New York Unemployment Appeal
What is an unemployment hearing?
An unemployment hearing is your opportunity to contest the Notice of Determination you received after you applied for NY unemployment benefits. You may be interested in contesting the weekly benefit amount, or the fact that your unemployment benefits were denied entirely. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case, as will your previous employer, before an Administrative Law Judge or ALJ. Depending on the nature of your unemployment appeal, a representative from the New York Department of Labor may also be present. Hearings in the state of New York are now conducted via telephone.
How to file an appeal in NY
You may file an appeal online by navigating to https://labor.ny.gov/signin and choosing Go to My Online Forms, where you will find a Claimant Request for a Hearing form. This form is also available at the back of the unemployment handbook.
You can mail the Appeal form to:
NYS Department of Labor
P.O. Box 15131
Albany, NY 12212-5131
You can also fax the form to 518-457-9378. You may also just write a letter explaining your appeal request, but be sure to include your full name and the last four digits of your social security number.
You must file this request within 30 days of the date printed on your initial Notice of Determination, not when you received the notice. Remember to continue filing your weekly claim benefits even after you apply for a hearing, in case your claim is vindicated and you are owed those benefits.
If you have any questions, you may call the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Advocate Office, Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM by dialing 855-528-5618. Note, however, that the staff at the Claimant Advocate’s Office cannot provide legal advice, nor can they represent you at a hearing. You are allowed to bring legal representation to the hearing or seek the advice of a lawyer.
If you need assistance securing this aid or finding pro bono representation, navigate to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board website and click on Helpful Information, then List of Attorneys & Authorized Agents, or call 518-402-0205 to secure this list. A legal aid society can direct you to a law office familiar with labor law and labor law standards that can provide discounted or free legal services.
Before the hearing, you should assemble every piece of evidence you can find to prove your New York unemployment eligibility. You should try to submit these documents to the ALJ via the contact listed on the notice at least 3 days prior to the hearing. However, you may discuss them on the day of the hearing, as long as you are able to furnish three copies for the ALJ. You may not submit any kind of documents after the hearing is closed, so if you are having a telephone hearing and bringing forth evidence for the first time, discuss with the ALJ how that can quickly be provided to them.
When will my hearing take place?
Hearings are scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. You cannot request specific times. If there is a specific time when you are not available, you should indicate that time in your initial request for a hearing and explain why you are not available. Hearings are generally scheduled two weeks after the Appeals Board receives your request, and are typically held within 30 days of your request.
You will receive a notice about the hearing (as will other involved parties) at least 14 days before the actual date. The Notice of Hearing will contain the date, and time of the hearing (by phone), along with your ALJ case numbers and special instructions about how to furnish documents or witnesses at the hearing. Follow these instructions carefully.
What if I disagree with the decision?
Shortly after the unemployment insurance hearing is conducted, the ALJ will communicate its decision about your unemployment compensation in writing. If you still do not agree with how your unemployment claim was resolved, there is another part of the UI benefit appeals process you can initiate.
If you do not understand the ALJ’s decision about your unemployment insurance benefits, you can 855-528-5618 for more information. If the decision about your appeal hearing is not sent to you within three weeks, you should contact the office of the ALJ on the initial hearing notice.
You may request a second appeal with the Appeals Board within 20 days of the decision, by writing to the Appeal Board at:
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
PO Box 15126
Albany, NY 12212-5126
You can also fax your written request to 518-402-6208. You must initiate this part of the New York unemployment appeal process in writing. In most cases, the Appeals Board will not request your presence at their review of the material. It may also take them up to three months to review your appeal. You do not have to, but you may request a transcript of your hearing as part of your process in appealing to the board by writing to the same address.
As mentioned earlier, from the time you fill out your New York unemployment application, you should continue to claim weekly benefits. If you win your appeal, you may be owed back benefits.