Whether you voluntarily quit or are fired, you may find yourself asking this question.
Generally speaking, if you voluntarily leave your employment, you are not eligible for benefits unless you can demonstrate a necessary and compelling reason for doing so. The burden is on you, the employee, to prove that you had no other option other than quitting and that you took steps to maintain the employer-employee relationship before leaving.
If you are discharged from employment you are generally eligible to receive unemployment benefits unless you were discharged for willful misconduct. Some of the most common instances of willful misconduct include inexcusable absenteeism or tardiness, violating your employer’s rules, a disruptive influence on other employees, damage to equipment or property, unsatisfactory work performance, and failing to submit to and/or pass a drug and alcohol test. It is your employer’s burden to prove that you acted with willful misconduct.
After your separation from employment, you will need to file the necessary paperwork to begin the determination process, your employer will be given an opportunity to respond, and a determination will be made. Although it may take some time to receive a determination, your benefits will be calculated from the date that all of your papers are filed. The sooner you are able to do this, the better. Either side may choose to appeal this decision and have a hearing. At this hearing each side will present evidence to support their position.