Skip to main content

Can I win my unemployment appeal claim if I quit due to childcare issues?

Huntington Beach, CA |

I started working for B Union School District based on the assumption that my mother would be able to watch my child (free of charge). My mother subsequently became ill and, as a result, was no longer able to do so. I looked for commercial child care services, but they were unaffordable given my part-time income. I also explored cheaper alternatives like using other friends or relatives for care, but did not have any success.

Given that, will I be eligible for unemployment if I resign? Please note that I am available for full time employment. Being paid a full-time rate would allow me to more than cover the cost of child care.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Generally, a person claiming unemployment benefits (a “claimant”) is eligible for benefits if he or she is:

(1) out of work due to no fault of his or her own; AND
(2) physically able to work; AND
(3) actively seeking work; AND
(4) ready to accept work.

Details about eligibility for unemployment benefits can be found on the web site of the California Employment Development Department (EDD) here:

In your situation, requirement #1 might be an issue. While you might have good cause to quit because you didn't have child care, precedent decisions hold that if the reason a claimant doesn't have child care is only due to the cost, then that is not good cause to quit. Also, EDD expects employees to try to get a leave of absence from work rather than to resign whenever a leave will resolve the problem, such as by allowing the employee to locate alternative child care.

See this page from the EDD web site: of Children or Home

The Notice of Determination stating your claim was denied includes information about the appeal. You MUST file your appeal within 20 days of the date stated in that letter. Do not miss the deadline.

In the appeal, make a brief statement just one or two lines long saying why you believe the denial was incorrect. Save your detailed argument and evidence for the hearing. For example: "I was available to work full-time so should not be disqualified."

In a few weeks, you will receive a notice of an appeals hearing with the date, time and location. At the hearing, be prepared with as much evidence as possible. You should also know the law the administrative law judge will consider. You can get a lot of helpful information on the EDD website.

Home page

Eligibility requirements

Summaries of the law (Benefit Determination Guide)


Precedent Decisions (law the administrative law judges rely on)

Frequently asked questions

Filing a claim for unemployment benefits

You can be represented by anyone at the hearing. If your appeal will be difficult or you are uncomfortable speaking, you may wish to retain an attorney to help you prepare or to represent you at the hearing. For training, expect the attorney to need approximately three hours. For representation at the hearing, expect the attorney to need three to seven hours to prepare, depending on the complexity of the case, witnesses, documents and other evidence, and allow two hours for the hearing itself. Unemployment hearings usually last one hour or less, but you must arrive early to look at the file, and there is a possibility you will have to wait past your hearing time if the previous case has not finished.

(continued in Comment below) *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer


(continued from Answer above) Generally, as of 2012-2013, plaintiffs employment attorneys in California charge between $250 and $700 per hour for legal services. The amount varies based on years of experience, geographic location, attorney availability, attorney interest in the case, complexity of the matter, and more. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, visit the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) at CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys representing working people. You can search for attorneys by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state. Marilynn Mika Spencer San Diego, CA



Thank you, Marilynn for the detailed information!! I appreciate your response.


I don't know California law specifically, so a CA lawyer would have to confirm this, but generally quitting to care for a family member is considered a voluntary quit for personal reasons and makes one ineligible for unemployment benefits.

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******



Thank you for your advice. I appreciate you responding to my question!

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft


You're welcome. Sorry it's bad news.


I'm not sure about CA, but North Carolina recognizes a "family hardship" exception that may allow parents to receive unemployment if they resign due to a lack of childcare alternatives. You should probably consult with a local attorney familiar with unemployment laws to see if this is an exception recognized in CA and if your facts would fit it. Good luck.



Thank you so much for your response. I just need to present my case properly and hope it works. I'll take your advice and consult with an attorney.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer