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Termination Reasons that would make you ineligible for unemployment benefits

Termination Reasons that would make you ineligible for unemployment benefits

 If you were dismissed due to misconduct, failing a drug test, or committing crimes, you will not be eligible for unemployment insurance in any state. In some states, you will be ineligible for a set time, while other states will not offer you these benefits at all.

A person is eligible for unemployment benefits if the reason for unemployment is not their fault. An example of eligible job dismissal is being laid-off because the employer is cutting back on the workforce if you are laid off or are partially employed where your working hours were cut, you can apply for these benefits. However, the state might determine that your dismissal was your fault and deny you these benefits. Let’s look at the reasons that can lock you out of collecting unemployment.

Quitting a job on your own

If you wake up in the morning and decide to quit your job, you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits. This category is rendered as your fault, and you cannot collect unemployment. A person can only collect if they lack a job because of reasons that are not their fault. Desertion and quitting employees cannot collect unemployment in any state in the United States.

Failing a drugs Test

Many employees subject their employees to drug tests from time to time. These companies have zero tolerance for drugs and substance abuse. When an employee fails a drug test, the employer has the right to dismiss the employee. In this case, this employee is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Drug abuse is deemed as the employee’s fault for the dismissal. When signing contracts, the drugs rule is inclusive in such companies, and when one fails, they are in violation of company policies and are dismissed.

Committing a crime

If you are caught committing a crime and this results in job loss, you cannot claim unemployment benefits. If you are lucky and don’t end up in jail, you will need to look elsewhere for money. Crimes that lead to dismissal include theft, violence, and fraud. Committing a crime and losing a job, for this reason, is 100% on the employee, and the state cannot offer any benefits.  Crimes can also include driving company cars while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or destroying company property intentionally.

Violation of safety rules

Safety rules can be violated willfully or accidentally. An employee who is dismissed for accidental violation may be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, an employee who destroys property intentionally cannot claim unemployment benefits.  The time that one is ineligible varies from state to state. In some states, a person is ineligible for a set period if they’re dismissed due to misconduct. In other states, the employee is ineligible until they secure a new job, work for the required base period and earned, and then get unemployed for eligible reasons.

Unwarranted and unexcused absence

A person may choose to abscond duties and remain absent from work without a proper excuse. This employee might end up getting dismissed from work. In such a case, this employee cannot apply for unemployment benefits. This dismissal is self-inflicted, and one cannot collect unemployment. People can fail to report to work for no reason at all. This is termed as absconding, and it often results in dismissal.

Sexual harassment

If one is dismissed for sexually harassing fellow employees at work, this person cannot be eligible for unemployment benefits. When one commits this violation, it is a personal choice to behave this way, and this falls in the category of ineligible dismissals. Sexual harassment is defined differently in many organizations, and the rules are written clearly in company policies. Violation of these rules leads to a self-inflicted dismissal.


A person’s reason for dismissal plays a major role when claiming unemployment benefits. If the reason for dismissal is termed as your fault as discussed above, you will not be eligible for state unemployment benefits. Some states are lenient and may give you the benefits after a set period. However, other states will require you to get a new job, meet the base period requirements, and get unemployed with a qualifying reason to give you these benefits.


What are the reasons you might be ineligible for unemployment benefits?

You can fail to qualify if your dismissal was your fault such as theft, crimes, desertion, and violation of safety rules.

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