New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Appeals – Appeal to Appeal Tribunal

After the initial fact finding interview takes place, the New Jersey Department of Labor will issue a determination as to your eligibility or entitlement to New Jersey Unemployment Compensation benefits. After a determination is made, the claimant and employer have the right to file an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal from any such determination of entitlement. 

The appeal must be filed in person or by writing to a local unemployment office or the temporary disability service office within ten (10) days from the date the determination was mailed or seven (7) days from its delivery. If the appeal is not filed within the appeal periods, an explanation of why it was not filed within that time limit should accompany the appeal. An appeal that is filed late, without good cause, may be dismissed by the Appeal Tribunal. Appeals filed by mail should include the claimant's Social Security number, refer to the specific determination that is being appealed, and give the grounds for the appeal.

Once an appeal has been filed, an appeal hearing will be scheduled to take place before the Appeal Tribunal. These appeal hearings are normally conducted by telephone and with the employee, the employer and any witnesses participating by conference call. Witnesses may be presented by the claimant, the employer or the Deputy. Arrangements should be made to ensure the availability of any witness whose testimony is necessary for resolving the issues in the case. If witnesses refuse to appear, the Unemployment Compensation Law allows the Department of Labor to issue subpoenas at the direction of the appeals examiner, to compel the attendance of witnesses and/or the production of records and other documents.

An appeal hearing is an important proceeding because it will be used to determine whether your claim will be approved or denied. In addition, the approval or denial of a claim for New Jersey Unemployment Compensation benefits can be affected by many considerations including various regulations, laws and legal decisions that have been issued by the New Jersey Superior Court interpreting and applying the legal principles and rules that apply. During the appeal hearing, the employee and employer will be given the opportunity to make a closing statement or summation during which it would be beneficial to highlight the applicable legal rules, laws and case law to the attention of the Appeal Tribunal. In addition, other significant issues relating to the claim could be addressed and brought to the attention of the Appeal Tribunal in advance of the Appeal Hearing through a legal brief or legal memorandum sent to the Appeal Tribunal. Furthermore, during the appeal hearing, the claimant should be expected and prepared to cross-examine and question any witnesses presented by the employer and to present their own case by addressing the standards for eligibility of New Jersey Unemployment Compensation benefits that apply to their claim.

For these reasons, individuals applying for New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Benefits or individuals have applied for benefits and ben denied such benefits , may benefit from have legal representation by a New Jersey Unemployment Compensation attorney. It is important to understand that once a decision has been rendered by the Appeal Tribunal, it becomes increasingly more difficult to prevail in a subsequent or additional appeal because of the legal standards that apply to reviewing decisions made by an administrative agency. Therefore, although an individual does have the right and ability to file a further appeal from the a decision denying a claim for unemployment compensation benefits to the Board of Review, it would benefit the Claimant to have legal representation at the appeal hearing and before a decision is rendered by the Appeal Tribunal for a number of reasons, First, an attorney that has experi9nce in handling New Jersey Unemployment Compensation appeals should be familiar with any applicable regulations, rules or cases that may support your claim and can present your case to the Appeal Tribunal in way that you may not be able to do on your own. Second, once a decision is rendered by the Appeals Tribunal, any further or subsequent appeals will be limited to the information, testimony and documents that were presented to the Appeal Tribunal and the Claimant will not have the ability to render any additional testimony or provide any additional information, records or documents in any further appeal. Therefore, the first appeal, or the appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, maybe the most important appeal and opportunity that the Claimant has to challenge the wrongful or improper denial on New Jersey Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The Appeals Examiner’s written decision will be mailed after the hearing. The decision will contain a description of the pertinent facts, the reasoning at law, and a final conclusion. The decision will become final unless any interested party files an appeal in writing to the Board of Review within twenty days from the mailing or notification date of the decision. Appeals may be filed by mail or in the local unemployment claims office, and should include the reasons for appealing. It may be important to seek the advice of a New Jersey Unemployment Compensation attorney or lawyer with respect to an appeal filed with the Appeal Tribunal.

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