Utah Unemployment Appeal

Utah Unemployment Appeal

If you do not agree with the decision to deny your unemployment claim for Utah unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal. If you choose to file an appeal request, you will go before an administrative law judge for a hearing.

How to appeal Utah unemployment benefit denial

To appeal, you must submit a written claim outlining the reason(s) why you disagree with the decision. The best way to file an appeal is via the online platform at jobs.utah.gov/appeals. 

Alternatively, you can fax your appeal to 801-526-9242 or send it via mail to: 

Appeals Unit
P.O. Box 45244
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0244

Utah unemployment appeal hearings

After you file an appeal request, you’ll be sent a hearing notice that includes the information and documents used in the original decision. You must immediately contact the Appeals Unit to confirm your participation in the hearing, and provide a phone number where you can be reached during the hearing time. Failure to contact the Appeals Unit will result in the cancellation of your hearing. 

Read the notice thoroughly, because it contains crucial information on how to prepare for the hearing, including how to present evidence, documents, and witnesses in support of your appeal.

During the hearing, the administrative law judge aids all parties in presenting their case. Testimony is taken under oath, and the hearing is recorded, along with the documents presented as evidence, creating the official record of the hearing. 

Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will issue a written decision containing the findings of fact, reasoning, and conclusion based on the law. The judge may choose to affirm, reverse, or alter the department’s decision, and can even send the case back to the Utah Department of Workforce Services for further review.

How do I prepare for my hearing? 

Your hearing with the administrative law judge is your sole opportunity to present all essential details relevant to your case. To prepare adequately for the hearing, it is important to: 

  • Understand the issue(s) at hand
  • Thoroughly read the notice of hearing and all enclosed documents
  • Collect any necessary documents that can substantiate your claims, send copies to the judge and the opposing party, and be prepared to explain any technical terms, abbreviations, or symbols
  • Arrange for a witness or two who can provide support for your case to attend the hearing. Do not solely rely on written evidence from others as evidence. 
  • Create a list or summary of critical information to ensure that you recall what you need to present during the hearing.

Do I need legal representation? 

Legal representation is not necessary during the UI benefits appeals process. Most individuals represent themselves. If you choose to hire an attorney to represent you, you are responsible for paying any fees. 

What if I miss my hearing?  

If you missed a hearing, you may request to reopen the case by following the same appeals process. 

The request must be made within 10 business days of the hearing decision, and you must provide a justifiable reason for failing to participate in the hearing. Requests made after 10 days will need to show cause for the delay, while requests made after 30 days will require demonstrating good cause for the delay.

Collecting unemployment benefits during the appeals process

You will need to continue to file a weekly claim for benefits during the appeal process to maintain eligibility. Otherwise, you may not be paid for the weeks you were unemployed, even if the appeal is decided in your favor.

If you received unemployment compensation and your appeal was denied, you will be required to pay them back according to the state’s overpayment guidelines. Failure to repay an overpayment could result in unemployment fraud charges, and could affect future unemployment benefits. 

Further appeals

If you disagree with the administrative law judge’s appeal decision, you can appeal further by following the guidelines mentioned in the judge’s decision. Unemployment insurance appeals will be forwarded to the Workforce Appeals Board, while appeals regarding public assistance and training services will be handled by the Director of the Division of Adjudication or District Court.

What does the Workforce Appeals Board do? 

The Workforce Appeals Board is composed of three individuals selected by the governor. They are responsible for determining the correctness of the administrative law judge’s verdict on unemployment insurance matters. The board does not conduct another hearing, but instead, scrutinizes the records produced during the original hearing to make its decision. 

The board may either confirm, reverse, or modify the judge’s decision, or return the case to the judge for additional proceedings if the records are deemed inadequate. If any of the parties are unhappy with the board’s ruling, they may seek an appeal in the Utah Court of Appeals.

Employer appeals

It’s within your employer’s rights to contest a ruling that grants you benefits. If your employer appeals your right to benefits, you’ll receive a notification to take part in the appeal hearing. Should your employer’s appeal succeed in overturning the benefits decision, you may be required to repay any benefits received.

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