Representation in Appeals of Denial of Unemployment Benefits
Our office regularly represents terminated employees in appealing a denial of unemployment benefits in front of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (CUIAB). Our services include reviewing our clients' documentation supporting their claim, preparing them for an appeal hearing and making sure that they put their best foot forward during the appeal hearing, and that the avoids the common mistakes that may lead to disqualification and denial of unemployment benefits.
If our client chooses, we can also appear with the claimant and represent him at a hearing. This is especially useful if (1) there is a serious dispute about the reasons for claimant's termination; or if (2) the employer is known to be aggressive about fighting the unemployment benefits claim and they are represented by an attorney who is likely to do what he can to try to attack the claimant at a hearing and discredit him; and, of course, if (3) the claimant is very nervous and does not feel comfortable representing himself at an appeal hearing.
Two of the most common reasons that unemployment benefits are wrongfully denied are (1) incorrect determination that claimant has been dismissed for "misconduct" when the reason for dismissal did not arise to misconduct level under the law; and (2) incorrectly taking the employer's side who argues that claimant voluntarily resigned from his employment, when it didn't actually happen, and the employee was in fact terminated.
If you believe that your unemployment benefits have been wrongfully denied, feel free to contact us to discuss whether you should appeal the denial and how we can help you with your appeal.
Unemployment Benefits and SDI Disability Benefits
Under the law, you cannot claim both disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time because this requires providing inconsistent information. When you apply for unemployment, you certify that you are available for work (i.e. able to work) and you are looking for work while collecting benefits. However, when you apply for SDI disability benefits, you certify that you are unable to work. This is why applying for both types of benefits creates contradiction and often results in receiving a notice of overpayment with possible interest and penalties that they State will expect you to repay.
In most cases, if you are unable to work, you should claim SDI disability benefits until these benefits are exhausted or until you released to return to work. At that point, you can start claiming unemployment benefits if you otherwise qualify.