What You Should Know About An Unemployment Appeal
If you are attempting to file for unemployment, but your original claim was denied, you may have the option of filing an appeal. The following information can be helpful, as it explains the different reasons unemployment is denied and what you will do during the appeal process.
Possible Reasons You Were Denied
Before you start filing the unemployment appeal, you should be aware of the common reasons why you might have been denied. You may identify with one or more of these reasons, which can give you a place to start when it comes to re-filing your claim for benefits. You may have been denied because:
You quit your job - Unemployment benefits are not meant to protect you if you choose to quit your job without a good reason. There may be some valid reasons to quit a job voluntarily and still receive benefits, but you will need to contact your local employment office to find out exactly what reasons can be accepted. Make sure you are honest when filing your appeal about why you left.
You didn't work enough hours - Benefits for unemployment is based on the number of hours you worked and what you made at your last job. If you only had your job for a short period of time or didn't have enough cumulative hours during the base period, this might be why you were originally denied unemployment benefits. It is more difficult getting benefits for short-term jobs or part-time ones.
You were fired for bad behavior - Misconduct is not usually a good enough reason to get unemployment benefits. This will depend on your local employment laws, but it often includes misconduct like stealing from the company, sexual harassment, or violating your company policy.
There may be other reasons you were denied unemployment benefits, but these are the most common reasons. Talk to your lawyer about these and other possible reasons why you might have been denied.
The Appeal Process
Now that you have narrowed down why your claim was denied, you can start to file a new claim, called an appeal. With your appeal, you should explain why you deserve unemployment benefits. It helps to have a lawyer that specializes in employment law. Make sure that when you receive your denial letter, you note the date of the appeal. It will give a date you have to get it filed by. They will not be flexible on this so make sure the appeal is filed on time.
If they also included the reason for their denial, that helps you when filing the new claim. It gives you a good starting point. For example, if they claim you didn't work enough hours but you know you did, you can gather up your pay stubs and any other documents showing your work history to show you in fact did work the minimum amount of hours they require.
Part of the appeal process also includes attending an unemployment hearing. There will be a neutral third party at the hearing that looks at the denial as well as your new claim. Before the hearing, gather any witness testimonies that are relevant to your case. If there was a dispute between you and your employer and you believe that led to you being fired, you can get witness testimonies from your co-workers that show you were not showing any misconduct. This can be very helpful in your case.
Regardless of why you were denied, make sure you consult an attorney. They can handle the new claim and hearing to hopefully get you the unemployment benefits you deserve.