How Can I Appeal if My Unemployment Claim Is Denied?

If you've been terminated from your job, one of the first things you should do is file for unemployment compensation. Many people mistakenly believe that unemployment is a form of government welfare. In fact, it is a form of insurance and your former employer pays the ongoing cost of premiums as well as any unemployment compensation you're paid.

Why Are Unemployment Claims Denied?

Because your former employer foots the bill for your unemployment compensation payments, it's not unusual for employers to challenge a claim and argue that the claimant is not entitled to the money. When this occurs, your claim will be preliminarily denied.

Unemployment compensation laws vary from state to state, but a claim may be denied if:

  • You voluntarily quit your job
  • You didn't earn enough in wages or do enough work during the base period to qualify for unemployment
  • You were terminated for cause or misconduct

Appealing a Denied Claim

If you quit your job or you had insufficient earnings, you may not be eligible for unemployment compensation. But if you think your claim was wrongfully denied-for example, your employer says you quit but that's not true, or you don't think you were terminated for misconduct-you should appeal the denial.

The appeals process will vary from state to state.

In New York state, for example, the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board holds in-person hearings to review denied unemployment claims. In many states, a claimant and the employer will first submit a written appeal and an in-person hearing only occurs if the written request is denied.

Before appealing a denied unemployment compensation claim, hire an employment lawyer to guide you through the process. You may only have one chance to appeal, and working with an attorney will ensure that your appeal isn't denied because you've made a procedural mistake.

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