If your Ohio unemployment application has been denied, we have some tips and help with drafting your unemployment appeal letter. From the start, however, we should point out that obtaining an attorney to help with the appeal process will not only increase your likelihood of obtaining benefits sooner, but it may also help to prevent mistakes that cannot be corrected later in the appeal process.
When ODJFS requests information, or you have the right to appeal, the notices will contain a deadline. The penalty for failing to respond timely may be a complete denial of your benefits. Take these deadlines seriously and do not miss any.
Unemployment's first decision regarding your benefits is called a Determination. It is at this step that an appeal letter is required. Unemployment's second decision is called a Redetermination. That appeal should be as brief as possible, because the appeal simply triggers the telephone hearing.
Appeals can be filed online, mailed, or faxed. A disadvantage to filing online is that it is sent as a block of text with no formatting, which can make it more difficult to read through. There is also a character limit when filing online, although it may be good to try to keep your appeal brief anyway. Mailing is another option; however, with a fax it is delivered instantly and you will receive a fax confirmation that it was sent. Keep the fax confirmation in case you need to prove that it was sent later.
If you file weekly claims late, even during the appeal process, you may forever lose eligibility for that week. If the online system does not accept your claim, pick up the phone to call ODJFS to find out why and insist they take your claims.
The format of your appeal is not critical. A standard letter format will suffice. Here is a sample unemployment appeal letter template in Word.
Three things must be on your appeal: (1) Your name; (2) Your social security number, and (3) the Determination Number that you are appealing.
Sivinski Law Offices offers Free Initial Consultations. We additionally offer contingency agreements whenever possible, with no up-front fee. We collect a fee ONLY if we are successful in obtaining unemployment benefits that are owed to you. We also offer flat fees and hourly rates when a contingency fee agreement is not appropriate. Our goal is always to provide you with high quality representation to protect your rights. You have nothing to risk or lose by calling the Ohio Unemployment Attorneys at Sivinski Law Offices for your free consultation, so call us today before any of your unemployment appeal rights are lost.
The Determination will explain why your benefits have been denied. This is usually because ODJFS believes either the employer had just cause to terminate you, or you did not have just cause to resign. The Determinations also list the factors that were considered in coming to this conclusion. Stick to the rules, and explain when factors the Unemployment got wrong and why. Discussing tangents, such as why the decision seems unfair, will only dilute your arguments about the factors ODJFS believes are important.
As attorneys, our approach is to identify what the issue is, explain what the law is while citing to legal authority such as statutes and cases, explain how the law applies to the specific facts of the appeal, and conclude with an explanation that the law requires benefits to be paid in these circumstances.
Yours will not be the only appeal that the caseworker will review. They are limited on time that they can give to each appeal. Sometimes less is more, to ensure the caseworker is able to find and focus on the points they need to so they can rule in your favor. Do not risk diluting your important arguments by forcing the caseworker to search through your appeal for important points mixed in with pages that concern issues that will not be considered by them, such as conspiracy theories, how unfair you feel the determination is, and how you should get the benefits because you never applied for unemployment before.
The unemployment benefit appeal process does provide opportunities to obtain a determination in your favor, but you must have knowledge of the laws, the rules, and have the required tools to obtain and present evidence on your behalf.
The fact is, ODJFS does not operate based on what you know to be true, unless that truth can be shown to them, proven to them, and explained in a way that they can understand that Ohio statutes and rules require them to give you benefits.
The Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Sivinski Law Offices have the expertise and experience to navigate through the Unemployment Appeal process and to present the best case possible to obtain the benefits you deserve. It is a simple decision: If you want to increase your chances of obtaining benefits, take advantage of a free consultation with the Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Sivinski Law Offices.
If you have additional documents or evidence that can be submitted to support your appeal, do so. Again, however, be aware that flooding the caseworker with documents might work against you. The importance of a couple documents may get lost on the caseworker if they are mixed in with a stack of documents.
There are few excuses for submitting an appeal late. If you do file it late, you may never obtain your unemployment compensation simply because the appeal was filed late. At the end of each Determination a deadline is given. Be sure to follow the deadlines.
Do not be mistaken into believing that this is legal advice. These are simply guidelines that have been found to be helpful. Your circumstances may require a different approach. To increase your chances of obtaining a determination in your favor, contact us for a free consultation. We may be able to take care of filing your appeal, and representing you at each appeal step.
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Updated July 2017
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