ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State Bar Association is helping New Yorkers with securing unemployment benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has organized a team of more than 100 attorneys to assist in a program that provides resources for filing an unemployment claim and will match attorneys, free of charge, with those whose claims are unsuccessful.

New York State Bar Association President Hank Greenberg says it is always a smart move to challenge these decisions with a lawyer present:

“There are studies that show that people who are represented by counsel fare better if they are represented by themselves.,” said Greenberg. 

More than 26 million Americans – including over 1.4 million New Yorkers – have filed unemployment claims in recent weeks. More than 1,500 attorneys attended NYSBA’s recent training program, “Applying for Unemployment: Client Counseling Under the CARES Act.”

“There are pockets of New York State where it’s very very difficult for the poor and middle class to get legal assistance,” Greenberg said. “Add on top of that COVID 19, and that access to justice crisis widens into a canyon.”

According to the association’s website, New York’s existing network of pro bono and public defense attorneys was strained prior to COVID-19. The state court system and NYSBA are taking this action to ensure that all New Yorkers can exercise their right to legal counsel at a time when the need for legal services will likely be higher than ever before, and fewer people will be able to afford representation. 

Those who appeal, have up to 30 days to file it. Click Here for more information.