The act of appealing an unemployment benefits decision may sound intimidating to the average person, who may believe it’s like going on trial for your livelihood. The process can be less stressful if you are aware of what you need to do. It may bring you the benefits you need during a difficult time.
Filing the Unemployment Appeal in NY
You have the right to appeal any decision the state makes regarding your unemployment benefits claim. You an appeal the Monetary Determination, a denial of your claim based on separation issues or nearly any adverse decision. You will appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (UIAB).
The NY Department of Labor (DOL) will mail separate notices regarding your eligibility to file a claim. The state will mail the Monetary Determination notice first. If the state denies your claim on this basis, you can request a redetermination using alternative methods of calculation, or you may request a redetermination because you believe the DOL made a mistake. The notice will provide instructions on how to make your request.
The state will mail a Notice of Determination that addresses your overall eligibility. A claims examiner observes the reason for your separation from work and other issues. If denied, you will have 30-days from the mailing date on the notice to file your appeal. You must make a written request for the appeal and you must mail or fax the appeal to the UIAB.
The hearings are held in person and an administrative law judge (ALJ) will preside. The notice will inform you of the date, time and place of the hearing. Your former employer and any other parties with a legal interest in the case will receive notice of the hearing. They will have the right to appear and present testimony. The notice will inform you of the date, time and place.
If there is a scheduling conflict, you must notify the UIAB as soon as possible, and show a compelling reason for the need to reschedule. The ALJ will determine whether you’ve shown a good cause, and will notify all parties only if their is a change to be made.
You should also notify the UIAB if you need special accommodations to the hearing, like a translator or help with a disability. The state can provide these things for you.
Preparing for an Unemployment Appeals Hearing in NY
You have several rights regarding the hearing process. It is up to you to make sure you exercise them all and exercise them properly.
You have the right to have representation present. You may hire an attorney or an agent to represent you. NY modified the rules regarding attorneys and registered agents who represent parties for a fee. You and your representative should familiarize yourselves with these rules.
You may also represent yourself at the hearings. It is not necessary to hire anyone. Many represent themselves without difficulty.
You have the right to present any relevant evidence to help you prove your case. Some evidence, like written statements or video recordings, needs to be authenticated by the person who produced or appears in such evidence. Business documents, like time sheets or medical records, may be accepted by the ALJ if otherwise relevant.
The ALJ may request that you produce certain evidence at the hearing in the Notice you receive. You should gather that evidence as soon as possible, and inform the UIAB if you have trouble.
You may request a subpoena for evidence you believe you need, but find it hard to get, like documents in your employer’s possession. A subpoena compels a witness to appear at the hearing or a person to produce evidence. The ALJ decides whether to issue subpoenas.
You have the right to present witness testimony during the hearing. The witness should have first-hand knowledge of the issues to be addressed. They may have seen or heard something directly related to the case.
You may request a subpoena for a witness you believe is reluctant to testify.
You can search the UIAB website for old unemployment appeal decisions to give you an idea of how ALJs decide cases. This will help you prepare for your hearing and decide how to present your case.
What Happens During an Unemployment Appeal Hearing in NY
Arrive for your hearing several minutes early to allow you time to get your evidence and witnesses together. If you are significantly late, the ALJ may proceed without you or allow you to join if you can show a good reason why you were late.
If you miss the hearing and you asked for the hearing, the ALJ will allow the original determination to stand. If you did not ask for the hearing, the hearing will go on without you. If you miss the hearing, you can request a reopening of the appeal, but you must show a good cause.
The hearing will proceed like an informal version of a trial. You will testify under oath, sworn in by the ALJ. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their testimony, evidence and witnesses. Both parties will have a chance to question the other party regarding their testimony. The ALJ may question either party as they see fit during the hearing, and may do so to help illuminate relevant facts.
At the end of the hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to present a closing statement. The ALJ will adjourn the hearing and retire to make a decision. the UIAB will mail that decision to both parties.
If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal to Appeal Board within 20 days of the mailing date of the decision. The decision will contain instructions on how to file the appeal.
You can read the UIAB FAQ regarding filing appeals and your rights.