Having an unemployment benefits claim denied can be a very frustrating experience, especially when your previous employer contests your right to benefits. Fortunately, if your claim is initially denied, you have the right to appeal that decision. North Carolina maintains a five step appeals process. See the chart below for a diagram of the appeals process. This diagram is available from the North Carolina Division of Employment Security.
So. . . how do you know if you need an attorney?
Sometimes it makes sense for an individual to represent themselves during the unemployment benefits process. These claims can be relatively simple; however, in certain situations, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Attorneys often charge reduced or flat rates for these types of matters, making hiring an attorney affordable. The following list highlights some of the complexities that can be involved in these types of hearings. In these cases, you may want to consider hiring an attorney.
1. When you have legal claims against your employer. If you believe your employer has violated your legal rights, you should consult with an attorney to find out how strong your claims are. In this situation, your unemployment claim might be just the first step in a lengthy legal process, one that could result in a significant financial award. If your lawyer believes you have a good case, he or she can help you file for unemployment, making sure to state the facts in the way most favorable to your case. The lawyer can also use the unemployment process to start assessing your employer's likely defenses and strategies.
2. The terms of your termination are unclear. You will be eligible for benefits only if you are out of work through no fault of your own. If you quit your job voluntarily, without good cause you won't be eligible. You also won't qualify if you were fired for serious misconduct. If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements an attorney can help you explain the facts in a manner most favorable to your case.
3. You are unsure of how to appeal an improper decision. If your unemployment claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process can be complicated, and there are specific deadlines you must meet. If you are not comfortable representing yourself through the appeals process, an experienced attorney can help.
Next steps . . .
If you found this information helpful, please follow our blog CarolinaCompensation™. If you are a North Carolina resident or worker and in need of legal assistance, please Contact Bowman Law PLLC for a free case uation, or call (336) 470-0177 to speak to Attorney Joe Bowman directly.