How to Win an Unemployment Appeal 

Fundamentally, an individual state unemployment appeal process is like everything else that is part of a state unemployment insurance benefits program .. full of questions that ask if you can win.

How the unemployment appeal process works may vary slightly from how other states do it,  but not so much any state can refuse to participate, or go off the rails entirely and not comply with wide guidelines based on the FUTA (federal unemployment tax act) .

Guidance on every aspect of running a program is promulgated to all states by DOLETA (Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration).

But because we live and work in fifty different states, some with their own labor departments, think of federal unemployment law as providing the minimum compliance requirements and employee protections and each state, allowed to run their own program can stick to those minimums to run their program, or expand the protections to the unemployed person.

This may be why in 2001,  DOLETA  began publishing a bunch of helpful tables called the  State Unemployment Law Comparison Charts

Each chartbook compares side by side how unemployment varies on a variety of common issues .. including this one for unemployment appeals to lower and higher authorities.

The Unemployment Benefit Claim Process - A Good Time to Learn About Unemployment Appeals

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 Unemployment 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