Let's Talk About Collecting Unemployment Benefits and
Winning Unemployment Appeal Hearings

Welcome to Unemployment-Tips.com.  I don't know everything there is to know about unemployment insurance benefits,  but I have enough experience in it to know a lot of employees are not aware that to collect benefits for any reason other than a legitimate lack of work claim (laid off)  they would be better off knowing how to avoid being denied unemployment benefits after the close of the first unemployment appeal hearing when they are still employees.


Failing that ideal scenario,  how about as early in the process as before, or while you're waiting for the process to catch up with your need for those benefits?

You may even benefit from our coaching, or representation services.  

I'm not telling anyone UI is rocket science, but for the unemployed person, it can be a short and very steep learning curve, that really does end for most after the first appeal hearing because their employers have expertise on their side.

But, you might benefit to know if someone like me could even help .. by checking out the the free articles and tons of unemployment questions asked by previous visitors

The overarching theme a state administrative law agency (unemployment department) is to find out if the unemployed person was a fault for a job separation.

But first, they make a determination to establish what your weekly benefit will be if it turns out you're not the party at fault and some of you think this "monetary determination means you get benefits.

No such luck .. because that would be too easy to receive this employer paid for partial wage replacement .. for basically forcing a person to quit, or firing them for something other than work related misconduct.

Your UI dept. is the neutral third party mandated by federal law to exist for the soul purpose of administering it's own specific UI laws to find the party really at faulty for the cause, or reason the moving party moved to end it.

One of the reason I believe a substantial number of unemployed people can't show themselves to NOT be the party at fault when they quit, or get fired .. is they seldom prepare to win the FIRST unemployment appeal hearing as an employee .. because if you did, I'm fairly certain a larger chunk of the total unemployed in this country, would be receiving benefits than the pathetic 26 percent indicated in the chart I generated at the USDOL


The First Unemployment Appeal Hearing is the End Game.. So Why Not Learn More About How to Win One?

I will assume you aren't looking for instant yes, or no answers from me as to whether you can collect unemployment because I refuse to promise rainbows that are dependent on the individual circumstances that led to the final incident of a voluntary quit, or discharge.

But I can explain before I ever know any details, it's usually the employee who need to learn how to avoid the mistakes of underestimating your role in defending or obtaining your right to collect benefits at the first hearing and the fact it's those mistakes that often make for a lousy chance of winning a second level appeal to a board of review.

I'm not saying I have an over active imagination an think all employees are deserving of benefits.  

I simply believe all at-will employees have an obligation to themselves to learn how to use the unemployment process works as well as their former employer if theu want .. need to receive their full share of the  fair and impartial shake mandated by the FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act).

Ultimately when the unemployment appeal playing field is leveled it is estimated there would be 35 to 40 percent found eligible to collect after the first unemployment if they knew what to focus on and what not to at the crucial first level UI appeal.

For your employers, winning often comes down to continual UI hearing experience.   Thousands of large and small employers also engage the services of TPAs (third party administrators) to manage every aspect of theunemployment claims filed against them while still under the jurisdiction of an unemployment department, also called an administrative law agency.

Proving, and disproving is the burden to show fault is the burden even an unemployed person is expected to understand but a meeting, or rebutting a burden is often a preconceived  offensive strategy that began in the workplace when documentary evidence was created.  For example, written reprimands and warnings about misconduct.

Which leads to a question of my own .. Why wouldn't employees counter document for their own benefit as an employee capable of weighting their own testimony at unemployment appeals.

To this end, I've answered thousands of questions about getting unemployment benefits which focused on the capacity to meet, or rebut  a burden of proof  for two very basic unemployment questions.

  • Can I collect unemployment if I quit my job?
  • Can I collect unemployment if I get fired from my job?

Focused because both are related to something we call unemployment laws .. what you really are asking about is ..

But the Q&As don't stop there, because you've  asked even more questions and answers that raised other issues I think may also matter to you. 

You too could see how the issues can be interconnected if you look at unemployment laws and precedent decisions resources.

Services for Claimants and Employees

The quickest path to getting urgent unemployment advice is by talking about your situation as soon as you realize you're in a situation.

But, any path you follow to learn how I think benefits and winning unemployment appeals work, may be best to learn while you're still an employee, if you are interested in gaining insight into how it can be made to work better for you, or an employer when you preconceive the strategies that work best.

Focusing on The Reasons for
Denials of Unemployment Benefits.

