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There was only one decision this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The decision stands for the proposition that an applicant commits unemployment misconduct by punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion. Still, the decision was remanded in part for specific findings on whether the conduct in question constituted aggravated misconduct. Without further ado, here is the summary:

A16-0050: Debra Barrett, Relator, vs. Jourdain/Perpich Extended Care Facility, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this unemployment-compensation appeal, relator challenges a determination by an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) on reconsideration that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged from her employment for employment misconduct. The misconduct in question was punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion.

The Court of Appeals upheld the determination by the unemployment law judge that the conduct in question was employment misconduct, but rain remanded the case  back to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for a determination by the unemployment law judge whether the  misconduct was aggravated and could be a crime under Minnesota law.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday 8/31/15.  The first two cases stand for the proposition that an applicant for unemployment benefits must be available for suitable employment.  The first case is unique because it was reversed.  The third case was affirmed, and is a fairly typical misconduct case where the applicant was found ineligible for unemployment benefits because of employment misconduct.

1. A15-0072 Michelle Davidsavor, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent

Relator raises procedural and substantive challenges to an unemployment-law judge’s decision that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The Appeals Court ruled that "[t]he situation did not demand greater procedural protections than Davidsavor received; therefore, the ULJ’s decision was not made upon unlawful procedure or in violation of constitutional provisions."  However, the Appeals Court 'conclude[d] that the ULJ’s finding that Davidsavor was not available for and actively seeking suitable employment after August 31, 2014, is “unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted.”'  As such, the Appeals Court reversed the determination that Davidsavior was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

2. A15-0053 Ahmed Ghanim, Relator, vs. FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Ahmed Ghanim challenges the unemployment-law judge’s determination that he was ineligible for benefits because he was not actively seeking suitable employment. Because substantial evidence in the record supports the unemployment-law judge’s determination, we affirm.

3. A15-0096 Courtney Paulson, Relator, vs. General Nutrition Center, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Courtney Paulson challenges an unemployment-law judge’s determination that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because substantial evidence supports the unemployment-law judge’s conclusion that Paulson committed employment misconduct.  The misconduct in this case consisted of providing falsified "cycle reports" to the employer and causing the employer financial loss for her personal gain.  As a result, the Appeals Court affirmed the determination of ineligibility.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first two cases are fairly typical because the affirm the rules (1.) that committing employment misconduct makes an applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits and (2.) quitting a job without good reason caused by the employer makes an applicant ineligible, unless that applicant meets an exception to the ineligibility rules.  The third case is unique because the applicant was represented by an attorney and the decision was reversed, but the reversal resulted in a denial of unemployment benefits.

1. A14-1303: Janvier LeViege, Relator, vs. U.S. Postal Service (FIC 732/Dest 1), Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s decision that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was terminated from employment for misconduct after twice failing to comply with the employer’s policy for reporting unscheduled absences. Relator argues that (1) she did not commit misconduct because the absences were covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and she complied with the FMLA’s reporting requirements; and (2) an additional hearing should have been allowed because she did not receive one of the employer’s exhibits until the hearing date. We affirm.

2. A14-1385: Angela Hofmann, Relator, vs. Minnesota Department of Health, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Angela Hofmann was a health department employee who quit her job after she could no longer meet the travel obligations of her position and her supervisor offered her 2 an extended medical leave of absence. The department of employment and economic development determined that Hofmann is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she did not fall into any exception to the statutory voluntary-quit disqualification provision, which provides that an applicant might be eligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant informs the employer of her disability and requests a reasonable accommodation, but the employer denied the request. Because Hofmann’s employer offered a reasonable accommodation based on the information Hofmann provided, we hold that the medical-necessity exception does not apply and we affirm.

3.  A14-1786: Jolene Van Wyhe, Relator, vs. Thermospas Hot Tub Products, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relater Jolene Van Wyhe brings a certiorari appeal of a determination that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits, arguing that the unemployment-law judge erred by concluding that she performed services 32 hours per week. Van Wyhe also asserts that the unemployment-law judge’s 2012 decision, which found Van Wyhe eligible for benefits under identical circumstances, collaterally estops him from now finding her ineligible. Van Wyhe further urges this court to reverse a fraud determination. Because an employee who is on call away from the worksite for 32 hours per week but not working is not “performing services” under the statute, we reverse, but do not determine the fraud issue because it is not properly before the Appeals Court.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.








