Unemployment agencies are overwhelmed by the amount of employee’s claiming benefits, but unfortunately the system is essentially broken at times. Employees are being denied benefits for arbitrary reasons and without recourse much of the time because the agency is understaffed and refusing to audit its terrible practices.
Our law firm is seeing a huge increase in unemployment benefit denials and we have developed some best practices for those not receiving benefits.
- Do not give up! You will have to accept the fact that the agency is broken and that you will have to be persistent.
- If you did not commit “misconduct,” you should prevail.
- You will need to timely protest any erroneous determinations and you may wait many months for a redetermination hearing—where you will likely prevail and receive your belated benefits.
- If you are frustrated with the process (which is inevitable), your state representatives have begun to offer “unemployment assistance” on their websites. Please fill out the form and work with them. They are doing awesome work!
- Even if you are not technically eligible for benefits and the agency paid you, try to avoid paying back overpayments based on a hardship defense. You will need to explain why the monies received by the state have been spent on necessities and that you cannot make repayments.
- Remember that the agency has the burden to show fraud. Most times the agency will not even appear for a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case, so you will not be found to have committed fraud.
- Beware of instances of identity theft.
- Perhaps, most important is that many employees do not realize that their employers committed employment law violations against them during their employment. You should consult with an employment law attorney to make sure that you are not a victim of unlawful conduct, including wrongful termination, retaliation, or wage violations.