Unemployment Claims

Unemployment benefits are based on both federal and state programs. They are designed to help you survive financially while looking for new employment after losing your job.

The Cochran Firm boasts a diverse group of some of the most highly-experienced and respected employment attorneys in the country. We will fight for your employee rights and help you recover the money you deserve.

Unemployment Qualifications

To qualify for unemployment compensation, you must have a record of a minimum amount of earnings over a set period of time. It is usually the 12 months before you lost your job. You also have to be ready, willing and able to work. In most states, you will not be eligible for unemployment compensation if you:

  • Quit without "good cause," such as because you hated the commute to work
  • Were fired for serious misconduct, like stealing from your employer or physically hurting a co-worker
  • Are self-employed, like an independent contractor, or a student
  • Are on strike from your job
  • Are unavailable to work due to illness or other circumstances

Appealing Your State’s Decision

Your state's unemployment compensation department will first decide if you are eligible for compensation based on information you provide and information from your former employer. In most states, you can appeal if initially rejected, but you must do so within several weeks of this decision.

If you or your previous employer objects to your state’s decision, there will be an informal hearing in front of a government hearing officer. In most states, this type of review board will only look at the evidence given at this hearing. Because this may be your only chance to present your case, it is a good idea to have an employment lawyer present. An experienced employment attorney is familiar with your state’s laws and can help you present your best evidence.

Administrative and Court Appeals

In extreme cases, you may be able to appeal to your state’s court system. The legal standard for winning in court is usually high. You will be required to prove that either the administrative appeal board ignored the law or that there was not sufficient evidence to support their decision.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, you may face serious financial hardships. Please contact the qualified employment attorneys at The Cochran Firm today. Serving clients nationwide, we can help you get the unemployment benefits you deserve.