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Voluntary leave

I voluntarily left my employer to help my kids with School can I still qualify four unemployment benefits? I recently moved to Florida. I have two young children under age 7. Are there any benefits besides the child tax credit I should be taking advantage of?

3 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Voluntary leave

Hello KB_4_Life, 

Thank you for your questions.

Whether you qualify for unemployment benefits depends on the state that you are residing in. For example, in California - leaving your job voluntarily to care for your children may make you eligible for unemployment benefits.  However, this does not apply to all states. Please click on the link below to check the laws in your state to determine if you can leave your job voluntarily and still qualify for unemployment benefits: 


In addition to child tax credit, you may want to apply for these two other tax credits. However, please keep in mind that you have to have earned income in order to qualify for these two tax credits. 


1. Child and dependent care tax credit: This credit gives working parents extra help for costs associated with caring for children under the age 13. For 2021, the credit was expanded to $8,000 per dependent from $3,000, and is capped at $16,000. You can get this credit as a refundable credit, which means it will either reduce what you owe to the IRS, or be returned to you in the form of a refund. 


2. Earned income tax credit: This credit ranges from $1,502 to $6,728 depending on your income and number of children in your household. You can also use your earnings from 2019 to calculate the benefit if it results in you getting more money in 2021. This is also a refundable credit, meaning that it can reduce your tax liability or you can get the money back as a refund next year.


Please let me know if this answers your questions, or if I can be of further assistance. 

Thank you!




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Employee Tax Expert

Voluntary leave

Hello @KB_4_Life,


I am happy to assist with your question if you qualify for unemployment benefits and if there are other benefits that you can take advantage of.


Who is eligible or qualifies for unemployment?
Each state has its own guidelines, but typically you qualify if you were unemployed through no fault of your own like lack of work, you meet the time worked and earning requirements for your state, and any additional requirements specific to your state. You may also qualify for unemployment if you were furloughed or brought back to work but for less hours than you were working before.


What will disqualify you from unemployment benefits?

The most common reasons for being denied unemployment benefits are voluntarily leaving your job without good cause, being discharged for misconduct, not actively seeking work, not being available for work, refusing a suitable offer for employment, and making false claims to obtain benefits.


Since your leave was voluntary, you may not qualify for Florida unemployment benefits.  Here are Florida's  requirements:


Florida Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

To qualify for Florida unemployment benefits, you must meet several criteria:

  • You must have lost your job through no fault of your own. You won’t qualify if you quit for personal reasons or were terminated for malicious misconduct. Poor job performance does not disqualify you.
  • You must be totally or partially unemployed. Partially unemployed means your hours were reduced or you’re a part-time worker who can’t find additional work.
  • You must have earned at least $3,400 before taxes in what is called the "base period," which is the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim.
  • You must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. This includes being able to get to a job and have child care if necessary.

The best way to find out if you are eligible is to apply online. If you need help applying or determining your eligibility, please contact your local CareerSource Florida center at


There may be other benefits that are available through your state or local organizations while unemployed include rental assistance, utility forgiveness, food assistance programs, child care assistance programs and mortgage forbearance. 


Additional information can be found here:

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Opus 17
Level 15

Voluntary leave

I'm sorry, we can't answer questions about your eligibility for benefits, we can only try to answer questions about income taxes.


For 2021, you are entitled to a $1400 stimulus per person including your dependents.  If you did not get that money as a stimulus check, it will be added to your tax refund this year.


Also for 2021 only, you are eligible for the enhanced child tax credit.  This is $3600 per child dependent age 5 or less, and $3000 for child dependents age 6 or more.  You may be receiving advance payments of $300 per month per child.  This will come off the tax credit at the end of the year, so if you get $3000 advance payment, you can get an additional $3000-$3600 added to your tax refund. If you don't get the advance payments, you would get the full credit on your tax return.


This credit is reduced if your income is more than $112,500.


Note that for 2022, the child tax credit will return to the normal amount unless Congress votes to extend the enhanced credit.  The normal credit is $2000 per child, and you must have at least some income earned from working to qualify. 


You will also qualify to file as head of household, this has slightly reduced tax rates for most people.


You may qualify for earned income credit based on your earnings. If you worked for at least part of 2021, you may be eligible for EIC.


All these tax benefits will be added to your refund automatically if you use Turbotax. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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