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It is exceedingly rare for us to have cross over in our two primary practice areas: Unemployment (helping people with contested unemployment claims) and Estate Administration (assisting families wrap up the affairs of deceased loved ones), but today it does:

A new study, funded by the University of Zurich, analyzed 63 selected country’s public data for suicide, population, and economy between the years 2000-2011. The study found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that 1/5th (20%) of suicides are associated with unemployment. The results also suggested that when unemployment increases, suicide rates rise.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for unemployed folks to break down in tears when telling us the story of what ended their employment. It’s easy to understand why, with the combined stress of job loss, overdue bills, and difficulty in dealing with the NC Division of Employment Security. Although the purpose of unemployment benefits are to help people who have lost their job through no fault of their own (in their greatest time of need!), it’s not uncommon for a person to wait for weeks, even months, for the DES to process their claim. If the initial claim is denied, the appeals process can be confusing and time consuming, and often takes an emotional toll on the people involved. Once the DES processes the claim, a phone hearing is scheduled between the claimant, the employer, and an Appeals Referee, who ultimately decides if the claimant should receive unemployment benefits. The Referee does not make a decision immediately, sometimes taking additional time to mail it out their final decision. This additional period of waiting can add to the claimant’s stress level.

Losing one’s employment is often the first step towards a downward spiral, which sometimes leads to divorce, violence, drug abuse, involuntary commitment, and yes — sometimes suicide.  The Unemployment Appeal process is just one more thing to add to their spiral.

At Hopler & Wilms, LLP, we treat each client with the respect and sensitivity they deserve. We don’t use a “one size fits all” method, because each person’s story is unique and personal. Each client will be extensively prepared for the hearing by one of our experienced attorneys. Our attorneys are not only empathetic and compassionate during the preparation process, but will zealously represent each client in the actual hearing.

If you need help with an unemployment appeal in North Carolina, give us a call or fill out the form below: