How to File an Unemployment Appeal

What to Do if You Unemployment Claim is Denied

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If you have filed an unemployment benefits claim and your claim is turned down or contested by your employer, you have the right to appeal the denial of your unemployment claim. Here's how to file an unemployment appeal.

The process may vary depending on your locations, so check with your State Unemployment Office for guidelines on what to do when your unemployment claim is denied and information on how to file an unemployment appeal.

Unemployment Appeal Board Hearing

A hearing is an informal trial held before an unemployment appeals board and/or an administrative law judge. Based on the evidence presented a decision will be made on whether you are entitled to unemployment insurance benefits.

At the hearing, you, your employer and witnesses for either side may testify. Both you and your employer will have the opportunity to present evidence.

Before You File an Unemployment Appeal

Review the Process for Filing an Appeal
Instructions on how to appeal an unemployment claim denial will be listed on your State Unemployment Website. You may be able to file an appeal online, by fax, mail, in-person or on the phone.

Check the Calendar
In some states, you have a limited amount of time to appeal your unemployment claim denial and file an appeal. Claims filed after the deadline will not be considered.

When You File an Unemployment Appeal

Review the information on what you need to submit to file an appeal.

Be sure to submit all the information prior to the deadline for filing a claim.

Collect Supporting Documentation
Bring two copies of any written information you have available, including warnings, time sheets, contracts, medical records, contracts, and your personnel file. The more supporting documentation you have, the better chance you will have of winning an appeal.

Get Witnesses
If you have witnesses with personal knowledge of the circumstances leading to you losing your job, it can be very helpful. Bring the witnesses with you to the unemployment appeal hearing so they can testify on your behalf.

Consider Legal or Professional Representation
You may bring legal or other professional representation to the unemployment appeal hearing. If you hire representation, be informed about the fees and costs involved, so you can decide if it is worth the expensive.

While the Appeal Process is Taking Place

Keep Filing for Unemployment
Continue to file for unemployment payments as scheduled until you have gone through the appeals process.

Attend all Unemployment Appeal Board Hearings
Not showing up for an unemployment appeal hearing can be grounds for your appeal to be denied. If you are not able to attend, be prepared to provide documentation i.e. a doctor's note on why you can't be there and advise the board in advance, when possible.

Please note: This is general information on unemployment appeals, unemployment compensation,​ and benefits. Contact your State Unemployment Office for a determination on your specific circumstances and how to file an appeal in your state.