Winning An Unemployment Appeal

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If you're looking for pat answers about winning an unemployment hearing .. you'll have to find somebody else to serve you.

Winning any lower level unemployment appeal hearing is what I know is contingent on fully exploring for the credible facts, relevant to the meeting the burden of the cause responsible for the separation from an at-will employment, being credible enough to receive, or deny unemployment benefits.

And the hearing decision is made, regardless of what the initial claim determination said about benefits .. based upon only the available information at that time.

The UI appeal process begins when a claimant, or employer opts to exercise their right to write an appeal letter to an initial determination with the purpose of getting a hearing on the docket so that information and any additional evidence, or testimony not available during the claim process, can be added to create the record used for any further appeals.

The sample appeal letter is for a claimant who may want to protect and save their right to appeal, while step back and figure how and why their disagreement may have validity .. or time to think about hiring a professional hearing representative, or unemployment attorney for the first level hearing .. instead of waiting until they lose.

I know without  doubt, winning the first hearing is a crucial point in the unemployment process for a claimant, or employer.  What I mean is you are nuts to not be prepared and expect you can then be successful with a second level appeal.

Q&As about unemployment appeals indicate to me what unfamiliarity with the appeal process often causes.   Especially, when there was a lack of understanding about what these hearings are for.

Representing yourself well can be a big learning curve to first understand how to best represent your side of the story adequately, and with the intent of avoiding the need for a written argument to a hearing decision for an unemployment board of review.

It doesn't take long to learn if the factual elements you think are important are a strength to be exploited, or a weakness you may need to be guarded against, and prepared for, during the hearing.  

To improve an overall ability to win an unemployment hearing, it is just as important to be prepared to know what not to say, as it is to know when you should say something on the recording of that hearing to object on your own behalf because both employees and employers have a responsibility to know when they are in a position to protect their rights to due process.

This is often what a board of review looks for .. errors made with how the hearing was conducted that made it less than fair, or impartial for at least one party despite the fact you made an attempt to remind the hearing officer of a right to due process.

Objection .. Objection, Objection.

How to Write an Unemployment Appeal Letter for a Denial of Benefits

For some reason when employees are denied unemployment benefits many lose their way from the moment they apply for benefits.  It also happens to new employers confused by all the best, but conflicting methodologies to fight unemployment benefits.  

Yet, what I've read in claimant appeal letters reveals that employees often give no thought to the fact that unemployment benefits .. are not really an entitlement .. until you expose the correct and valid argument based on something found within UI law

Here's a Keep It Simple Stupid  unemployment appeal letter if you are appealing a denial of unemployment, if you need help avoiding providing self disqualifying information to the unemployment department .. and of course, the employer who will be notified and receive a copy of your appeal letter.

Unemployment Appeal Hearing Instructions Offer a Built-In Reality Check

To date, I haven't attempted to systematically link to hearing instructions in all states,  because they often change and  I can't imagine anyone not understanding it's sort of necessary to read the instructions that come with every unemployment hearing notice .. especially, when you're clueless about what goes on at hearings in the first place.

But then, depending on the merits or just ignorance of how hearings work, it is why my strong suggestion that being represented by a professional at the hearing improves your odds substantially of winning a tribunal unemployment appeal hearing .. most often conducted by phone in a large number of states. 

Here's some tips for how I would begin preparing.

It's good to know what information was made available during the initial process. A state agency's keeps a file on your claim to include all that information gathered from both a claimant and employer during the initial claim process.   The file should also include the adjudicator's notes, because frequently, it's good to get some much needed insight as to what you said .. and what they wrote in their notes about what you said.

If your state does not provide the state claim file prior to the notice of unemployment hearing, or does not transfer this claim file to the appeal section of the UI department,  I would advise you still call your state to find out what you have to do to obtain a copy of the state's file on your claim. 

The first unemployment appeal hearing, is referred to as a FULL fact finder proceeding for a reason.  The purpose of all first level hearings, is to fully establish the record about the listed issues found on a hearing notice.  You have subpoena rights .. for documents, or witnesses relevant to proving, or rebutting the burden of proof .. no matter what some employee at the department might tell you.

And finally, understand what  standard of law is being used at unemployment appeal hearings .. because it's not beyond a shadow of a doubt .. but a preponderance of the evidence and testimony provided at the FIRST unemployment hearing.

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