 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first two cases deal with employment misconduct that makes an applicant ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.  The third addresses the issue of whether payments received from a former employer that are unrelated to the reason for termination meet the statutory definition of severance payments that delay the receipt of unemployment benefits.

1. A14-1269, Dan Delk, III, Relator, vs. Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. (Corp.), Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct, arguing that he did not commit misconduct by failing to work two scheduled shifts after his Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave ended. We affirm.

2. A14-1040, Paul C. Stepnes, Relator, vs. HOM Furniture, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.


Relator challenges the determination of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for misconduct.  The misconduct in this case was angrily confronting supervisors and co-workers on at least two occasions. We affirm.

3.  A14-1593, Robert R. Adams, Relator, vs. Select Communications, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.


Robert R. Adams was deemed temporarily ineligible for unemployment benefits because he received a separation payment from his former employer. He argues that his period of ineligibility should be limited because most of the money included in the separation payment is unrelated to his termination. We conclude that the entire separation payment is within the statutory definition of severance pay and, thus, affirm.


If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits issued this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first is noteworthy because it is a published opinion that defines a term -- "good cause" in the context of not participating in reemployment services -- that is not defined in the applicable statute.

1. A14-1487,  Patrick Hammer Fay, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Patrick Fay was eligible for unemployment benefits but missed a reemployment assistance services meeting. Respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) determined that relator was ineligible for unemployment benefits for the week that he missed the meeting because he failed, without good cause, to attend. Relator filed an online appeal and an unemployment law judge (ULJ) conducted an evidentiary hearing. The ULJ found that relator did not have good cause for missing the meeting and was ineligible for unemployment benefits for the relevant week. Relator requested a rehearing and the ULJ affirmed. Relator appealed to this court under Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(a) (2014).

DEED determined that relator needed reemployment assistance services and mailed relator a notice that indicated he had an appointment. The notice provided in bold and underlined typeface that: “Failure to attend will result in a delay or denial of your unemployment benefits.” Relator missed the scheduled reemployment assistance services meeting. Relator testified that he “put [the meeting] in [his] schedule and . . . simply missed it.” Relator also said that the meeting was easy to attend because he lived 500 feet from the building. The ULJ asked relator if he had any other facts to provide regarding the missed meeting and he responded that he did not. Relator attended a subsequent reemployment assistance services meeting.

The Court of Appeals noted that the term "good cause" in the context of not participating in reemployment services is not defined in the applicable statute.  Using the doctrine of statutory construction known as "in pari materia" (where an undefined term in one statute can by defined by another statute with similar intent), the Appeals Court determined that, in the context of having "good cause" for failing to participate in reemployment services, defined the term "good cause" as "a reason that would have prevented a reasonable person acting with due diligence from participating in those services."

After defining the term, the Court of Appeals concluded that relator did not have the requisite "good cause" for failing to participate, and affirmed the denial of benefits.

2. A14-1561, Carrie L. Zupko, Relator, vs. St. Francis Campus Credit Union, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she was discharged because of employment misconduct, arguing that the false representations she made at her supervisor’s request were part of a single incident and a good-faith error in judgment.  On one occasion, relator pretended to be from the credit union's accounting department..  On another occasion, relator reversed a loan transaction without proper documentation.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed.

3. A14-1806,. Jonathan C. Barnett, Relator, vs. Soligent Distribution LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges a final decision of an unemployment law judge (ULJ) affirming the earlier dismissal of relator’s appeal as untimely. Relator argues that, under the circumstances, the time allowed to appeal is unreasonable.  More specifically, Barrett argues that he did not receive the determination because he was attending a 12-week training in Texas and then attending his father's funeral.  However, as it has many times in the past, the Court of Appeals refused to make an exception to the strict rule that an appeal has to be filed within 20 days of the date of a negative determination.  Accordingly, the denial was affirmed.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  

 
 
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There was one decision on unemployment benefits issued this week by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The decision highlights the rule that intentionally disobeying an established company policy is employment misconduct -- a violation of the standards of behavior that an employer has the right to reasonably expect -- makes an applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits. 

