The Point  of an Unemployment Appeal is To Win an Unemployment Hearing


I know many of you didn't realize, whether and employee is denied unemployment, or allowed to collect, there is always a good possibility either you, or your employer will decide to disagree with an initial claim determination  and file an unemployment appeal.

But for the record .. it's more often than not .. the latter who habitually appeals benefits and they just can't be right all the time, for many reasons, but especially if you decide to prepare the facts that matter to how dispensing unemployment law is supposed to work at the first level unemployment hearing.

It's the first and only lower level unemployment hearing where the real record is established when both you and the employer get to put things on the record for real.

What happens on that recording of the first hearing is usually very relevant to how the second last chance appeal to an unemployment insurance board of review works out.

Fighting an Unemployment Denial?
How to Write a K.I.S.S. Unemployment Appeal Letter

If you've been denied unemployment .. all you need to do for the moment, is make sure you fill out the appeal form that comes with your determination, or simply follow this sample of a keep it simple stupid unemployment appeal letter. 

Make sure you get your appeal to the state as instructed and on time.

And if it were me appealing an unemployment denial, I'd also have proof I got the request for hearing in on time.   Maybe a fax transmittal, or certified letter receipt showing it was sent successfully .. for the just in case event the state tells you it was received untimely and adds a "timeliness of appeal issue" to the hearing notice.

The sample letter above does one thing I know can be crucial for the uninitiated.   It completely avoids common pitfalls claimants tend to dig for themselves .. given the letter is really, just requesting a  hearing because you disagree.  

Pitfalls?  If you don't understand why you were denied the tendency is to explain to much to much .. sort of like trying to pin a tail on a donkey you can't see after you been spun around enough to also be dizzy.    That sort of method of disagreeing, is at best, often an unfocused appeal, and at worst, exposes altogether, untenable positions that can be used to damage your argument once at the hearing.

Effusive appeal letters also used to make not only my job easier all those years ago when trying to hunt down the direct witness for some employers, but a hearing rep's.

Basically, I'm telling you that the first time you need to appeal .. it's sufficient to play what you know, or don't, close to the chest to avoid self disqualifying info.

My Employer is Fighting My Unemployment Benefits

Believe me, it's not a surprise for me anymore.  But just a best practice/strategy of many businesses, especially those who use an unemployment cost control company.

But it's what can be behind the strategy that often turns "best" into irksome when the reason for appeal is the hope you will default and not appear, or simply take advantage of what you don't know .. while a trained hearing representative for the employer blows smoke and tries to befuddle you into crying.

One rep once told me .. "You know what they say, when they're cryin, they may as well be lyin".

If your a employer has appealed and you have a winnable case .. and you do not want to receive an overpayment determination after the appeal hearing instruction you to repay all benefits received thus far .. or set up a payment plan, you need to prepare to either sustain, or rebut the burden of proof .. as if you were trained to think somewhat like a lawyer .. I know ugh! .. right?

I'm not saying a claimant will always have the facts and merit to win, but then this was the reason for accepting unemployment eligibility questions .. to ask them questions that matter.

But asking many of the same questions .. got old and why I now only provide professional coaching so I can help you prepare to win .. winnable appeal hearings.

Or, I can just refer some of you to a professional hearing rep who also worked for a cost control company like me, but instead of coordinating and prepping witnesses and docs only, actually represented employers.

But I think that kind of experience is a good thing to have in your corner fighting back against an employer because things get evaluated from all angles of the issue.

Identify the Appeal Issue

Identifying the issue lets you know whether you should be thinking about preparing in terms of rebutting, or sustaining the burden of having good cause

So, once again, you may want to read relevant Q&As specific to your eligibility issue.

Step Two: Get Your Emotions in Check and Request Your State Claim File

It's not not an employer that denies unemployment benefits .. it's the neutral state unemployment administrative law agency .. so it is rather important in some cases to figure out just what the employer told the state .. or possibly submitted to them in the form of documented proof with their initial response to your claim

In fact, when I coach someone already with a hearing date .. I want the appeal packet and if the state doesn't send this file with the hearing notice .. I tell them to request it lickety-split.

Point being .. how do you prepare better if you don't know what position the employer might of taken 

Your distressed emotional state can be an effective advantage for an employer .. so lose that instead, if it is holding you back from digging in to explore your issue for strengths and weaknesses from all possible angles.

