can help you receive a proper diagnosis and will review your claim.  

Good cause to quit  

Good causes to quit may involve relocating with a spouse or needing to care for a family member. Perhaps working conditions are intolerable, or pose a health and safety risk. Those causes are simpler to document than serious depression, but they are often contributing factors.   

A person quitting a job due to depression who wants to qualify for unemployment must have proof they quit on the advice of their physician.  It is not sufficient to self-diagnose any medical condition and receive unemployment benefits. Once there is a formal diagnosis, the person may also receive treatment if they were not already doing so.  

Clinical depression  

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is the most severe form of depression. The symptoms are usually serious enough that others, including coworkers and employers, would notice it. Symptoms of major depressive disorder include: 

  • Changes in sleeping habits  
  • Constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness 
  • Extreme fatigue  
  • Fixation on failures  
  • Loss of interest in activities  
  • Memory lapses 
  • Overreacting to minor incidents  
  • Restlessness and agitation 
  • Trouble concentrating  
  • Unexplained pain 
  • Weight gain or loss 

Suicidal threats or behavior are on this list. So are frequent thoughts or mentions of death. Red flags include statements to the effect others would be better off without the person.  


Personal injury lawyers will require your medical records relating to depression and other types of documentation to pursue your case. Keep a daily journal of your feelings and overall mood. If you live with family or friends, ask them to take note of your behavioral changes.  

Note how your illness has affected your work and how your employment has affected your illness. Write down details of specific incidents that triggered depressive symptoms.  

List all types of prescription medication you are taking, and note any other therapies you are undergoing for depression. That includes sessions with mental health professionals or related counselors. The latter may include nutritionists if the depression includes an eating disorder or similar healthcare providers.  

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments and take your medication. If the medication causes issues, discuss them with your doctor before discontinuing the drug. The doctor can find another type of medication that can treat your symptoms.  

Avoid the use of cannabis or alcohol, which could affect your claim.  

Disability benefits  

Along with pursuing an unemployment claim, a client diagnosed with clinical depression may qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Severe depression preventing a person from working is considered a mental illness and qualifies for SSDI. Because the SSDI application and approval process is long drawn out, it is wise to file an application as soon as possible.  

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer  

If you quit your job because of depression and have been denied unemployment insurance, contact the experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law today. Schedule a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or completing our online form.  

After evaluating your claim, we will advise you whether you have good cause to quit and grounds for going forward with a lawsuit. Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for clients. There is no fee unless you receive compensation.