Applying for unemployment doesn’t always go smoothly. The forms can be a little bit confusing. Even when you think you have it under control, you might discover that the government denies your claim. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you can’t get your much-needed income support. Instead, you just need to know how to follow up. Here are five steps to take after an unemployment claim denial.
1. File Your Appeal Quickly
Each state has its own forms to file an unemployment denial appeal. Moreover, each state has different rules for how quickly you must file these forms. For example, you have 14 days in Texas but 20 days in California. In order to make sure that you don’t miss the filing deadline, you should file your appeal forms as quickly as possible after you receive denial.
2. Read and Refute Your Reasons For Denial
This is one of the most critical steps after an unemployment claim denial. You’ll be given one or more reasons when you receive the denial. For example, some people are denied unemployment because they didn’t pay income in the year prior to filing the claim. Another reason for denial is quitting your job; if you could be employed but choose not to, then you don’t qualify for unemployment.
The key here is to read all of the reasons given very carefully. Then make sure that you adequately refute each point when you file your appeal. For example, let’s say that you did work in the previous year but somehow had failed to submit the proper paperwork with your claim. Gather the paperwork. State in your appeal that you did work, how much you earned, and what proof you’re attaching to show this.
In the case of quitting your job, you might give a clear reason. For example, let’s say that you quit because you were harassed at the job and couldn’t bear it any longer. Explain this in your appeal. Add any supporting documents that you have documenting the harassment. Furthermore, explain that you’ve actively looked for work since. Add supporting documents for that as well. The more information you can give to refute the reasons for denial, the more likely your appeal is to be accepted.
3. Prepare For An Appeal Hearing
In some states, you might find that submitting the appeal is enough. However, you will have to present your information at an appeal hearing in other states. Even in states where filing paperwork can be sufficient, you should prepare for a hearing in case it goes that far. Preparing means that you gather all of the documents supporting your case. You might even want to prepare words that you’ll say when addressing the court. Then make sure that you know the date and time of the hearing, that you show up on time, and that you act as professionally as possible.
4. Should You Have An Attorney?
One of the steps to take after an unemployment claim denial is to hire an attorney to assist you. It’s up to you whether or not you want to do this. It certainly makes the appeal hearing go more easily for you. However, you obviously might have to pay for an attorney. (Do your research, though. See if a local agency will assist you with attorney services free of charge.)
5. Appeal The Appeal Decision
You’ve completed all of the steps to take after an unemployment claim denial. And yet, your claim is denied again at the first appeal hearing. You’re not done, yet. You can appeal one more time. Repeat the steps above, making an effort to bolster your claim with as much support as possible.
Keep diligent track of all records as you move through this process. If you genuinely believe that you’ve earned unemployment, then don’t give up! If you didn’t hire an attorney the first time around, you might want to do so now.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .