Upon submitting an unemployment benefits claim application, your state’s unemployment agency will review your application and interview both you and your former employer. Afterwards, they will make a determination of whether you qualify for unemployment benefits. Not everyone qualifies for unemployment benefits, such as independent contractors and volunteer terminations.

However, if you believe you have been erroneously denied unemployment benefits, you can request a hearing for an appeal.

The Appeal Process

Every state has its own appeal processes. Generally, an appeal takes place within 30 days of the denial notice. If you miss this window, you will have lost your opportunity to potentially obtain unemployment benefits.

Once you submit an appeals application, you will receive a hearing date. At the hearing, you are supposed to present evidence for why you should get unemployment benefits. This evidence may be in the form of paper evidence and even witness testimonies.

The burden of proof for unemployment claims is on the former employer to establish that there was misconduct. As the former employee, your duty is to present contrary facts. If the former employer cannot prove his case, then you win.

What If I Am Denied Again?

Depending on the state, you may have the opportunity to appeal for a second time.

Do I Need an Employment Lawyer?

Although you may attend an appeals hearing without attorney representation, many people choose to retain a lawyer because their success rate of winning is higher. An experienced employment lawyer will help you prepare what to testify on at the hearing, make sure the burden of proof remains on the former employer, and will cite legal case precedent that are in your favor.