Being out of work can cause significant emotional stress and financial strain on an individual, as well as on his or her family. If you have suddenly found yourself out of work and need to file for unemployment benefits on Long Island or elsewhere in New York, our firm is here to help.
By providing this information, along with the tips and insights found in our free survival guide for the newly unemployed, it is our objective that you be able to pursue the immediate benefits that you are eligible to receive, and seek justice in cases of illegal discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
If you have lost your job due to no fault of your own, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. In the state of New York, workers must meet the following qualifications before being able to seek unemployment benefits, according to New York State Department of Labor:
You must have worked in the state within the last 18 months.
You must have worked enough time and earned sufficient wages in covered employment. The state’s Department of Labor notes that you are eligible as long as you have worked and been paid wages for at least two calendar quarters during your base period, been paid no less than $1,900 in one of those calendar quarters, and had a base period total wage of more than one and a half times that of your high quarter wages.
You must have been terminated, fired or let go due to no fault of your own. Lack of work, the end of seasonal employment, elimination of your job, downsizing, restructuring, lack of operational funds or any other reason beyond your control can still allow you to be eligible to seek benefits.
You need to be ready, willing and able to work.
You must be actively looking for gainful employment during each week you are claiming benefits. Failure to do so could lead to the termination of benefits or denial of coverage.
Another reason a claim or benefits may be denied is if you are not actively seeking employment or you refuse suitable employment without having a valid reason to do so. Unemployment insurance is not intended to be a permanent source of income. It is supposed to be a temporary, stop-gap solution that will allow an unemployed individual to get back on his or her feet and back into the workforce.
In some instances, a former employer may attempt to challenge your claim by stating you quit or you were terminated for cause, even if that was not the case. If your employer’s efforts to deny your claim are successful, it could save your former employer a lot of money.
Individuals who believe their unemployment insurance claim has been wrongfully denied have only a short window of opportunity in which to file an appeal with the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board to seek reversal of the decision. If you believe you are eligible to receive benefits, yet your claim was denied, you have 30 days to ask for a hearing, starting from the date your Notice of Determination was mailed.
If your request is granted, a hearing date will be set and you will be advised of the documents you should bring. It is strongly advised that you have an attorney to handle the hearing for you, as it is during this hearing that your denied unemployment claim will be reviewed, and further information can be presented to assist in proving your eligibility. An attorney can advocate on your behalf and protect your rights throughout the entire appeals process.
As an individual seeking unemployment benefits, you have certain rights. One of those rights is the right to legal counsel. When you hire a Long Island employment lawyer from the law firm of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, you could significantly improve your chances of getting the unemployment benefits you deserve. Our skilled employment lawyers know the tactics employers often use to wrongfully deny benefits, as well as the information that must be provided in a claim to establish eligibility. If you are eligible for benefits, we will work diligently to fight for the maximum benefits you deserve.
Our Long Island employment lawyer can also explore other potential compensation options. For example, if you were illegally discriminated against, harassed in the workplace or fired unlawfully, you may be entitled to compensation from your former employer. Workers’ compensation claims, disability discrimination, sex discrimination, racial discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits are just a few examples of the options you may have.
You have a sympathetic ear at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. Call us now to speak with one of our Long Island employment lawyers, or fill out our online form and we will respond to you immediately.