Louisiana Unemployment Appeal
If you disagree with a decision about your Louisiana unemployment claim, you have the right to appeal. By appealing, you request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Understanding how to move through this legal process effectively is key to overturning an unfavorable decision. Your former employer can also appeal and request a judicial review of your UI benefit claim.
How to File an Appeal
To initiate an appeal, you need to act within 15 days of receiving either a Notice of Claim Determination or a Notice of Overpayment.
The only way to file an appeal is online through HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), which is part of the LouisianaWorks website. You are no longer able to submit your request by fax or mail.
Appeal online at louisianaworks.net. Log in to your account and choose “File an Appeal” from the menu under the Unemployment Services section.
Important: Keep filing your weekly claims during the appeal process. You can collect all that money if you win your appeal (and you’ll lose it if you don’t).
What happens next?
After you’ve filed your Louisiana unemployment appeal, you’ll typically have a hearing over the phone. Be sure to update your phone number with the Clerk of Court at least one day before the hearing. The number for the Appeals Office is 1-800-256-8023.
The hearing usually takes place three to four weeks after you file your appeal. You’ll get a notice in the mail about the hearing at least a week before it’s scheduled. This notice will list the time, date, and phone number for the hearing, as well as the issues that the Administrative Law Judge plans to cover.
Reasons for filing a Louisiana unemployment appeal
Filing an unemployment appeal in Louisiana is an important step if you believe that the initial decision about your unemployment insurance benefits was incorrect. It’s an opportunity to make your case in a more detailed manner before the Appeals Tribunal.
Here are some common reasons why you might consider filing an appeal:
- Denied Unemployment Benefits: If your application for regular unemployment benefits is denied, an appeal provides a platform to challenge the denial. You might have been let go from your job for reasons that shouldn’t disqualify you from jobless benefits.
- Discrepancies in Benefit Amount: Sometimes, the unemployment compensation you’re awarded may not match your expectations. If you think the Louisiana unemployment calculation is incorrect, you can file an appeal to correct the benefit amount.
- Overpayment Notice: Receiving a Notice of Overpayment can be stressful, especially if you believe it’s not accurate. Overpayments happen due to an honest mistake, or it could be the result of unemployment fraud. Filing an appeal allows you to contest this overpayment notice, and possibly avoid having to pay back the amount.
- Employment Security Issues: If you believe you were wrongly classified as ineligible due to misconduct, an appeal can help you establish your eligibility. This will involve presenting evidence or testimony that refutes the allegations against you or proves you quit for good cause.
- Issues with Weekly Benefits: You may face interruptions or reductions in your weekly benefits due to various issues with your weekly claim, such as part-time work, failing to perform weekly work search requirements, or some other issue with your eligibility for Louisiana unemployment compensation. In such cases, you can use the appeal hearing to ensure you don’t miss out on the benefits while you’re out of work.
Should I hire a lawyer?
You can attend the hearing by yourself, or you can bring a representative, like a lawyer or a friend who can help present your case. Once the hearing starts, the judge will swear everyone in and then ask questions to figure out the facts.
Preparing for the hearing
Before the hearing, it’s smart to get your case in order. Write down key points, gather any necessary documents, and make sure you have them ready. You can even request certain documents from the Louisiana Workforce Commission if you think they’ll help your case.
If you think witnesses might help clear up facts that are in dispute, you can involve them. But if the facts are straightforward, witnesses aren’t usually needed.
Submit any important documents that may help your case during the hearing. Include doctor’s notes, time cards, or other pertinent records. If you require a specific witness or document to substantiate your claims, the judge can issue a subpoena. To request a subpoena, send a written request to the judge a minimum of three days before the hearing.
After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a written decision to all parties. Expect to receive this decision by mail within three days after the hearing.
What if I disagree with the judge’s decision?
If you don’t agree with the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge, you still have options. You can file an appeal with the Louisiana Board of Review. Make sure to do this within 15 days from when you get the judge’s decision in the mail. Follow the instructions that come with the decision notice.
Let’s say you’re still not happy – even after the Board of Review makes its decision. You can then take your case to the state district court. Just like before, you have a 15-day window from when you get the Board’s decision in the mail to file another appeal. The directions on how to do this will be with the decision notice from the Board.
The Louisiana unemployment appeal process has different levels to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. Keep an eye on the mail for any written notices and make sure you act fast to meet all the deadlines. If you have general questions, call Louisiana unemployment customer service.