When you lose your job and file a claim for benefits from your state’s unemployment compensation fund, the unemployment agency will review your claim and discuss it with your former employer. The agency may also interview you in person or over the phone.
After the unemployment agency completes the review, it will either grant your claim or deny it. If it is granted, you will begin receiving unemployment benefits. If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. The employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler may be able to help you with your appeal.
Why are some unemployment claims denied?
There are several reasons why unemployment claims might be denied. If the unemployment agency denied your claim, it may have found that you are not eligible to receive unemployment compensation because of one of the following reasons:
-You quit voluntarily.
-You didn’t earn enough money or work enough during the base period.
-You were fired for misconduct.
-You refused to accept a suitable job.
If you quit your job, you may still be able to receive unemployment benefits. People can receive unemployment benefits if they quit their jobs for a good cause. To qualify as a good cause, your reason for quitting must be compelling and job-related. You can also qualify if you are married to a member of the military and had to quit to relocate with him or her. Finally, another good cause reason is if you quit because of domestic violence.
If you were fired from your job, that does not mean that you will automatically be ineligible for unemployment benefits. However, if the reason that your employer fired you is that you engaged in misconduct, the unemployment agency may deny your claim.
All states have base periods for calculating unemployment benefits. If you did not earn enough money or work enough hours during the base period, you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits. If your employer did not correctly report your earnings, it may be possible for you to recover benefits, however.
After you have been approved for unemployment benefits, you can be denied later if you fail to meet the requirements for continued benefits. One of those requirements is that you look for work and accept any suitable job offers. If you turn down a suitable job, are unavailable for work, or fail to report earnings while you receive benefits, your claim may be denied.
Appealing a denial of unemployment benefits
All states have appeals processes, including New Jersey. If your claim for benefits has been denied, you will have a short period to file your appeal. In New Jersey, your appeal must be filed within 10 days of the date the denial decision was mailed to you or seven days from the date that you received it. You can file your appeal in person, by fax, or by mail.
If you appeal the denial of benefits, the agency may schedule a hearing. At your hearing, you will be allowed to present evidence to show that your claim should not have been denied. Your former employer can also present evidence at the hearing showing why the denial was proper.
If there is a dispute about why you left your job, you might want to bring in witnesses to testify. For example, if you quit your job because of ongoing harassment, you could bring in witnesses who saw what happened to testify on your behalf.
The person who holds the hearing is who will make the appeal decision. If you prevail on your appeal, you can continue to receive unemployment benefits. If your former employer appeals the decision, you can still receive unemployment benefits until and unless the claim is denied by someone else.
If you lose your appeal, you can appeal that decision to the Board of Review. The decision that you receive at your appeal will include instructions on how you can appeal to the higher level. If you disagree with the decision that you receive from the Board of Review, you can file an appeal with the New Jersey Superior Court.
Contact Swartz Swidler for help with your unemployment appeal
Losing your job can be scary. If you are subsequently denied for unemployment benefits, you might be uncertain about how you will make ends meet until you find a new job. Because there is a short period within which your appeal must be filed, you need to act quickly. Contact Swartz Swidler to schedule a free consultation by filling out our online contact form.