CMH Services

No fee unless you win your unemployment case!
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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 Mid-Town at 5th Avenue & 27th Street. 234 5th Avenue 4th Floor by appointment only. Claimants unable to come in 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
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 or any other representatives (including lawyers) you greatly increase your chances of them 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 has to be rushed. The best practice is to contact a representative 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 with the same representative.
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 standard hourly rate is almost half of what even the least expensive attorneys charge! The average fee for CMH Services Unemployment clients is only $500 (and that is only if we win your case!). And our least expensive rate is free for people who qualify (see below). What your rate will be is determined by your individual circumstances.

Disclaimer- All requests for fees are submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board for approval at our standard rate. The fee cap and discounted rates are subtracted from the approved amount pursuant to the terms of the CMH retainer agreement contingent upon the claimant’s timely payment of fees. Discounts and reductions will not be applied to accounts in collection. Cases accepted on a no fee (pro bono) basis are not billed at all.
*For low income claimants who meet certain criteria. You must have been on public assistance within the last two years, earned less than $18K per year, or currently facing eviction from public housing, Section 8, or homeless program housing. Human Resources Administration and Parks Department job training program participants (JTP) automatically qualify for free representation if their case is accepted by CMH Services. Additional conditions apply. Claimants who were earning at or near minimum wage may qualify for a deeply discounted hourly rate.
Is it worth paying for a lawyer or representative?
Yes. With CMH Services you do not pay if you do not win. If you win you pay only a low hourly rate for our service. So let's do the math using the maximum benefit: 96 weeks of benefits at $405 per week equals $38,880. To risk losing almost $40,000 to save a few dollars is insane (see winning Q immediately below). If you win the maximum you only pay the standard fee (normally about $500). If you win less than the max, you never have to worry about owing more than what you win. With CMH Services you have the "no lose" scenario- you never have to worry about the fees eating up your benefit award.
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 knows basic unemployment law (all registered representatives are vetted by the Board). An immediate tip off is if the lawyer asks you to pay a retainer to represent you at the hearing. It is a crime for anyone, including attorneys, to ask for money up front from an unemployment claimant. If the attorney is that clueless about unemployment law that he can't protect himself from jail time, chances are he isn't going to be much use protecting you during your hearing!