And the Burden Goes to the Moving Party  

The burden of proof in unemployment, refers to a standard of law called a preponderance. And the burden to prove good cause to that standard of law is assigned to the moving party.  

Good cause to separate doesn't always come across correctly at the initial determination phase. 

Whereas a first level unemployment appeal hearing is also called a full fact finder it doesn't mean you should wait to try to prove, or rebut a burden of proof at the initial determination process which is  based on the available information acquired by a claims adjudicator basically, a benefit gatekeeper.

They might show a little impatient with claimants who simply tell sad stories, which I can understand, but, if you understand what the unemployment burden needs from you to push the initial finding of fault to where it should ultimately land after a hearing, you're that much further ahead .. in that you proved it once already.

So, ignoring the reason you quit your job, you must prove it to be with good cause.

When fired, you will try to rebut what an employer say proves work misconduct


An adjudicator will usually issue two separate claim determinations on each new claim.

  • The monetary determination is the first and it explains the base period wages your weekly benefit amount is calculated on.  Yes, it's appealable.
  • The non-monetary which determines your initial right to benefits based upon the available information acquired from you and an employer.  Also quite appealable but for some reason not used nearly as much by claimants as it is by employers.

Suffice it to say, your approval, or denial of benefits at the initial level are both subject to a disagreement called an appeal letter.  If it's you that believes the department got it wrong, do the same thing my former employer did for their clients. ATS-it.

Appeal to save (ATS) Save what?  Your right to appeal and alter the initial determination of course.  

You'll have a small window of time to figure out how you will argue your way to benefits before the hearing is docketed.  Or, you may learn why the wiser course may be to withdraw the appeal and just move on .. to find your next job, career, or opportunity.

More About Unemployment Appeals





Work, But Learn How Unemployment Benefits Really Work .. In Case You Need Them

Free Questions and Answers About Collecting Unemployment

The Unemployment Questions and Answers About Applying the Burden for Your Own Benefit  

Now that you have a better idea about a burden  .. and why it is assigned to the  moving party meet the burden of proving good cause to move, it's time to see there's such a thing as an unemployment appeal argument to disagree with the claim gatekeeper's initial determinations.

Not to mention there are even more ways to fail at proving stuff .. because they don't call it a burden for no damned good reason.

Each individual unemployment claim for benefits requires the employer be notified and respond to your claim you lost your job through no fault of your own .. so those asking if the employer is told what you said on your benefit application .. a big duh to you.

But there is nothing like disagreeing with someone, or something to find out just how skilled you are at confronting the actual issue of law on an unemployment hearing notice.

Read the full disclaimer here:  Unemployment-Tips.com provides only information with the perpetual hope it may be potentially educational for those looking to find alternative advantages to the disadvantage of ignorance which denies benefits that might otherwise be yours.

How Do Employees Lose Jobs Through No Fault of Their Own And Not Collect Unemployment?

A state unemployment website might explain to you that unemployment appeal hearings are informal.  But informal does not mean that all first level appeal hearings aren't still quasi-legal proceedings of a state administrative law agency.

You can report your experience to Unemployment-Tips.com if you think you were given an impartial shake at your first hearing.  

Yet it's often too late and a lot more speculative as to whether even an unemployment expert can undo any damage made on the record of the hearing to support a valid appeal to a board of review.

Click here to find professional unemployment/employment services  - the earlier, the better.  

Expert representation is a highly underused service by claimants that has been shown to generally double the odds of winning a winnable case on it's own merits .. focused on the burden of course.

Let the DIY Unemployment Question Party .. Begin.

You need to know what the basics standard of law is a preponderance.  And a moving party must meet that burden to sustain GOOD cause to of been the moving party. 

I hate to break it to you, but unemployment appeals are not only a favorite, but a sound, quasi-legal maneuver a company I used to work for used all the time. 

Appealing an fighting unemployment benefits at a hearing was the name of the game I played and frequently, whether I could see the merits to justify an appeal, or not.

You could save your appeal rights also and  file an unemployment appeal using this generic letter 

Then take the time to investigate whether you actually lost your job through no fault of your own ..

And then of course, how it might be proven to show your former employer was actually at fault.

Good Cause to Collect
Unemployment Benefits 

Getting fired or being terminated from a job, should mean you're willing to explore the discharge from a perspective often not natural for an employee.  

It's a former employer who is required to meet an initial burden that relates the cause for firing you to a legal concept of work misconduct, but only when/if you file a claim for benefits.