To prep an effective quasi-legal argument, you need to be aware of specific merits that can alter the big picture and the final outcome.  

Objective reasoning skills help us see the unemployment appeal case to know why you can win, and what might need to be guarded against.

In other words you not only need to prep the facts and evidence for what makes it possible for you to win, but  to be ready to guard against what makes it possible for you to lose.

This process of viewing your issue from different angles is why there's always at least one question that needed to be asked to answer many of these general eligibility questions.

The Unemployment Claim Process - A Good Time to Learn More About Unemployment Appeal Processes

The first two initial claim determinations may of been enough to cause a huge sigh of relief, but they don't call them "initial" for no good reason.

Think of the claim process as step one, or the gatekeeper process and

Some of you may be having a hard time identifying where you're located in the overall unemployment process.  You need to do something about that.

It can be potentially dangerous to not know, given disagreeing with the unemployment claim department's initial determination of benefits isn't a good time to continue being confused if you really need to know how to win an unemployment appeal.

Confusion can be reduced,  when you read every stitch of information on everything you receive from an unemployment department.  

But the trouble with information .. it often leads to better questions you should be asking about your case for appeal.

Everyone applying for unemployment benefits has not only claimed they believe they deserve to receive benefit, but like this employer, is assumed to know it is their duty and responsibility to search for and uncover legal authority in support of their own appeal argument.

Anyone filing a claim is wise to know this very thing when coming in contact with three escalating authorities within an unemployment administrative law agency generally referred to as the unemployment department.

Q&As about Unemployment Appeals may help define what you need to do to prepare to win the lower authority unemployment appeal hearing, or explain why appeals to the higher authority often lack evidence of any preparation to win.

The Unemployment Claim Process

The unemployment claim section of a department could be called the gatekeeper section because after you submit your application for unemployment benefits, they go into action to deliver the first two initial determination on your claim.. in a timely manner and many of you think it's futile to appeal it.  

It might be futile, but then again, it might be erroneous because initial determination are based upon the available information .. not a full exploration of facts and evidence not presented at the deadline the determination must be made.

The initial determination only stands as the last word on your claim, until an interested party to the claim .. appeals for a first level unemployment hearing.


Appealing The Monetary Determination

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 .. but there can be other issues such with this determination that will require an appeal hearing to sort out.

Need answers about unemployment monetary determinations?

Appealing The Non-Monetary Determination

The second, or non-monetary determination is the one that throws people.  It determines your eligibility, or ineligibility to collect the benefit amount determined by the monetary based upon the available information by both you and an employer about the reason you're no longer employed.  Many of you think it effectively shuts the door on your possibility of collecting.

However, the most prevalent unemployment appeal of a non-monetary determination is filed by an employer when a person has quit, or been fired .. when compared to those of you who disagree and appeal when denied unemployment benefits.

Read questions and answers about non-monetary issues to appeal here.

Note: Some states stick an unavoidable step into their determination process which requires an aggrieved party to appeal an initial determination to appeal for a re-determination, also called a reconsideration  (Illinois) before getting to the lower appeal authority section.  Michigan, Illinois and Ohio most notably love sticking in this extra step that inevitably slows the process for disagreeing.

An Unemployment Appeal to a Lower Authority For a Hearing

All unemployment administrative law agencies have a lower authority appeal section. Although they call this section of the unemployment department different names like tribunal, or commission, all are subject to the same quality guidelines which includes conducting fair and impartial full fact finder hearings for all parties involved and many are quite separate from the claim department as a way to assure fair and impartial happens.

The first hearing establishes the record and is the last hearing to do so, unless postponed, continued, or the resulting hearing decision is successfully appealed to an Unemployment Insurance Board of Review, or in a few states, a person designated to be the higher authority to review lower authority hearing decisions.

Which basically makes the first unemployment hearing your last chance to tell your story and protect your rights to due process on the record  Which is in itself, a job not all of us won't be capable of doing for ourselves .. also for reason not really our fault because we may of never worked as a professional unemployment hearing rep.

Click here for Unemployment Appeal Services.

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?

But now that you've lost the first hearing you want to know what makes an appeal to a higher appeal authority work?

This is Why You Want to Avoid Needing 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 actually a second chance to explain your story, but to explain why you quasi legally, deserve a second chance to have another first level hearing.

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