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What happens after your claim for unemployment benefits is denied by the state unemployment agency?
File an appeal claiming that the agency’s decision was incorrect.
How can you file an appeal?
It is very simple.
There are two ways to file your unemployment insurance benefits appeal, one is to fill out the form available in your state employment department (available online- The disadvantage of filing online is that it is sent as a block of text with no formatting, making it difficult to read.)
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If you are unable to access the form or print a copy, the second option is to write a letter to the employment department informing them that you wish to appeal against the decision of the unemployment agency.
Forget about the form, the focus here is to guide you through an unemployment insurance benefits appeal by using a formal letter- The unemployment Appeal Letter.
An unemployment appeal letter is a brief statement of facts written by a former employer who has been determined ineligible for unemployment benefits to an employment department informing the department that he or she appeals against the unemployment agency’s decision to deny or reduce his/her benefits.
I believe that simply explaining what an unemployment appeal letter is will not suffice!
Let me walk you through what happens after you file your appeal so you know exactly what you’re doing.
- Soon after you have lodged your appeal through this letter the hearing will be scheduled (you will be notified 10 days in advance).
- You will be able to present any evidence you have that your claim should have been granted at the hearing (The same is true for the employer.)
- You might also be able to present witness testimony.
- The ALJ will decide your appeal
- If you win and are awarded unemployment benefits, you have the right to continue receiving them.
- If you are denied unemployment benefits at the hearing, some states allow for a second-level appeal (your employer can also appeal)
NB: The first decision regarding your Unemployment benefits is called a Determination. It is at this step that an appeal letter is necessary.
Unemployment’s second decision regarding your appeal is called a Redetermination– The letter is unnecessary here since the appeal can be handled through a telephone hearing.
Does a letter affect the quality of my appeal?
Certainly not! The quality of your appeal remains the same whether you use a form or a letter, and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider it effectively.
- Letter to increase the salary (guide + free template)
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How to write an unemployment appeal letter
An unemployment appeal letter is written in business letter format. Begin your letter with your address and contact information, followed by a date and the recipient’s address, salute the recipient and begin your letter by indicating that you are writing to appeal against the unemployment agency’s decision and provide the reasons. Sign off with “Sincerely,” followed by your signature and name.
The following are some common reasons that you may include in your appeal letter as your grounds of appeal:
- That unemployment agency denies or reduces your benefits
- That unemployment agency disapproves your training application
- The finding that you were at fault for causing the overpayment
- The denial of your request to waive repayment of the overpaid benefits
Note that the primary goal of your unemployment appeal letter is to notify the employment department that you are dissatisfied with the decision of the unemployment agency
So, in order to write an effective unemployment appeal letter, do the following;
- Include your name and contact information
- Include the date of the letter
- Include the department address
- Include your Social Security number.
- Include the name and mailing address of any representative.
- Make reference to the previous decision by including the Determination Number and claimant ID
- State the reasons for your appeal clearly
- Attach all necessary documentation including a copy of the decision you are appealing against
- Be simple and straightforward
- Maintain a professional tone
- Be honest
- Include any request for language assistance or special accommodations.
other useful tips to make your appeal letter standout
- Understand the applicable laws
- It is insufficient to state that you dislike or disagree with the Determination. When drafting the appeal, it is preferable to understand the laws and the rules that unemployment follows. I advise you to consult an experienced unemployment attorney for more help.
- Deliver to the proper address/means
- states provide the address and the means through which your letter must be channeled (Mail, fax by hand.) Make sure you follow that.
- If you have additional documents or evidence to support your appeal, please submit them.
- Follow the timeline, if not the deadlines
- You must continue to certify for benefits while your appeal is pending. If you are found eligible, you will only be paid for the periods you have been certified for.
Format of an unemployment appeal letter
The format of your unemployment appeal letter should be as follows;
- Your Address
- Appeal board address
- Subject line
- [opening paragraph]- A statement that you are writing to appeal against the agency’s decision
- [body paragraphs]- Grounds for appeal
- [closing paragraphs] – Insist that the decision of the agency is wrong
- name and signature
Sample of unemployment appeal letter
City, State, Zip Code
SENT VIA FAX (Fax Number)
Appeal board Office
City, ST ZIP Code
Re: [Your Name]
Determination No: [Your Determination Number]
Date of Determination [determination date]
Social Security No: [Your Social Security Number]
Claimant ID: [Your Claimant ID]
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter serves as my appeal to the aforementioned Determination. I request that the Determination be reversed for the following reason;
- The assertion that my employer was fighting my right to compensation because I voluntarily quit my job is completely false. They fired me and compensated me with one month’s salary. I’ve attached the documents to prove my claim.
I humbly request that you consider this appeal so that I may present the documents that support my claim. I am confident that my documents will demonstrate that my employer’s claims are false and that the decision of the [mention agency] is unjustified.
Enclosures: A copy of the agency decision, Severance Documents, and One Month’s Severance Pay Stub
Every state has a procedure for appealing a denial of unemployment benefits.
Generally, you must file your appeal as soon as possible.
State deadlines range from 10 to 30 days after the agency mails you a notification that your claim has been denied.
I advise you to visit the website of your state employment security department for more info.
List of employment security departments by state
The following are the state employment departments where you can learn more about unemployment benefits appeals and file your own.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia