Unemployment Appeals

Claimant Experiences: Unemployment Dirty Tricks



Protect your right to unemployment benefits. We will represent you at your unemployment hearing or appeal in New York. We represent claimants at hearing offices in all 9 hearing offices in New York State including the New York City, Long Island, and upstate hearing offices.

If accepted as our client we will represent you at the hearing before the judge, and there is no fee unless you win your case.

Be represented by vigorous, dedicated representatives at your hearing before the judge. If the judge rules against you we can also appeal your case if there are viable appeal grounds. Our rates are affordable and can accommodate any income.

Our intake department is located in Midtown a few blocks from the Empire State Building by appointment only. Claimants unable to come to our office should call for instructions.

Call us today to protect your rights!

CMH Services
(212) 537-6361

**Services provided by a representative authorized to represent clients before the NYS Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.


Unemployment Frequently Asked Questions

Where does CMH Services represent claimants?
We represent claimants at all hearing locations in New York State.


How do I request an appeal of denial of unemployment benefits?

On the back of the determination denying you benefits are instructions on how to appeal the determination (and request a hearing) and where to send your hearing request. Make sure to mail your request within thirty days of the date of the determination. It is not required, but we strongly recommend that you mail your hearing request using a certificate of mailing as proof of your hearing request. NOTE: The hearing request should only be one or two sentences: “I disagree with the determination and request a hearing.” Do not try to explain your reasons in this letter. Doing so could harm your case.

Should I wait until I’ve received a hearing date before I contact CMH Services?
Absolutely not! The hearing dates are usually set with about two or so weeks of notice. If you wait for a hearing date before contacting CMH Services you greatly increase your chances of us not being available for your hearing. This means that you will have to use an”adjournment” or delay request, and will be “defaulted” by many judges. Defaults can be reopened a very limited number of times and you can be subject to more delays while your reopened case is rescheduled. Contacting a representative late also makes preparation of your case harder because it will have to be rushed. The best practice is to contact a us immediately after you receive a negative determination from the Department of Labor or a notice that your employer has appealed. The earlier you contact your representative, the more likely your case is to be scheduled without conflicts with other cases.
How much does it cost to hire CMH Services to represent my appeal?
There is no fee unless your appeal or defense is successful. Meaning that your unemployment benefits are restored or defended from employer attack. Once your case is accepted by us, our fees are reasonable no matter what your benefit award because we limit the fees with a fee cap. We also accept a limited number of FREE cases (no fee even when you win) for people who qualify.*

Anyone can afford representation. In addition to our already low hourly rates, we cap our fees. You never have to worry about getting a bill larger than the benefits you win. Hourly rates for attorneys in the New York metropolitan area range from $350 to $1000 per hour and beyond (we have heard tales of attorneys charging an outrageous $4000 up front for one hearing). CMH Services charges fee that are a fraction of what the least expensive attorneys charge! Our least expensive rate is free for people who qualify (see below). Claimant fees are determined by their individual circumstances.

*For claimants who are unable to afford services, or who are facing financial hardship, free representation may be available (full service representation paid for by donors).. Claimants may also qualify for a deeply discounted flat rate. Claimants must request, and apply for, financial assistance prior to retaining CMH Services to qualify. Additional conditions apply. Funding subject to availability. Contact CMH Services for details. Free representation may be provided to claimants by an experienced unemployment representative or by a pro bono attorney (free lawyer/ free attorney).
Can I win without hiring a representative or lawyer?
Yes. But the odds are against you. A survey in New York found that 90 percent of claimants are unrepresented, and that the success rate of represented claimants was almost twice as high as that of unrepresented claimants(click here for full article at NYU School of Law Brennan Center).
Also, so many employers are actively contesting unemployment benefits that according to a recent New York Times article employer representation at Unemployment Hearings has become a boom industry (New York Times, 4/3/2010,  click here for article). This means that all but the smallest employers have hired these firms to represent them. And realize that the employer reps have an advantage. They work with their employer clients in case after case and can actually impact policy. In addition to that, according to the New York Times and our own experience, we have seen incidents of improper tactics by employer representatives that could really sandbag a self-represented claimant.

Is CMH Services a Law Firm?No. We can represent you before the judges at the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, but we are not a law firm and cannot represent you in court on other legal matters.


Will there be someone at the hearing with me?

Yes. If you retain a representative to represent you, he will be at the hearing with you and represent you before the hearing judge.
Other lawyers and representatives told me I didn’t have a winnable case. Can CMH Services still help me?
We do our own review. Often we win cases that were rejected by other firms. Conversely,if we don’t accept your case you should continue to try and retain other lawyers and representatives.
What should I look for in a lawyer or representative?
The very first thing to look at is whether or not the lawyer or representative regularly represents claimants before the Board. Go visit their offices, if they do not have an office and only want to meet at Starbucks be wary. Ask to see a few of their victories- winning trial and appellate decisions from Board judges naming them as the representative. But most of all, avoid any lawyer or representative that doesn’t want to spend time preparing your case ahead of time. Unfortunately, some lawyers and representatives take cases hoping to win by luck alone and take several cases for the same day hoping to win only one. When CMH Services takes your case we are expecting to win for you and almost always appeal negative trial outcomes. We fight for you!