Otherwise, a boss  doesn't need a good reason to fire an at-will employee, if they don't mind getting benefits is always contingent upon them being able to prove work misconduct.  Read more about getting fire and unemployment benefits

Good cause to quit a job on the other hand doesn't have a specific definition that spells out bad employer behavior justifying an employee to sever the at-will employment relationship with good cause  to collect unemployment.

But there are a few guidelines that can  help us wrap our head around what a good burden of proof might contain to receive unemployment benefits after quitting a job.  Read more about good cause to quit a job.

Avoiding the Tell-All Unemployment Appeal

An unemployment appeal is a letter - sometimes just a form - which signals your intent to disagree with a claim determination, or a hearing decision. 

What an appeal is not, is another chance to pour your heart out and just hope for the best. Read more about unemployment appeals and hearings.

Unemployment Questions and Answers

Questions about collecting unemployment benefits often ignore the basic burden that still has to be sustained in the event it comes down to a first level unemployment hearing. 

I answered thousands. before I started to categorize them under the basic burdens and issues below.

Can You Collect Unemployment If You Quit a Job?

Of course you can.  I know this because the possibility is included in all state employment security act (another name for unemployment laws) and I wasn't shy about reiterating why most who quit .. can't fulfill their burden of good cause to quit.

Read Questions and Answers About Collecting Unemployment After Voluntarily Quitting a Job

Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits When Fired

Sometimes it still amazes me how some employees can misinterpret their own work conduct being their fault, while others seem clueless that what they did as an employee reeks of intention or negligent irresponsibility.  Did you read the definition for misconduct?

Now ask yourself, "How will my employer prove I'm guilty of some part of that definition.. pr

Read Questions and Answers About Getting Fired for Misconduct, or Something Other.

Accepting, Refusing and Quitting Suitable Work

What is the opposite of suitable work?  Unsuitable of course and you're not required to accept what is unsuitable work before, or after you begin to collect unemployment benefits.

Accepting and not refusing, or quitting suitable is a conditional requirement to collect benefits.  However, what is suitable work for you as an individual is conditioned upon certain factors .. and some of the factors can be subject to certain requirements included in individual state unemployment laws.

Questions and  Criteria for Suitable Work

Unemployment Benefit for Temporary Employees

Timed for my pet peeve.

I will not deny that  temporary staffing agencies serve a  valid business to business purpose, in that they help other employers avoid the hidden costs to employ people .. such as paying an adjustable unemployment tax rate based upon an experience rating for unemployment claims paid due to no fault of the employee.

Enter the friendly temp staffing agency to take on this burden of paying employment related taxes.

These agencies basically rent it's employees out to other business.    Because it relies on a contingent workforce, a temp agency will incur a much higher UI tax rate than permanent employers because new "suitable" temp assignments will not always be available for all it's employees.

This leads me to what peeves me.  A lack of work claim is an indefensible claim for an honest employer.    

But for many temp agencies, a lack of work just means there is a need to get creative with new strategies that can be used to  deny benefits to it's contingent employees.

The resulting high tax rates  levied against staffing agencies has not gone unnoticed by the temp agencies themselves.  In fact, strategies resulted in SUTA Dumping Laws.  

But, like they say,  when one door closes ...

A number of state legislatures have written provisions into unemployment laws that benefit staffing agencies with special voluntary quit rules.  Such as when you don't call for a new  assignment .. usually within 48 hours of an assignment ending.  And many are not opposed to protesting benefits this way .. even if you did call .. because many temporary contingent employees can't prove they contacted their agency.

Learn More About Unemployment Benefits for Temporary Employment.

Unemployment While Going to School

The problem with unemployment benefits while going to school is a conditional requirement to be able and available to accept suitable work .. and of course to keep searching for a suitable job.

However, the treatment of students and those in re-employment training programs collecting benefits can vary widely depending on the state you're collecting unemployment benefits while in school, or training.

PS  I am not a WIA expert, but I do know something about A&A (able and available) issues and where to find provisional exceptions .. state by state.

Learn More About Unemployment Benefits While Job Training and In School

Qualifying Monetarily for Unemployment Benefits

Most unemployment claims are initially determined two ways.  First, you get what they call the monetary determination.  It qualifies you for the amount of benefits you can receive, based upon wages paid to you during your claims base period and determines the weekly benefit amount you will receiving if found otherwise eligible to receive benefits based upon the reasons for separation from a job.  Some people believe the first monetary determination means they get benefits .. If only it were really that simple.

Questions About Qualifying for Unemployment Benefits 


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