After losing a job, many unemployed Oregonians must rely on unemployment insurance benefits to support their families while pursuing employment. When these vital benefits are denied, or an employer challenges the initial decision of the Employment Department, the appeals process can seem overwhelming. This is especially true when coupled with the prospect of losing what is, for some, their only source of income.
We understand how important it is for our clients to obtain a favorable outcome when their benefits are denied or their employer challenges an initial benefits decision. We work diligently on our clients' behalf to develop a hearing strategy that will provide the best chance of restoring some sense of financial stability during the difficult period following a job loss.
Process & Typical Fees
If you are terminated from employment, the first step is often to apply for unemployment benefits. Unless the employment department concludes that you were terminated for misconduct, the process of receiving benefits is usually relatively painless. However, the Employment Department may determine that you are ineligible for benefits or your employer may challenge your benefit approval.
After a benefit denial or challenge, you are entitled to an appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you were discharged, the employer has the burden to prove that the discharge occurred because of your misconduct. If you voluntarily quit, then you have the burden to prove that you left for good cause. Because the majority of these hearings are conducted over the telephone, many claimants do not realize how important they can be to the final benefits decision. The evidence presented during the telephone hearing is most likely the only evidence that will ever be in the record of the case, including for any appeals to higher administrative bodies and courts. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that all relevant evidence is presented during the hearing.
Because of the unique nature of the facts in every case, for most types of legal concerns, we cannot quote a fee over the phone or via the Internet. However, the unemployment insurance appeal process allows us to list general prices that will apply in many, though not all, unemployment denial challenges. For many unemployment cases, we charge the following (non-hourly) flat fees:
$100 for the Initial Consultation
First, we meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding your work separation to identify issues, potential witnesses, and documentary evidence that might be submitted. During this meeting we also explain the laws and regulations governing unemployment benefit decisions that may apply to your case. Even if we determine that further legal services do not make sense in your particular case, we can provide valuable information about applicable laws and rules that will assist you in representing yourself.
$750 for Representation in the Initial Appeal Hearing
If we mutually agree that continued representation would be beneficial for your case, we will develop a detailed hearing strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome. We thoroughly analyze the facts of the particular case, draft direct and cross-examination testimony outlines to ensure all relevant evidence is presented in an organized, persuasive way, and then present that evidence during the hearing. In some cases, it may even be necessary to issue subpoenas for documents or witnesses or to draft a written argument.
Once the hearing decision is issued, we will go over the details of the Administrative Law Judge's opinion, and provide information about the higher appeals process, especially if the decision is unfavorable. We will also discuss further representation in the higher appeals process at that time.
These details and fees are representative, and do not apply in every case. To find out if we can help with your appeal, please contact us using the information below.
Please contact us by filling out the form on this website, or call 877-778-3205 toll free or locally at 503-575-9717 to set up an appointment Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments are available by appointment. We provide free consultations for family law and criminal law cases, and for many employment concerns. We also handle most employment matters on a contingency basis, meaning you pay us no fees until and unless we obtain you relief. All credit cards are accepted and we are willing to set up payment plans for our qualified clients.