Filing an unemployment appeal is a process you want to avoid. You need to file an appeal if your initial request for unemployment insurance (UI) was denied and you believe you are eligible. UI, which is also called “unemployment compensation” (UC), is managed on a state level. This means state representatives at your unemployment office determine if you qualify for benefits. These are also the people you will need to be in contact with if you are denied benefits.

Unemployment claims can be denied for any number of reasons. When you receive your determination letter, it will explain why you were not found eligible to enroll in UC. It is important that you review this document to understand why you were denied benefits. If you believe your denial is unfair or inaccurate, you can begin the process to appeal it.

Am I qualified to submit an unemployment appeal?

You can submit an unemployment appeal if you are unhappy with the determination. There are no official requirements you need to meet in order to appeal a UC decision you disagree with. However, filing an appeal can be a process that requires different steps. In some instances, it could also mean that your UI office needs to contact your former employer. This can take time.

Therefore, it is important that you only file one of these requests if you believe the unemployment office made a mistake when issuing its decision. Otherwise, you risk devoting time to a case that will not result in you receiving any benefits. This can cause you harm, especially if you are ultimately denied benefits and do not have the funds you need to pay your bills or support your household.

Can my employer submit an unemployment appeal?

Just as you have the opportunity to appeal a UI determination you disagree with, so does your former employer. When the UC office’s decision is issued, both you and your previous employer will receive a notification.

If the unemployment office believes you qualify for benefits, the supervisor from your old job can disagree and appeal. He or she will need to supply support to prove their claim is justified. Keep this in mind, even if you receive an approval letter.

Do I need to go to an unemployment office to appeal my denial?

Just as there are various ways to apply for unemployment, there are different ways you can appeal a UI denial. States do not require you to file your appeal at a program office. In fact, each state determines which methods you can use to file your appeal.

However, there are usually several ways you can submit your request. Some of the most common methods you can use include:

  • Filing your unemployment appeal online. States generally have an option for you to file your UI appeal online. If you have access to a secure internet connection, this is generally the quickest, most efficient way you can file your appeal. Usually, you need to go to your state’s UI website to find this information.
  • Filing your appeal by mail. When your unemployment office mails your determination letter, it may include an appeal form in your materials. If you want to use this document to submit your request, fill it out and then mail it back to the appropriate office. This information should be included in your letter or on the appeal form.
  • Faxing your appeal to the appropriate office. In some states, you may also be able to file your appeal by fax. If this is the option you want to use, check with the state you are appealing in to make sure this method is available to you.


Keep in mind that you can use any of these ways to file your appeal. However, many applicants prefer to submit their appeals online because the hearing office will receive requests more quickly.

What do I need to submit with my unemployment appeal?

When you file your unemployment appeal, there is specific information you need to include. Otherwise, your UC office will not be able to process your request. State requirements may vary, but you usually need to include the following information in your appeal:

  • Your name and Social Security Number (SSN)
  • The date your determination was issued
  • The reason stated in the letter you received as to why you were denied UI
  • Your reason for appealing the state’s decision
  • Any supporting documentation or witnesses you want to be considered in your appeal hearing


If you need an interpreter to be with you during your hearing, you should also include this in your appeal letter. If you are using your state’s official appeal template, there will be places where you can include this information in the document.

However, your unemployment office may also allow you to submit your appeal using your own letter. If you decide to use this option, make sure you include all of this information.

How long do I have to submit my appeal to the unemployment office?

When you submit an appeal for your unemployment claims denial, there will be a deadline you must meet in order for your request to be processed. Usually, this is 30 days from when your determination was sent to you. Keep in mind that if you receive your determination by mail, this will be different from the day you received your letter.

If you file a late appeal, you risk having your request denied. Therefore, it is important that you stay on top of the appeals process and make sure your information is submitted on time.

What happens after I file my unemployment appeal?

After you file your unemployment appeal, you need to wait for your request to be processed. Within a short period of time, you should receive correspondence from your hearing office regarding next steps. In any case, the letter you receive from the hearing office should include the following information:

  • When your hearing will take place
  • How your hearing will be conducted (phone or in person)
  • Witnesses and employers who will be involved in the hearing


Once you know when your unemployment appeal hearing will take place, it is important that you prepare for this conversation. An administrative law judge (ALJ) will likely conduct the hearing. Be sure to review your information so you are prepared and confident when you explain the reasons you have for filing your appeal.