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How to Write an Unemployment Appeal Letter to Dispute an Initial Determination Disqualifying You From Benefits

How would I  write an unemployment appeal letter, if I were the one denied unemployment benefits, and didn't know yet, how unemployment laws could work, to allow, or stop my benefits?   

At last, an unemployment benefits question I don't really need specific details to answer .  Here's my unemployment appeal letter template to write a K.I.S.S appeal letter .. before you understand the burden to proving at a hearing.


When initially denied unemployment benefits, which let's just face it now, can happen erroneously .. a lot, it could of just been how you chose to answer one, or more questions during the initial unemployment adjudication claim phone interview .. among other things often out of your control during that phone call.  

Regardless of the outcome, it's good to know you are free to exercise your right to write a request for a lower level UI hearing (an unemployment appeal letter) that is non-self-disqualifying. 

Your request for hearing letter, becomes part of the record and is subject to individual state instructions, including timeliness of appeal. 

However, in most states to get the request done, you only need provide, a basic reason as to why you disagree with the initial non-monetary claim determination, that denied, or allowed benefits, which cited one, or more issues, that generally speaking, are the most common issues at a lower level unemployment appeal hearing and not a litany of irrelevant info .. including that which can be interpreted as self-disqualifying.

My opinion is the last thing a clueless claimant who is just thinking they've been denied erroneously, is an appellant who for some reason, or another, thinks it's time to argue their case in an appeal letter that serves as a hearing request letter.

Were you about to inadvertently, reveal things with a potential of revealing a totally untenable position to take in relationship to the burden of proof of the issue causing a job separation, or expose some potential weakness of your own in that burden .. for your former employer to exploit once at hearing, thereby making if difficult to impossible to win your unemployment benefits appeal hearing?

Please don't, as a rambling unemployment appeal letter carries with it the potential of frustrating me ..  even if your state allows me  to refer you to a  Professional Unemployment Hearing Representative.


Keep That Unemployment Appeal Letter Simple Stupid, But Ensure It is Received Timely by Your State Agency 

My advice is to set yourself up to prove your appeal was made timely.   You can create proof of a timely appeal by opting to fax, email, or mail the appeal letter, in such a way you can prove delivery, whether that be a date stamped copy of the email you sent to the state, a successful fax transmittal, or a mail delivery receipt. 

Claimants often don't think in terms of creating evidence, but that is the best way to turn words of testimony, into credible fact, or to discredit testimony.  But for heaven's sake, timeliness of your appeal should not be what brings your appeal down before it even begins.

Nor should losing an unemployment hearing by default when you can't appear for a lower level hearing when scheduled .. when just some proof of  a request for postponement, for a good cause reason, can be admitted into the record of a hearing that lists a non-appearance issue .. after you used that postponement request to request a reopening from a board of review to a hearing decision denying benefits .. should your postponement request be denied by the lower level appeal authority. 

My point .. once you decide to enter the unemployment appeal process .. you're playing the unemployment game according to state rules controlling procedures for administrative law hearings of that ilk, so  it's in your best interest to not only understand there are procedural processes, but how to use them to your own best interest while you wait for the unemployment hearing notice with the date you will be able to finally argue why your job was ended .. through no fault of your own .. whether you quit, or got fired.

Here's a bunch of FAQs about winning unemployment appeals, not to mention some ideas for using the rules relevant to state appeal processes .. to your own advantage.

Sample Appeal Letter For Unemployment Benefits

To Whom it May Concern,                                                                                                                                                             Date ...

I, (insert your name) am appealing the claim determination (insert mail date of the determ) denying unemployment benefits under (insert section of law cited in the denial).  

The reason for my appeal is due to the the initial determination being in error.  This letter serves as my request for a hearing be docketed and held where I will present information and or evidence to dispute the denial of benefits. 

(Sidenote:  Before you send an appeal letter, I would advise you to attempt obtaining a copy of your state claim file.  That would be the file created by a claim adjudicator (the gatekeeper).  It can definitely answer some questions you might be wondering about that could be relevant to directing how you prepare for your verbal argument at the hearing.  And please don't forget winning is about meeting, or rebutting  the burden that relates to what, how and potentially, if you need to  argue about the facts uncovered at a hearing, or in other words, why would you help an employer be the one who defeat your purpose for appealing.)

Thank You,

Chris - Unemployment Tips

last four of SSN

# that identifies your claim

Valid phone #

Current and correct address



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