Losing a job can be devastating - especially in today's economy. Not only are more families needing more than one income to make ends meet, but it is also very difficult to find another job very quickly. A lot of people who lose their job turn to their unemployment benefits to help cover the bills until they can find another job.
However, not everyone is awarded these benefits. If you are denied unemployment, here are three tips to help you win your appeal.
1. File your appeal immediately.
As soon as you receive written notice that your unemployment benefits have been denied, you need to file your appeal. Each state has its own laws regarding how long you have to file an appeal for being denied unemployment benefits. Depending on the state you live in, you could have up to 30 days to file an appeal, but many of them give you less time than that. So, you need to pay very close attention to the date that is on your denial letter and file your appeal as soon as possible.
2. If possible, review your personnel file.
Many unemployment denials are the result of a former employer claiming you quit or were terminated because of misconduct. In many states, you have a right to see your personnel file from your former employer. Request a copy of the file be sent to you so you can review it. If there is anything in the file that the employer claims led to your dismissal that you dispute, make note of it.
The employer will need to prove that proper protocol was followed in notifying you of any bad behavior on the job. For instance, if they claim you were given a formal warning, but you never received it, you need to bring that up at your unemployment appeals hearing.
3. Show up to the hearing prepared.
Some people will hire an attorney to help them with their unemployment hearing appeal, but it is mostly unnecessary. As long as you do your research and you show up to the hearing well prepared to argue your case, you should do fine without an attorney.
Being well prepared doesn't simply mean you need to do the research. That means you need to have practiced speaking clearly so that everyone in the room can understand you. It won't serve your case well if the judge has to ask you to repeat what you say. So, not only do you need to gather all of the documents and witnesses to help prove your case for your unemployment benefits, but you also need to do several practice sessions with someone to help practice what you will say in court.