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Can I appeal a lesser monetary amount than expected on personal monetary suffering?

by J.S.
(New Jersey)

You just answered my question, but I have more questions. I understand how they arrived at my weekly compensation. What I'm trying to do is get back payment for those weeks (6/08-11/08) for which I stopped filing. I know that I was wrong to stop filing. However, my COBRA is $924/mo. Not to mention other normal living expenses. Can I appeal to their humane side to obtain back pay for those weeks. I am depleting my savings. My husband takes 9 perscription drugs per day. Health insurance is essential. Also, had I not been so stupid as to just stop filing, I would be eligible for those extensions. I know I'm grasping. But I'm sinking.



Hi J.S.

I do understand what you would like to do, but appealing to their humane side only works if the statutes allow it. For instance, if your wages appear to have been under reported.

It is a basic assumption by the states that if you file for unemployment...you understand even the repercussions of monetary eligibility rules for appealing.

I personally think this is sometimes, almost laughable considering the information state unemployment depts. publish, but this is not to say I still haven't seen decision after decision that states what they assume the average person knows when they file, or stop filing, only to learn later, they made a mistake.

To prevail you would have to show "good cause" for not continuing to file for those partial benefits. Just saying you were ignorant of UI law, or did not understand you should have continued to file for partial unemployment has no basis in law, for them to consider a late appeal for a good cause reason. Especially, since it's in the record now that you did have the information available to you in the bluebook, but did not read it until too late.

Unemployment appeals just can't be decided on an individual's emotional, or financial needs.

They may feel bad for you, but there is nothing they can do because the law won't allow it.


The point I'm trying to make to you is unemployment is not a "social entitlement program" but an insurance program paid for by employer paid UI taxes.

You may be able to find some relief for the medical situation through a "social program" such as Medicaid which is based on income as well.


But even my opinion, should not stop you from filing that appeal and if they decide to award backpay....please let us all know how and why they decided in your favor.

Chris

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Apr 01, 2009
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The sad state of New Jersey's unemployment website
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Hi Judy,

I just clicked publish on your update about what you're doing. I got a chuckle out of the Border Review" Only because because border review may be a more apt name for "The Board of Review".

I am in awe of your gumption and that the Govenor's office called you back!!! Ever thought of learning the New Jersey Unemployment system and becoming a hearing rep?? You don't have to be an attorney .. you know. Even the appeal tribunal hearing examiners don't. You could probably make a decent living repping claimants. Most lay hearing reps work on behalf of the other side.

Does it sound hopeful?? My gut instinct tells me no, but I guess weirder things have happened. So how do you make a good case for yourself that might hold water? If you'll please give me a day or two, I'll see if I can find anything that might help.

If you'll email me I'll send you links to anything I think might be helpful.

If nothing else, you could take the opportunity to tell the border review that New Jersey Department of Labor has done a crappy job of building a website and it's their fault for your predicament:)

If New Jersey (and quite a few other states) did a better job I wouldn't have started this website .. instead I would have one about one of my hobbies .. which I no longer have time for because I'm on an unemployment crusade.


Apr 01, 2009
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Update on appeal process
by: Judy Satero

After my letter of appeal was denied by the Judication Center, my next step was to send an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. As before, I faxed it and mailed it. I also wrote to my governor. This was on 3/26. The governor's office called today (4/l, and no, this isn't April Fool!) to ask questions. They in turn emailed the Appeal Tribunal who called me within 15 minutes. I explained the issue to the woman and she explained the whole unemployment system again and told me nothing could be done as I'd admitted to not reading the blue book of unemployment and had subsequently done everything wrong. Which you already knew. I explained that due to never having collected in the past, and the thorough explanations of the process by the agents when my casino closed, I honestly thought I was doing everything correctly. She was very nice but insisted nothing could be changed. I admitted my stupidity and explained that my husband had sort of done the same thing. She, like you, said people truly don't understand the system. But had I read the blue book....... Anyway, I told her I want to appeal the system. She told me to hold on and I could hear her discussing this with a man. She then told me my next step was the Border Review and that would take 6-8 months. She gave me her name and phone number and wished me luck, but not to be too hopeful. She called me back within the hour and told me she had scheduled my telephone hearing with the Border Review for 4/16!!! Does anything sound positive to you? And do you have any advice? I also want you to know that I think you're amazing to run this site. I read all your emails and you write like you're our friend. Your answers are easy to understand and you treat each case with respect.

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