Filing An Unemployment Appeal  

Search This Site

An appeal letter to an initial unemployment claim determination, whether to disagree with the first determination regarding monetary issues, or the second determination having to do with non-monetary issues regarding eligibility to collect unemployment, is the very thing that initiates the unemployment appeal process, which lead to a hearing called a full fact finder to fully explore the  reason for disagreement via testimony  and relevant evidence connected to the burden of proof.

It doesn't matter whether you appealed, or your employer did, any evidence should be intended to prove, or rebut something having to do with the burden.

So, Do Not Write a Disqualifying Unemployment Appeal Letter

For some reason claimants when denied unemployment benefits, don't appeal as often as an employer do when someone receives benefits.  Probably has a lot to do with the fact it's employers, not employees who pay unemployment tax. 

But when claimants do write an appeal letter they often demonstrate a willingness to spill their uniformed about unemployment insurance law guts, all over what merely needs to be sufficient to get a first level hearing scheduled.

So, with this, here's a Keep It Simple Stupid unemployment appeal letter.

Now You Should Prepare Your Evidence, Or at Least Learn What Argument Suits the Circumstances.

If I'd been paid an extra nickel every time

  • I reviewed worthless docs 
  • Submitted relevant documents as evidence for an employer 
  • Requested a postponement, or continuance for the witness I identified as being a direct witness,
  • Hired a non-attorney hearing rep to present the case 
  • Heard a story from a supervisor that concerned me for an employer's chances of winning

It still couldn't of eliminated the sick feeling I got when I realized that what could matter just as much, if not more was an under-represented and unprepared unemployed person without the first clue they too are expected to know how to prepare and win on the issue .. not emotional pleas to need those benefits.

So, while I still had a job working through the recession, I answered questions about unemployment appeals and hearings hoping what I had to say might help and once in a while make a difference when the outcome was in fact .. all about the claimants ability to prepare well and represent themselves to the best of their quasi-legal ability to win the first appeal, before things came to a board of review appeal.

An Unemployment Appeal Has Some Built-In Reality Checks

The first unemployment hearing is in real terms, your last chance to get, or retain unemployment benefits.

But many unemployed people have feigned they were ignorant of the fact that if they lose the first unemployment hearing by default when they fail to appear for the first hearing .. it couldn't be their fault.

The process of unemployment appeals goes hand in hand with some lesser known rules of administrative law procedures for conducting a first level hearing.

Even these types of rules that include rules of evidence, vary by state.  But hey you have the basic hearing instructions that come with a notice of hearing .. maybe those rules have a "url", or web address.

For a claimant to be fully prepared to represent themselves effectively they should consider obtaining a copy of their state claim file before filing the appeal, when this is possible.  if not, when you get the hearing notice you should request it immediately to get insight into how and what your former employer told the state, or provided them via documentation.

it can also be a revealing to review the claim adjudicator notes as some say, they differ from what happened during the initial interview.

The point of filing an appeal for unemployment benefits .. is to get away from determinations based upon the available information and to finally and fully present the most credible story that meets, or rebuts a burden and the standard of law used at unemployment appeal hearings called, a preponderance.

Fighting an Unemployment Denial Begins With a K.I.S.S. Unemployment Appeal Letter

If you've been initially denied unemployment .. all anyone need do to protect their appeal rights is write an unemployment appeal letter to meet the appeal deadline on every initial determination.

My suggestion if you're a claimant who doesn't know if, or how you will win is to .. keep it simple stupid and then research your issue more deeply by finding relevant case law.

Make sure your hearing request is sent in a verifiable manner to the state and this mean using the instruction found on all claim determinations.  

Verifiably is in case timeliness of appeal becomes an added issue on a hearing notice.  Always nice to have evidence handy to prove an appeal was sent timely.

Some states send an acknowledgment when the appeal is received.

Many states after receipt of your appeal letter, send an acknowledgement to you and any other interested parties to your appeal. (Acknowledgements usually include a copy of the appeal letter.  Handy too, if you are not the appealing party.)

In case you need to know more about appeals, or representation at a hearing you can check out our unemployment services here.

Or try the free Q&As about UI Appeals.

Identify and Explore the Issues Listed on Your Unemployment Hearing Notice.

This is easy, the issues of law related to the appeal are listed on a hearing notice.  However, in some states you will need to be on top of identifying whether a relevant issue is missing.   Could be something as simple as a state omitting the issue of an employer's timeliness of appeal, or a non-appearance issue if they missed the last hearing?  

It can depends on the state, but well worth your time to investigate and find your state's rules of procedure for administrative law hearings..

Appealing a Monetary Determination of Benefits

The initial monetary determination at minimum will establish the base period for your claim, and there they find the highest quarter of earnings in to establish how much unemployment benefits you will receive each week.

I don't know about you, but I think how much unemployment will pay is an important issue and one that any erroneous departmental errors causing a smaller weekly benefit amount for any reason needs to be assessed and appealed when necessary.

Need answers about appealing unemployment monetary determinations?

The Last Chance Appeal to An Unemployment Insurance Board of Review.

Do you have relevant evidence, or testimony you believe might of helped you to win the first and usually last lower level unemployment hearing?

Why didn't you have it prepared to submit for the first hearing?

But now that you've lost the first hearing you want to if have what it takes for a successful appeal to a board that reviews hearing decisions and possibly for procedural mistakes made by a hearing officer.


This is Why You Want to Avoid Having to Appeal a Hearing Decision to an Unemployment Board of Review

You  should want to win the first unemployment hearing because winning a second level board of review appeal isn't  a second chance to explain your story of job loss, but to explain why you quasi legally, deserve a second chance to have another first level hearing to do that.

Board appeals aren't always difficult.   Often used by employers for things, like asking for a reopening, so they can show good cause for non-appearance at the first hearing.  I've personally spent a great deal of time  .. doing just this .. requesting postponements for employers as a method of protecting their right to due process because it improves the odds for a reopening and another lower level hearing.

But, when both parties appear for the lower level hearing, a board appeal is usually disagreeing with a hearing officer .. or their decision.

For this, you need a good written argument (called a brief in some circles) pointing out the H.O's errors and defects made on the record by the hearing officer who was also mandated to conduct the first unemployment hearing fairly and impartially.

So, let me ask you, do you know when to object on the record?  Do you know you can make a request during the hearing for continuances so you might obtain evidence you know will help explain your position .. and verbal argument made at a hearing.

There's more to preparing to win the first hearing than spilling your guts at one .. you have to learn how to tell your story in a way not common to most of us.  As if you knew what happens at administrative law hearings and the laws that should be applied in your case.

More Related to Unemployment Appeals

Literally any reason you can be separated from you job, whether you think it isn't your fault, or an employer thinks it's all your fault is subject to being fully explored at the FIRST unemployment appeal hearing .. and therefore employees in the "new" and rapidly changing labor markets of today .. have at much at state to know how UI works as well as those who employ us.

Unemployment Law  It contains the issues found on all appeal hearing notices.

Sample Appeal Letter For a Denial of Unemployment - Instead of writing an untenable short story.

Frequently Asked Appeal Hearing  Questions

Unemployment Hearing Reps and Employee / Unemployment Coaching

Unemployment Tips Home