Nebraska Appeals Process – What Happens When you’re Denied Benefits?
Should the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Unemployment Benefits Division deny your claim for any reason, you have the right to appeal that decision to the Department’s Appeals Tribunal. Your appeal, if granted, would resemble a court trial, but less formal. You’ll be able to present witnesses and evidence to help prove your case to the Hearing Officer, who will act as a judge.
The Department mails a Notice of Determination when it has denied your claim for benefits. That notice will give the reason why it denied the claim as well as valuable information regarding the appeals process. Read this notice carefully. Most importantly, it will inform you that you have 20 calendar days in which to file your appeal. That period begins on the date the Department mailed the notice, not the date you open the letter.
How to File Your Appeal
File your appeal as soon as possible. You may appeal online at NEworks or file a written appeal. You may use the appeals forms located at the Appeals Tribunal web page. You may also file a written appeal by Email.
When you file your appeal in writing, it isn’t necessary to make an argument or include facts. Just write a simple statement that you wish to appeal a decision, but you must include:
- Name and current contact information
- Your Social Security number
- Your former employer’s name (or company name)
- The determination ID (found on the Notice of Determination)
- A short statement regarding the reason for the appeal
Continue to file weekly claims while you are waiting. The Appeals Tribunal will notify you when it has received your request for the appeal.
If you file after the 20-day period has elapsed, you may lose your right to appeal. You will have to show the Tribunal a reason for missing the deadline before getting another opportunity. You will have to show the cause of missing the date was circumstances beyond your control.
Preparing for the Appeal
The Appeals Tribunal will mail a Notice of Telephone Hearing when it has scheduled your appeal. The hearing will be conducted over the telephone, so your notice will inform you of the date and time of the hearing.
You’ll also get a form you need to fill out and return. You’ll have to inform the Appeals Tribunal whether you have a lawyer, witnesses and other information relevant to conducting the hearing. Before you complete, sign and return the form, you’ll have to decide how you’ll proceed during the hearing.
Nebraska Appeal Tribunal
P.O. Box 98941
Lincoln, NE 68509-8491
Fax (402) 471-1734
Look for scheduling conflicts on your Notice. If you have one, you may request a “continuance” (rescheduling of the hearing date). You have until FIVE DAYS prior to the hearing date to request it. You will have to fill out and return a form. You will also have to show good cause for the request on the form.
If you need accommodations for an interpreter or TTY services, the Tribunal will provide these for you in most cases. However, you must request them in advance using a form.
You may have an attorney represent you at the hearing or a designated agent or friend. Many represent themselves at hearings without difficulty.
If you want to have someone testify at the hearing, they should be prepared to testify as to the facts regarding your separation from work (if that is the issue of your appeal). They should have first-hand knowledge about what happened. Character witnesses do not usually provide helpful testimony unless your character is at issue.
You may present relevant documents that can help prove your case. You can present paperwork regularly produced in the course of business, like time sheets or notices from your supervisor. Other written evidence should be presented if you can have the person who created the document present at the hearing.
The hearing officer may grant a request to issue a subpoena to compel a witness to appear, or some entity to present a document you need to make your case. You must make your request within at least FIVE DAYS before the hearing date. You may use the form provided by the Tribunal.
The hearing officer will determine whether the request has merit. The officer will look at the relevancy of the evidence and make a judgement on whether it is necessary for you to have the document or witness to make your case. There is no guarantee the hearing officer will grant your request.
At the Hearing
The hearing officer will conduct the hearing in a similar fashion to a court trial. The procedure is less formal, however. You will be sworn in and receive instructions from the hearing officer. Both parties to the hearing will present their testimony, evidence and witnesses under oath. Both parties will be able to “cross examine” the other party’s testimony and witnesses. Both parties may make closing statements.
The hearing officer will decide based on the facts presented at the hearing and an application of Nebraska’s unemployment law to those facts. The hearing officer will mail the decision to both parties. The hearing officer may reverse the original decision, modify it, allow the original decision to stand, or send it back to the Department for further review.
If you disagree with the hearing officer’s decision, you may appeal the decision. In Nebraska, the process is called “requesting reconsideration.” You will have 10 days from the officer’s decision date in which to make the request. You may fill out a form to make the request.
All the forms used by the Tribunal are locate at their site. You can find some additional forms under “attorney forms.”
Read the regulations the Tribunal follows
See the text of Nebraska’s Unemployment Insurance law