Employees who separate from their companies may file unemployment insurance claims to collect benefits for a period of time between jobs. Sometimes employers do not agree that an employee deserves to be paid for terminating from the position. The state allows appeals of decisions and rebuttals to evidence submitted by either side before a determination is made.
Unemployment insurance is a federal program offering temporary payments to people who have lost their jobs. The program is funded almost entirely by employer taxes and administered by the state. Most employees qualify if they have not been terminated for misconduct or quit for no reason. Local offices review applications and determine if the claim is approved. Employers with more claims pay a higher tax for unemployment insurance, so it's in the best interest of some companies to prove that you do not qualify.
When you file a claim for unemployment insurance, your company is given an opportunity to respond. If management has evidence that you were at fault for the separation, it is provided to your unemployment office and considered when making a determination about your approval. For example, if there is formal discipline in your file that shows you were insubordinate to your supervisor and were fired, this could prohibit you from collecting benefits.
An appeal of the unemployment office decision may be filed by you or your employer within the time frame designated by your state, usually two to four weeks. The appeal is heard in person or over the phone. You can submit evidence to support your position. If you have good performance evaluations but were unexpectedly fired, place your reviews in your appeal file. If you have witnesses to support your case, ask them to testify at the hearing. Your employer will do the same and provide evidence to prove that you either quit for no reason or were fired for cause.
You and your employer may offer rebuttal statements or evidence during the appeal hearing. If your supervisor states that you arrived late every day, show copies of your time card or other evidence to prove your case. Your employer has the same opportunity, so make only true statements and provide documents or witnesses to back them up. Provide as much rebuttal evidence as possible because, if you lose, most states will not allow you to submit new information for your final appeal at a later date.
- State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Department of Labor: State Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- Inc.: How to Contest an Unemployment Claim
- Lawyers.com: Unemployment Compensation
- Nolo: Denied Unemployment Benefits--The Appeal Process
- Texas Workforce Commission: Unemployment Insurance Law--Qualification Issues
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.