Question:   Should You Appeal When Denied Unemployment

When someone tells me, they were denied unemployment benefits, the first thing I usually ask is whether it was out of the gate with the initial claims determination, or after their employer appealed to a hearing .. which would mean a reversal of the initial determination allowing benefits. 

Next, I ask about the merits found in the separation from the job.

The level of an unemployment appeal ( the letter signaling  disagreement ) really does  matter to your chances for  correcting erroneous findings of  benefits by the claims department.

There are  two appeal levels within an  administrative law agency, otherwise called the unemployment department.

  • Appeals of the initial unemployment claims determination act as requests for a tribunal appeal hearing.   Tribunal unemployment hearings are your best chance for changing a determination which denied unemployment.  They are also your best chance to keep benefits when the employer appeals because the subject, or issue of the hearing is to explore the reason you're no longer employed through testimony, evidence and questioning.
  • Appeals of  a Tribunal unemployment  hearing decision go to a board of review (usually a three member panel).  The panel  meets to review appeals that believe the tribunal hearing officer's decision is in error, or defective due to a contrariness to a precedent decision, or arrived at by ignoring rules of procedure regarding your rights to due process.

Generally speaking, a  board of review is not allowed to entertain new testimony or evidence, but  can order a reversal, affirmation of the hearing officer's decision .. or remand the case back down to the tribunal level for a new hearing, or an additional hearing so you can offer new testimony and/or evidence.

Do you need to  let this sink in for a moment?

Basically, I'm saying .. if you have been denied benefits ... it's better to think of the tribunal, or first,  unemployment appeal as your only chance to get, or keep unemployment benefits because board appeals force you to know how your rights to due process might of been stepped on .. and if you known they were being stepped on, you would of objected during the first unemployment hearing to create a point of appeal for the board to review.

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