For many people, employment difficulties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic continue at the present time. The State of Kansas provides financial unemployment benefits for many affected individuals. However, receiving the benefits you deserve is not always easy. Our attorneys at Sloan Law Firm help clients navigate the unemployment claims and appeals processes, to ensure that individuals receive the financial assistance they deserve under Kansas law.
In Kansas, unemployment benefits and claims are governed by a complex state statute called the Employment Security Law. The law establishes an unemployment insurance system and specifies all the parameters that apply to receiving unemployment benefits, including the calculation of the amount of payment.
The law establishes specific requirements for receiving unemployment insurance benefits, including criteria relating to length of previous employment and wages. The presumption is that a person who meets those requirements is eligible to collect benefits unless they fall under specific disqualifications stated in the law.
If your unemployment is due to a reason other than lack of work, your reason for leaving work may affect whether you are eligible for benefits. Quitting voluntarily without good cause attributable to the work or employer may disqualify you. However, the law does provide limited exceptions in this situation. Being discharged (fired) for misconduct or gross misconduct related to your work also is a basis for denial of an initial claim.
After an initial unemployment claim is approved, there are other requirements that must be met to receive the benefits and to continue receiving them during your unemployment.
When you become unemployed, you must apply for unemployment insurance benefits in order to receive them. The State of Kansas provides substantial resources, including an online guide to making your initial claim with the Department of Labor, which includes information about how unemployment claims are processed and links to additional information.
After you file an initial claim, the Department of Labor reviews your application and gathers information about you and your previous employment. Your immediate prior employer may object to the grant of unemployment benefits, if they believe the circumstances do not meet the eligibility criteria.
If there are questions about your application, your claim may go through an adjudication process to gather additional information. You may be contacted by telephone or in writing to reply to specific questions.
You will receive a letter of determination that either approves your benefits or explains denial of your claim. If your initial claim is denied, you may appeal for review by an Appeals Referee, who holds a hearing on your appeal. You may provide evidence for consideration, and you may request that the Office of Appeals issue subpoenas for necessary witnesses or evidence. The appeal is a legal proceeding. You may have an attorney represent you, although it is not required.
If the Appeals Referee does not rule in your favor, you may request review by the Employment Security Board of Review. An adverse decision by the board may be appealed to the district court. Subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court are also possible.
The Kansas unemployment laws are extremely complex. Our Sloan Law Firm attorneys help clients with every aspect of unemployment benefit claims. We can work with you to determine whether you should file an initial claim and provide assistance with the application, if you aren’t comfortable navigating the process on your own. Getting help from a lawyer early in the process may improve your chances of getting benefits approved without an extended process.
If you receive a denial of your initial unemployment claim, assistance from a knowledgeable lawyer improves your chances of succeeding on an appeal. All appeals are legal proceedings that involve the introduction of evidence and presentation of arguments on your behalf. An attorney has special skills to navigate through the appeal process before an Appeals Referee and before the Employment Security Board of Review if necessary. Representation by legal counsel gives you the best chance of succeeding with an appeal at any level.
There are situations in which your former employer may object to payment of your unemployment benefit claim and become involved in the review and appeal of your claim. If that occurs, it is in your best interest to talk with a lawyer and get legal representation if you have not already done so.
Whatever your circumstances are, and whether or not you have already filed an initial claim, our Sloan Law Firm employment attorneys can help you navigate the unemployment insurance benefits process from start to finish. We will address your concerns, answer all your questions, and discuss potential issues that may arise in your claim. Unemployment is extremely stressful, and so is filing a benefit claim. We can assist you through the process and minimize your worries about getting the benefits you deserve.
From our offices in Topeka and Lawrence, our experienced employment attorneys assist clients throughout Kansas with all matters relating to unemployment insurance benefits. We invite you to contact us by calling (785) 357-6311 or using our online contact form.