Unemployment Benefits

Portland Unemployment Attorneys

At Owens & McBreen, P.C., our employment attorneys work diligently to help employees who have been wrongly denied unemployment benefits. 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. That’s why our attorneys work 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.

Unemployment Process

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.

Typical Fees in Unemployment Cases

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.

$1200 for Representation in the Initial Telephone 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, prepare for direct and cross examination testimony to ensure relevant evidence is presented in an organized, persuasive way, and then present that evidence during the hearing.

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.

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Please contact us by filling out the form on this website, or calling 503-384-2420 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 many cases, so please contact us to see if your case qualifies. We also handle most employment matters on a contingency basis, meaning you pay us no fees until and unless we obtain relief on your behalf. All credit cards are accepted and we are willing to set up payment plans for our qualified clients.