You Can Get Free Legal Help from the New York State Bar If You Were Denied Unemployment

NOTE: We only handle cases involving accidents and injuries. This article is for informational purposes only. Information found in the article does not constitute as formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. We cannot help you beyond the information provided below if you have been denied unemployment.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, more than 1.2 million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment benefits. 

The state’s unemployment system has long been fragile because of its reliance on 1970’s technology. The flood of new benefit claims has strained it even more.

The result is that the benefits are being delayed or denied for many New Yorkers.

How Can I Get Help with My Unemployment Claim?

With the help of volunteer lawyers, the New York Bar Association is offering free help with getting your unemployment benefits.

The more than 800 lawyers are from throughout New York and specialize in appealing denials of unemployment benefits.

There’s evidence to show that people with lawyer representation are far more likely to be successful in having their appeals resolved in their favor.

How Do I File a Claim for My Unemployment Benefits?

You can complete and file from the Bar Association’s site.

Even though New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment benefits, you should file your claim within the first week of losing your job. 

In ideal situations, you should begin receiving your benefits within 2-3 weeks of when your claim is filed. 

Why Would My Unemployment Claim be Denied?

New York is not the only state that’s struggling to process unemployment claims since the pandemic began. Within six weeks of the pandemic, more than 30 million people had filed for unemployment benefits nationally. 

Like New York, many states’ systems have been simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of claims.

Additional reasons for denied claims include:

  • A mistake made while filling out the form
  • Making false statements on original benefits claim
  • Being unable to work because of a physical or mental condition 
  • Criminal misconduct was the reason for unemployment
  • Refusing to accept offers of work
  • Job loss was caused by a strike

However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, federal relief has passed to expand unemployment eligibility through the end of 2020. 

Known as the CARES Act, the relief plan makes it easier for people who don’t have enough of a work record to normally qualify for unemployment benefits. This includes people who are self-employed, contract workers, and temporary workers.

Whatever the reason for your unemployment benefits denial, you have the right to make an immediate appeal.

Are Unemployment Benefits Taxed?

Yes, New York unemployment benefits are taxable. You can choose to have the taxes withheld during each weekly payment or settle when you file your taxes in April. 

How Will I Know If My Unemployment Claim Has Been Denied?

You’ll receive a written notice letting you know whether your claim has been accepted or denied. If it’s denied, the notice will tell you why and give instructions for steps you should take in your appeal.

How Can a Lawyer Help If I’m Denied Unemployment Benefits?

If your unemployment benefits claim has been denied, a lawyer with knowledge of how the system works will be able to guide you through the appeals process more easily. 

Whether the denial is based on a simple error made in the claims process or if it requires a full hearing, a lawyer can be invaluable to having the issue successfully resolved.

  • During a hearing, you and your lawyer will present evidence to an administrative judge.
  • The judge’s decision will be mailed to you soon after the hearing.
  • You’ll have the ability to appeal the decision within 20 days of receiving the notice. 

If you do decide to appeal the decision of the administrative judge, you can request a transcript of the hearing. The transcript will give you insight into how the facts of your case were presented during the hearing. This information can help you and your lawyer as you frame your appeal letter. 

To appeal the hearing, you’ll need to:

  • Submit a written letter to the Appeal Board (be sure to state that you want the decision reversed and explain your reasons)
  • Address facts you feel were not properly addressed by the judge
  • Identify any new evidence you have to support your claim and explain why it wasn’t originally included

In most appeals, the Board will make a decision without having to hold a new hearing. 

If you’re not satisfied with the Board’s decision about your appeal, you can make an additional appeal with the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Albany.

This is how the system works in ideal situations. In light of the pandemic, your lawyer may be able to speed up the process. 

Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C.
291 Broadway 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 227-4000