Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Unemployment Benefits in Arizona?
Having your own lawyer to represent you in the unemployment insurance benefits process in Arizona will level the playing field for you—because your ex-employer will be represented. Your ex-employer is almost certainly going to have a lawyer or two offering guidance through the Arizona unemployment process. This legal advice can give your ex-employer an edge over you in the process, especially if they intend to challenge your claim for benefits. Your own lawyer can:
- Help you figure out if you are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Arizona
- Tell you if your employer’s stated reason for terminating you is valid and will bar benefits
- Guide you through Arizona’s unemployment insurance benefits claim process
- Advise you on how to keep receiving unemployment insurance benefits, and
- Assist you if you need to appeal a denial of unemployment insurance benefits by the Arizona Department of Economic Security
Check the website of the Arizona Department of Economic Security before you see a lawyer to get information about applying for unemployment benefits and your rights and obligations under the unemployment laws of Arizona. The website and the Arizona Department of Economic Security claimant handbook, Guide to Arizona Benefits, have answers to your questions about the filing process. To find a lawyer in Arizona, check the Arizona Bar Association lawyer referral services and the lawyer directory of Nolo.com.
Help Filing a Claim
An experienced Arizona employment lawyer can help you answer tricky questions such as whether the reason that you lost your job makes you eligible for unemployment. Sometimes an employer will say that it terminated an employee for misconduct when the real reason was lack of work or something else that was not the employee's fault. A lawyer can help you figure out whether the employer’s stated reason is valid and whether it will render you ineligible for unemployment benefits.
And, a lawyer familiar with the Arizona Department of Economic Security claim filing procedure can guide you through that process.
Advice About How to Keep Receiving Benefits
Of course, your obligations to file and report to the Arizona Department of Economic Security continue as long as you receive benefits, so a lawyer can help you make sure you meet all of those obligations, too. You may run into questions about the effect of part-time work on the continuation of your unemployment benefits or whether a particular job opening is suitable to your training, physical abilities, and experience. These are questions that an experienced Arizona employment lawyer can answer.
Some decisions you make or circumstances that occur may affect your eligibility for benefits, such as choosing to go to school, needing to move, or suffering an injury or disability. A lawyer familiar with Arizona unemployment law can tell you what these developments will mean for your unemployment claim and benefits.
Guidance Through an Appeal
When the Arizona Department of Economic Security denies your claim for unemployment or approves a lower benefit amount than you believe you are entitled to, you may appeal to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Office of Appeals. But your appeal must include certain elements and must be filed within the deadline set by the Arizona law. A lawyer experienced in Arizona unemployment law will help you be sure to include all of the necessary information in your appeal and file it on time.
If the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Office of Appeals denies your appeal, you may want to appeal further, even all the way to court. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer to represent you in any second level appeal of a denial of unemployment benefits, especially if you end up in court.
How to Find a Lawyer in Arizona
A good resource for finding lawyers in Arizona is the Arizona Bar Association, which offers lawyer referral services in Arizona.
You can also find a lawyer directory on Nolo.com that will give you the names of employment lawyers in your zip code in Arizona.
You may also be interested in:
Here are three easy ways to find an unemployment attorney in Arizona.
Find out where you need to go to apply for unemployment benefits in Arizona and how to get help with the application process.
Three things Arizona residents should know about collecting unemployment, including who is eligible and how to apply for benefits.