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Appealing Your Unemployment Benefits Claim

Updated on November 23, 2009

Unemployment Appeals Advice

Many of readers out there are having issues with their unemployment benefits. Some dispute financial income being considered or not considered by unemployment, whether you have a right to a claim, are you entitled to extended unemployment benefits etc.

Once the agency has made its determination. You can appeal it by responding to it in writing within 30 days or so. What happens then is you are given an appeal hearing usually at a state office in your county. The hearings are legal but informal like in Small Claims Court, ie., there is no need for attorney and you can represent yourself. The hearing lasts not more than 15 min. The judge is an attorney appointed to listen to the claimant (you) and receive any evidence to support your argument. He will look it over, determine if the evidence is also supported by law governing benefits or extended benefits. You will know the result before you leave usually.

Sometimes the hearing is held over the phone. The hearing date can be changed if you have a good reason. If you have a serious issue about attending the hearing you may request a phone hearing. One good reason is that you live more than 50 miles from where the hearing is.

You can also send in your written Declaration under penalty of perjury, date and signed. The judge must have this before the hearing date. if you mail it, send it certified for a signature showing proof it was delivered. Be concise and clear in your statement not rambling or incoherent and stick to only facts, things that did occur or failed to occur. For instance, perhaps you work during the year as a 1099 (independent contractor) and W2 ( employee) status. Your claim can only be based upon W2 employment because that is reported instantly to the feds. A 1099 is not. It could be months after you file the claim that the income info becomes available to UIB. This may be a huge difference in your benefits or your ability to get extended benefits!

If you can go to the appeal hearing, do so. Unless the judge has your declaration, your case will be dismissed and that is the end of process and hope for you. Appeal hearings are recorded, the process is explained in layman's terms, both sides can ask questions or witnesses under oath and present exhibits of evidence to prove their point. If you speak no English, inform the appeals office long before the hearing date! Should you wish to cancel the appeal hearing simply call them and tell them.


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