For the past eight years we have been requesting statistics, via OPRA, from the Department of Labor in order to compare results from our firm with the overall averages of unemployment claimants filing appeals. For the eighth straight year, we are releasing the Department of Labor statistics, as well as our statistics. The summary is as follows:
Department of Labor Statistics
Fact Finding Hearings - Not Available
Appeal Tribunal Hearings
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||27%||29%||27%||25%||25%||24%||26%||29%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||36%||33%||31%||32%||29%||30%||30%||29%|
Board of Review Appeals
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||27%||20%||9%||6%||6%||8%||7%||5%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||55%||46%||8%||11%||11%||11%||11%||6%|
Appellate Division Appeals (compiled from LEXIS, not OPRA)
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||15%||26%||21%||32%||27%||31%||23%||13%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||50%||0%||100%||25%||50%||n/a||0%||50%|
We have also compiled our firm's statistics for calendar year 2020.
Alan H. Schorr & Associates Results: (Our statistics of past performance do not guarantee any future performance)
Schorr & Associates Performance
|Appeal Tribunal Hearings||74%||77%||77%||90%||88%||96%||90%||94%|
|Board of Review Appeals||27%||76%||33%||44%||50%||80%||78%||75%|
|Appellate Division Appeals||87.5%||80%||67%||100%||100%||100%||N/A||N/A|
As the success rates of unrepresented claimants continues to drop, our success at the Department of Labor has continued at the same high levels. The statistics reflect that the percentage of positive results obtained by our firm have been triple or better than the average of all Appeals at every level. Our 100% success rate at Fact-Findings and 94% success rate at Appeal Tribunals demonstrates that the safest way to ensure unemployment benefits remains retaining an attorney for all hearings. Because the Department of Labor is now utilizing questionnaires more often than Fact-Finding hearings, the Fact-Finding statistics for 2020 are based on only 16 hearings.
This year, the pandemic caused an unprecedented surge of unemployment claims, which became much more valuable with the addition of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance monies. Oddly, despite the explosion of new unemployment claims, the number of Appeal Tribunal Hearings and Board of Review appeals dropped by almost 40%. We surmise that the Department of Labor is not counting claims involving Federal PUA as Department of Labor statistics. We are seeing more appeals for refunds and monies were paid at the beginning of the pandemic and now the Department is trying to recoup sone of the benefits paid.
At the Appellate Division this year, claimants won only about 13% of their claimant appeals resulting in reversal. Pro se appellants won 3 out of 25 appeals (12%), appellants with attorneys won 1 out of 4 (25%).
All in all, the statistics for 2020 and the past eight years confirm the importance of having counsel at every level of the increasingly complicated and contentious unemployment process.