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Appeals 101: How to Appeal an Unfavorable UC Decision

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

There are several points throughout the process of applying for Unemployment Compensation benefits where claimants have the ability to appeal a decision for further review.


After you file your initial claim for Unemployment Compensation benefits, the Department of Labor will issue an Unemployment Compensation eligibility determination. This notice will inform you as to whether or not you have been found eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If you are found ineligible, you have the ability to appeal the decision to the Unemployment Referee, who will review your application. Appeals must be filed with in fifteen days after you receive the notification.



If you appeal the initial determination, you and your former employer will go before an Unemployment Referee for a hearing. An Unemployment Referee is an individual who acts as a judge to re-examine the evidence of the claim that you have presented. During the hearing, you, your former employer, and the Referee will discuss the details of the case. Each party, whether the individual claimant or the employer, will be given the opportunity to present evidence related to the case, as well as testimony regarding the specific details of the issues at hand. The Referee will later issue a decision.


The Referee’s decision will either affirm or reverse the initial finding. If this decision is unfavorable, you, again, have the option to make an appeal.


This decision also must be appealed within fifteen days after you receive the Referee’s decision. Here, the appeal goes to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. The Board may or may not request a second hearing. If it doesn’t, it will only consider the testimony provided during the Referee hearing. If a second hearing is requested, the Board will consider both hearings in making its determination. Parties can also file written statements to the Board.


The determination reached by the Board of Review is final, and there are no further opportunities to appeal. It’s important to note that, while you are able to appeal unfavorable decisions, your former employer, too, can appeal any decision which it finds is unfavorable. Before appealing a decision, you should familiarize yourself with the standards of eligibility for benefits. Additionally, individuals can represent themselves, hire an attorney, or bring a third-party representative when going through the unemployment appeals process. It’s important to always present yourself in a calm, professional fashion so that you are viewed in the best possible way.

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