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Need a lawyer to help apply for unemployment benefits in New York? The State Bar Association will help

April 29, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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The New York State Bar Association and court system have set up a network of hundreds of pro bono attorneys that will begin helping unemployed New Yorkers secure benefits starting this week.

“This is an unprecedented moment for New York and the legal community alike,” said NYSBA President Hank Greenberg. “It’s gratifying to see so many lawyers willing to put their expertise at the disposal of those who are suffering. We know that unemployment benefits are a lifeline for many families, and we welcome the opportunity to provide assistance.”

Unemployed New Yorkers should head to the website, which was set up to provide resources for filing an unemployment claim. If needed, it will match people with a pro bono attorney.

“Becoming unemployed is one of the most stress-inducing things that can happen in a person’s life, and we are dedicated to reducing that anxiety any way we can. This program will help ensure New Yorkers can access the benefits they need and deserve,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I’d like to personally thank the bar association, the court system and the hundreds of lawyers who have stepped up to help their neighbors during this difficult time.”

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The network of attorneys was put together with the help of former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

“Ensuring access to justice is paramount right now,” Lippman said. “This project will help unemployed New Yorkers get the benefits they need and are entitled to.”

By Monday more than 26 million people have reportedly filed for unemployment in the U.S., including 1.4 million New Yorkers. Due to the sheer volume of claims there have been issues filing and appealing unsuccessful claims. The NYSBA said that more than 1,500 attorneys attended its recent training program to provide these people with assistance.

The pro bono network will also be able to help people with other related issues from evictions, to domestic violence cases, and housing discrimination issues.

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