Unemployment Insurance Attorney Serving Clients Throughout Colorado
Unemployment Appeals, Audits or Overpayment Problems
To hear Brian Stutheit interviewed about unemployment law on Colorado Public Radio, follow this link
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Attorney Fees
We do not charge for a preliminary phone discussion.
If you hire us, unemployment benefits appeals fees are capped. For $900 we take over the entire handling of your appeal and attend the appeal hearing by telephone with our client, from our office. For $1050, we attend your hearing in person. We write off any charges if the hourly fees exceed that total. For your fee, we cover as many client meetings as necessary, prepare all filings with the Colorado Division of Unemployment, conduct prehearing investigation and witness preparation, subpoena witnesses or records, and appear as your attorney at your hearing. Note: hearings outside metro Denver are never in person.
Some clients pay us to meet for an hour or hour and a half. During that time we help word their appeals, tell them what they should do to prepare for their hearing, and give our own opinion what is good and bad in their case. Then they feel prepared to represent themselves. The charge for this is $250.
We charge $700 for appeals of hearing officer rulings to the Industrial Claims Appeals panel. The panel will not hear new evidence or arguments which could have been raised before the hearing officer. Almost all appeals we have won were from hearings where we participated, because we made a good record for appeal.
Except in complicated cases, we charge $850 to represent clients against overpayment demands or unemployment tax audits.
We also litigate unemployment matters before the Colorado Court of Appeals, the final level of appeals.
Get Legal Representation at the First Appeal (Hearing Officer) Stage
The appeal hearing before the hearing officer is your only chance to present all your arguments, witnesses and evidence. You don’t get another opportunity. If you don’t have a lawyer for your hearing, you are endangering your claim and further appeals.
Before you appeal a deputy’s decision, or respond to an appeal from the other side, you should have a lawyer. What you say in your appeal documents must track the law. Careless statements written in your appeal will hurt you at the hearing. New facts or arguments cannot be introduced for the first time at the hearing. Evidence and requirements of proof are more like being in court than you expect. The law for appeals hearings says the rules of evidence shall conform, to the extent practicable, with those in civil cases in the district courts of Colorado.
Under many circumstances an employee who quits work may still qualify for benefits. But never assume that you will qualify for unemployment if you quit. The how and why you quit are crucial. Talk to a lawyer before you resign.
Talk to a lawyer before you write a letter explaining what happened at work, or apologizing. These often backfire. For example, one client wrote his supervisor to acknowledge he had made a mistake and ask for leniency. To the unemployment hearing officer, this was an admission the employee was at fault.
If you are an employer and do not want to pay the employee benefits, make sure your documentation supports denial of benefits when you terminate. Most employers assume wrongly that just because they have the right to fire an employee, that means the employee will not get unemployment.
You Must Prepare and Participate
If you are a claimant and the employer wins the appeal, your benefits will be stopped and you will probably be asked to repay benefits you already received.
The hearing officer’s decision is based only on evidence presented at the hearing. You must present and defend your position thoroughly before the hearing officer. You must know what facts are going to be important to the hearing officer based on the law. Without a lawyer your unemployment appeal could be flawed.
We also protect against employer audits, overpayment and repayment demands, and claims of fraud.
Know your rights. File appeals and responses on time. Never assume the Division of Unemployment will catch or correct its own mistakes. Penalties are severe – up to 65% in addition to the claimed overpayment.
While your appeal is pending, keep claiming benefits.