Has New York denied your request for unemployment benefits? If so, there is still time for you to persevere. You have the right to challenge a refusal of unemployment benefits in every state, including New York. You will be granted any benefits to which you are entitled if your appeal is successful. Benefits starting from the day your application ought to have been approved are included in this. One can also learn how to collect unemployment benefits in New York by following these steps.
In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explain some common reasons why unemployment claims are denied, how you can file an appeal, and what to expect at the appeal hearing.
For What Reasons Can You Be Denied Unemployment in New York?
The New York State Department of Labor will provide you a Notice of Determination if your unemployment claim is rejected (NYSDOL). The determination will give information on the appeals procedure as well as an explanation of why your claim was rejected.
Common reasons why unemployment claims are denied include:
Failing to Meet the Earnings Requirements
In New York (like in most states), you must have made a minimum amount of money during a 12-month period known as the “base period” in order to be eligible for benefits.
Quitting Your Last Job
You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own in order to get unemployment benefits. Therefore, you might not be eligible for benefits if you quit your work voluntarily and without sufficient reason. In New York, having “good cause” often refers to leaving your employment for a reason that would have motivated someone to resign even if they had a sincere desire to stay there.
Refusing Suitable Work
You must hunt for new employment and accept a suitable job if one is provided if you want to be eligible for benefits. Appealing a refusal of unemployment benefits isn’t always a wise idea. For instance, there is no point in wasting your time on an appeal if you just haven’t earned enough to qualify. However, if there is a question as to whether you had good reason to resign, you might want to consider making an appeal.
Getting Fired for Misconduct
If you were fired for misbehavior, you will not be eligible for benefits under New York law. For instance, you may not be eligible for compensation if you were fired for willfully breaking business rules or procedures. On the other side, you may still be qualified for benefits if you just weren’t the right fit for the position or lacked the necessary abilities.
How to File an Unemployment Appeal
You have 30 days to mail an appeal to the NYSDOL if your benefits application is denied. Be sure to quickly explain why you think you should be granted benefits when you file your appeal. You could say, for instance, “I was forced to quit because my doctor advised me that my job was endangering my health, and my employer was unable to grant my request for a reasonable accommodation or job transfer,” if the decision letter states that you were denied benefits because you were fired from your previous job for misconduct.
You must file weekly unemployment claims, hunt for work, and maintain records of your job search throughout the appeals process, just as you would have done if your application for benefits had been approved. Although it can seem like a waste of time, this isn’t. If your appeal is successful, you will be eligible for benefits going back to the day your application should have been approved, but only if you have been abiding by the standard benefit requirements.
Unemployment Appeal Hearing
A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge will be scheduled following the receipt of your request for one (ALJ). The date, time, and location of your hearing, as well as information on how to present witnesses and evidence, will all be included in the notification you receive regarding it.
During the hearing, the ALJ will examine the evidence, take testimony, and reach a conclusion regarding your appeal. The hearing is also likely to be attended by your employer, who might possibly be represented by counsel. You can also retain legal counsel to represent you. You should be prepared to provide all of the supporting documentation that demonstrates why you were entitled to unemployment benefits. You should provide any documentation that demonstrates that you were not fired for misconduct, such as a separation notice stating that you were laid off due to a lack of work, if there is any doubt as to why you were fired, for example. You might also wish to call witnesses to support your case, like a coworker who was let go at the same time as you and received the same information.
Be on time for the hearing and prepared with any witnesses you wish to present as well as your documentation. Make sure to give thoughtful, thorough responses to each of the ALJ’s inquiries. Both your employer and you have the opportunity to cross-examine each other’s witnesses and witnesses of your employer. You’ll have the option to provide a closing argument after all of the evidence has been heard.
The ALJ will render a written decision on your claim following the hearing. If your appeal is successful, there is nothing else you need to do. You have 20 days to mail your appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board if the ALJ rules against you. You must include a documented justification for your claim for benefits in your application. You can appeal the Appeals Board’s decision to the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, Third Department, if you disagree with it. How this appeal is filed will be determined by the Appeals Board’s ruling.
Next Steps After Appealing An Unemployment Denial
If you are considering an appeal, review the helpful FAQs on The Hearing Process page of the NYSDOL website. You can find information on deadlines, what to include in your appeal, how the hearing works, and more. To assist you with your appeal, you might also want to think about engaging a lawyer. At the hearing, your employer might be represented by counsel. If so, having legal representation will assist level the playing field. An attorney can conduct witness interviews, advise you on the best types of evidence to use, and make a case for why you ought to have received unemployment benefits.
However, you’ll need to weigh your potential benefits against the cost of engaging an attorney. You should be able to quickly consult with a lawyer to go through your case, learn your odds of winning the appeal, and discuss fees. It could make sense to engage a lawyer to represent you if you have a solid case and the costs are fair.