A14-1075, Michael McCalister, Relator, vs. The Fresh Group Ltd. - Maglio & Company, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

 Relator Michael McCalister challenges the denial of his claim for unemployment benefits, arguing that the unemployment-law judge erred in determining that he was discharged for employment misconduct.  The misconduct in this case was using a cell phone on the production floor after repeatedly being warned that such behavior violated company policy.  Because sufficient evidence exists to support the decision, we affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued one decision this week on unemployment benefits.  The decision underscores the rule that employment misconduct renders an otherwise eligible applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Here is the summary:

A14-0947, Melissa Jungen, Relator, vs. Sanders, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this certiorari appeal, relator challenges the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) denying her unemployment benefits on the ground that she was discharged for employment misconduct -- a violation of the standards of behavior that an employer has the right to reasonably expect.. Because the ULJ did not err by determining that relator’s conduct of improper cell-phone use, poor attendance, and insubordination met the statutory standard for employment misconduct, thus rendering her ineligible for benefits, we affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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There were two decisions this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  Both cases highlight the rule that employment misconduct will make an applicant who is otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits ineligible for those benefits.

1. A14-1139, Kelly Smith, Relator, vs. Hoff Diamonds and Gems, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

This certiorari appeal is from an unemployment-law judge’s decision that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged from his employment for employment misconduct.  The misconduct in this case was an inability to get along with coworkers and using profanity on at least two occasions.  The employer  had a right to reasonably expect that relator would not use profane language while speaking with his coworkers in the workplace. Relator’s repeated use of profanity was a serious violation of this standard of behavior, and it clearly displayed a substantial lack of concern for his employment.  As such, the decision denying unemployment benefits was affirmed.

2. A14-0729, Jean M. Ritter, Relator, vs. Inter City Oil Co., Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s decision that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was terminated from employment for misconduct. Relator argues that the conduct that led to her termination from employment was a single incident and that the employer’s evidence was not credible.  In this case, the ULJ found that relator repeatedly made disparaging remarks about the supervisor and that she was repeatedly instructed not to do so.

The employer’s directives to relator that she could not continue to engage in unprofessional behavior and name-calling were reasonable, and the employer had the right to reasonably expect relator to follow the directives. Relator’s repeated failures to follow the directives were employment misconduct.   Accordingly, the decision denying unemployment benefits was affirmed.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 
 

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits issued by the Court of Appeals today.  The decisions all stand for the proposition that employment misconduct will make an otherwise eligible applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Without further ado, here is the summary:



1. A14-0659, DuWayne H. Fries, Relator, vs. Ozark Automotive Distributors, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment law judge’s (ULJ) decision that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct -- violating his employer's safety policy and guidelines for operating forklifts. He also moves to correct the record to include the corporate owner of his employer as a party to this matter. Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s decision that relator was discharged for employment misconduct, we affirm. Because substantial evidence demonstrates that relator was employed by respondent Ozark Automotive Distributor’s, Inc. (Ozark), we deny the motion to correct the record.

2. A14-0651, Murray Gushulak,Relator, vs. Boise Paper Holdings, LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Murray Gushulak twice attempted to take a shortcut walking through an area near his employer’s crane operation that was cordoned off by red tape. He knew his encroachment violated company policy. His employer discharged him, and an unemployment law judge determined that he is ineligible for benefits. Because the unemployment law judge’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and because Gushulak’s willful disregard of company policy constitutes employment misconduct, we affirm.

3.  A14-0853, Michael Rahier, Relator, vs. Valley Markets, Inc. – Hugo’s, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this certiorari appeal, relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) conclusion that he was discharged for employment misconduct and ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The misconduct in this case was violating the employer's policies by using the back receiving door when he was not permitted to enter and exit using that door, consuming food on the sales floor, and working on unauthorized projects at home.  We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  




 
 
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This week there was one decision on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The case highlights the law that an applicant is not eligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant was discharged for employment misconduct, unless an exception applies.  Without further ado, here is the summary:


A14-1168, Keith G. Lassiter, Relator, vs. The Bulldog Restaurant NE, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he was discharged for employment misconduct, arguing that (1) the ULJ failed to make the required credibility findings, (2) the evidence does not substantially support the ULJ’s findings, (3) the ULJ failed to adequately develop the record, and (4) his conduct reflects only an error in judgment.

Relator worked as a bouncer, and the misconduct in this case was physically touching a customer in violation of his employer's policy.  Relator had previously violated the no-contact policy and had been disciplined for it.  As such, the ULJ found that Relator had committed employment misconduct, and was not eligible for unemployment benefits.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the denial.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.