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Lower Authority Unemployment Appeal Hearings

When I began answering question about unemployment appeal hearings, I generally recognized somewhere in the question, what was important, so I could relate to a common unemployment eligibility issue.  How I answered, may, or may not of been relevant to the person's actual ability, to win an unemployment appeal hearing. 

Finding an argument was something I helped a lot of people with, at least once I knew enough facts to believe they had lost their job through no fault of their own.

But what I really wanted to do to feel like I was helping, was to offer referrals to professional reps, I knew who literally argued merits as merits should be related at unemployment appeal hearings.

Here's a few things I think a notice of a lower level unemployment appeal hearings would make me question, especially if I know why I lost my job through no fault of my own.

Is there an urgent need to research for merits to be used to argue why I was fired for something other than misconduct, Or why I voluntarily quit with good cause, attributable to the fault of the employer.

Do I think I have the ability to argue effectively and credibly about the facts relevant to the assigned burden of proof .. as that may relate to your job separation?

Can I protect my rights to due process during an unemployment hearing? 

Because unemployment benefits ignorance is bliss .. only until you begin to wonder how you're going to write an argument to a board of review for second chance appeal hearing.

I feel compelled to tell you why second chance unemployment appeal hearings are rare.

Sample Unemployment Appeal Letter .. For a Claimant

The point of this free sample appeal letter for claimants, is the sincere hope you won't self disqualify yourself with an untenable written argument for benefits, even before an unemployment hearing is docketed.

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Prepare to Win Your Unemployment Appeal Hearing by Meeting, or Rebutting the Burden of Proof

Most appellants get one shot at getting their lower level hearing argument right.  So, let me ask you, have you read your hearing instructions yet .. or followed up on any information found there, that might be helpful to you? 

A  tribunal, commission, or ALJ unemployment hearing is in fact, a fact finding mission.  The hearing is recorded.  The record establishes the FULL record of facts, both credible and incredible sounding, as well as any documentation, or evidence put into the record .. relevant to fault for the cause of a job separation, 

Winning, or losing means you  know what perspective you need to take when it comes to whether you must meet, rebut, the burden of proof for the central issue to of caused YOUR separation from a job .. even if that means knowing when to not say a word to let the moving party fail all by themselves.

Truth be told, it can be tricky business to know when it's best not to argue, if you want to help the unemployment appeal process do it's job correctly.

You should also be aware of your/our \ rights to due process during the hearing, otherwise you may never know  if someone is acting like they're willing to ignore a right .. you're blissfully unaware you even have. 

As for merits you may be able to use to help yourself.. I have some resources here .. and scatter throughout the many Q&As.


Why It's Important to Win the First Unemployment Hearing

Beyond a tribunal unemployment appeal hearing, if you don't win, there's always an appeal to the agency's higher appeal authority, usually called the Unemployment Insurance Board of Review.

Have you ever wondered what it is boards that review, review for?  Or how, or what you are now expected to know you should argue about.. in written format, some even call a written brief .. or maybe they mean a quasi-legal written argument  for the average do-it-yourself claimant.

I often call an unemployment department, a quasi-legal administrative law agency because it is and to drive home the point to claimants .. who only won this hearing if representing themselves when I worked on hearings for employers, somewhere between 25 to 30 times, out of every hundred hearings I coordinated (I was not a hearing rep, but a hearing coordinator).

I've always thought the answer to why this was so .. was obvious.  Experience is what you need to  represent yourself well, against the professional I contracted to rep the employer.   But how do you acquire a level of experience arguing about unemployment law should work on a case by case basis, when your goal may be more simple to never lose a job again .. through no fault of your own.

It's either a conundrum .. or more likely the intended proverbial rock and a hard place unemployment insurance appeal hearings put claimants in.

Unemployment Appeal Hearing Instructions .. Built-In Reality Checks 

To date, I haven't attempted to systematically link to all state hearing instructions for every state because I have a hard time keeping up with the free resource links.

But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea for you to read the unemployment appeal hearing instructions that come with every notice of hearing (NOH) .. especially, if you're somewhere near clueless about what goes on at hearings.


It's also 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 often goes out with phone hearing notices, but in states that conduct hearings in person, you have to go down to the appeal office.  Overall, a state claim file can provide some very good insights into why you were denied benefits based upon the available information, or why your employer has decided to appeal that you are receiving benefits.

If your state does not provide send the state claim file with the notice of unemployment hearing, I still advise a call to your state unemployment department to see if there is a way to obtain a copy of the state claim file .. before it is transferred to an appeal office.

An Unemployment Tribunal Hearing is a FULL fact finder proceeding.  The purpose of all first level hearings, is to establish a full record of facts by exploring the listed issues found on a hearing notice.  You have subpoena rights if you need an employer document, or a direct witness, relevant to proving, or rebutting the burden of proof .. no matter what some employee at the department might tell you .. problem with witnesses still employed, is they refuse to testify .. and it's generally isn't useful for an unemployed person to force a former co-worker to become a "hostile" witness.

And finally, take now of the standard of law is being applied to facts at unemployment appeal hearings .. This is not beyond a shadow of a doubt .. but to a preponderance of the evidence and testimony determined to be more credible by the finder of facts .. or the person in control of your FIRST lower level unemployment hearing.

Appealing a Monetary Determination of Benefits

Most of want I go on about is the second claim determination .. which is aka, the non-monetary.

But before you get the non-monetary, you will receive the monetary determination.  If you disagree with the monetary amounts qualifying you for the amount and duration of your weekly benefit amount, you need to appeal it separately from any other .. and timely.

The initial monetary determination at minimum will establish the base period used to qualify your claim, which can affect your highest earning quarter or even the validity of a claim before the separation is adjudicated.

So .. if you

Need answers about appealing unemployment monetary determinations .. I took my socks off just for you.

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

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

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

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