Do You Need an Attorney to File for Unemployment?

Do You Need an Attorney to File for Unemployment?
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If you have recently been let go from a job, you are probably contemplating filing for unemployment. The state of Texas maintains a website on which you can apply for unemployment benefits. In order to qualify for unemployment in the Lone Star State, you must be unemployed or working fewer hours than you do normally.

You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own to qualify for benefits. If your employer has gone out of business or has run out of work, you will qualify for unemployment if you have worked for the company long enough.

If you are fired for job performance, you may still qualify for benefits if you can establish that you were not fired for violating company policy or the law. If you were fired for an inability to perform certain work, you may also qualify for benefits. If you quit your job, you may be denied benefits unless you can prove that your employer asked you to do something illegal or that was not part of your original job description. If you left to live with a military spouse or to care for a sick child or spouse you may qualify for benefits. You may also be able to receive benefits if you left because you were being stalked or harassed by a coworker.

How to Apply for Benefits

You should apply for unemployment benefits the day after your last day of work. If you were working through a temporary agency, you must wait three days before filing for unemployment as the agency has three days to offer you another opportunity.  The form you will fill out will ask you for your ex-employers name, address, and phone number. You must provide the number of hours you have worked and the wages that you were paid. The unemployment office will then send a form to your ex-employer to confirm the reasons you were dismissed.

Why Claims are Denied

If you were fired for misconduct at work, you may not qualify. Likewise, if your hours have been reduced due to your job performance, your claim may be denied.  If you quit your job due to transportation concerns or because you were not satisfied with your job, you are likely to be denied benefits. If you were fired for harassing a co-worker, violating company policy or the law, your claim is likely to be denied.

What a Lawyer can do for You

Although you can access the initial claim form online and fill it out easily enough, you may want to have a lawyer look over your claim before sending it to the state. An attorney will have seen many of these applications and will know exactly what kinds of mistakes may impede a person’s progress in receiving benefits.

If you have already applied for benefits and they have been denied, you may want to consult with an attorney. Some employers may not be honest about the reason you were let go. If they pressured you into resigning or if they said you were guilty of misconduct when you did nothing wrong, an attorney may be able to help you recover the money to which you are entitled. You can appeal a rejected unemployment claim. Thorpe & Hatcher Dallas Employment Lawyers can negotiate with the unemployment office on your behalf and represent you in court, if it is necessary.

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