Unemployment Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to hire a Kansas and Missouri unemployment appeal attorney?
A. That depends. If you call the DOL and ask that question, they will likely tell you that you don’t have to hire an attorney. Many people unfortunately interpret that statement to mean that an attorney is unnecessary. However, that is a little misleading. They are correct in that you are certainly not required to hire an unemployment appeal attorney at any stage of the process. However, unless you have the proper background, training and experience, handling the appeal alone can have disastrous consequences that an unemployment attorney may not be able to “fix” after the fact.
Q: When should I retain a Kansas or Missouri unemployment appeal attorney?
A: As soon as you receive the initial denial letter or employer’s appeal is best. The initial unemployment appeal hearing is (1) when we have the best chance to win your case; (2) is less expensive than latter appeals; and (3) handling that initial unemployment appeal hearing improperly can make later appeals very difficult. Please, whatever you do, don’t simply take a shot at the initial hearing alone and assume that if it doesn’t work out favorably that an experienced unemployment appeal attorney can then step in and fix it. While it’s certainly not impossible, that approach may seriously handicap your chances.
Q: How do you handle fees?
A: I do a lot of these appeals, so I am able to do them for a flat fixed fee vs. billing hourly. That fee varies a bit based upon my evaluation of the underlying complexity of a particular appeal, but you will know in advance exactly how much it will cost. There are no hidden fees or costs involved.
Q: So, I handled the initial hearing myself and I lost. Should I just give up?
A: No. Not necessarily. It will be more difficult at the next stage to be successful, but you shouldn’t give up without at least consulting with an experienced unemployment appeal attorney to evaluate the specifics of your case and discuss your options.
Q: My employer fired me. Why am I not automatically eligible for Kansas or Missouri unemployment benefits?
A: Both states have exceptions to eligibility that employers will frequently try to exploit. Generally, if you are terminated for “misconduct connected with the work” or “quit without good cause,” you will not be eligible for benefits.
Q: I was fired. How do I know if it was misconduct?
A: You don’t. That’s probably what we will be arguing about at the Kanas or Missouri unemployment appeal hearing. What is or is not considered misconduct is determined on a case-by-case basis. It is probably the most frequently litigated aspect of unemployment appeals and is very, very fact specific.
Q: Can I access my employment file and other documents?
A: Generally, no. There is no discovery during these administrative proceedings. You will get a packet of documents from the Department of Labor, but if you wish to submit additional evidence, you will have to supply it yourself in the appropriate manner.
Q: I have my own question. How can I get answers?