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NBI SEMINAR MATERIALS: When is it Important to Fight an Unemployment Compensation Claim

I  had the great opportunity to lead (perhaps “teach”) a continuing legal educationseminar hosted by the National Business Institute.  The subject was “Human Resource Law From A to Z” and I had opportunity to speak on Unemployment Compensation.  I was joined by other capable attorneys who each had their own topics to present.

Although NBI published the materials, I retain the ownership of the portions I wrote, which I will post here in this blog.

Copied below are the materials I wrote for the section entitled “When is it Important to Fight an Unemployment Compensation Claim.”



When is it Important to Fight an Unemployment Compensation Claim

As mentioned above, it is not atypical for an initial claim for benefits to be denied.  Two parties can contest an application for benefits: the employer and/or the Department of Labor.

When a claimant applies for benefits, the employer is alerted and is given the opportunity to supply the Department of Labor information about the claimant.  Often the information provided by the claimant matches that of the employer, but sometimes it does not, which could trigger a finding of ineligibility for the claimant.  Other times, the employer specifically provides information to the Department of Labor in order to prevent a successful application for benefits (e.g.: detailing the willful misconduct which led to the termination), which also typically triggers a finding of ineligibility.

There are times when the employer does not provide anything to the Department of Labor (or the information it provided agrees with the claimant), yet the claimant is still found ineligible.  In these cases, the Department of Labor makes a determination based on the application itself and, based on that alone, the claimant is determined to be ineligible.  For example, if the claimant has insufficient benefit weeks, and/or his application makes it appear he quit voluntarily, and/or he has a medical condition rendering him unable to work, then the Department of Labor could determine the claimant to be ineligible based on the information provided on the claimant’s application alone.

When a claimant is found to be ineligible for benefits (or when an employer’s ex-employee is found eligible) and one disagrees with the determination, one has a right to appeal the decision.  As noted above, it is critically important to file the appeal (via email and/or facsimile and/or mail) by the appeal deadline listed on the Notice of Determination, otherwise the appeal will be dismissed without consideration of its underlying merits.

It is almost always important to “fight” (e.g.: appeal) an adverse unemployment compensation determination.  Obviously, a claimant should appeal an adverse determination in order to secure benefits for himself.  An employer should appeal an adverse determination order to keep its costs down by avoiding paying out benefits for the claimant (more on this below).

A timely appeal of an adverse unemployment compensation determination leads to a hearing before a referee.

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