Unemployment Insurance is paid to an individual (a claimant) who meets eligibility requirements under the law and regulations. When a decision is made about your eligibility for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you will receive one of the following letters via US Mail:
- Determination of Deputy – a Determination of Deputy provides a decision on your eligibility for benefits. This determination may be based on the reason your last job ended (your last employment prior to applying for benefits) or other eligibility issues that were identified when you first applied for benefits or during the time you filed your weekly claims
- Determination of Overpayment – You will receive a Determination of Overpayment if you were paid benefits to which you were not entitled.
If you disagree with a Determination of Deputy or Determination of Overpayment, you have the right to appeal and have a hearing. Your appeal rights are printed on both of these determinations.
Important: If you have been disqualified or held ineligible, you have an appeal pending and you remain unemployed, continue to file your weekly claims for benefits. If a determination or decision unfavorable to you is reversed as a result of the hearing and you are held eligible, you will be paid for only those weeks you made a timely claim for benefits and met eligibility requirements.
Note: While you can represent yourself at a hearing, you are entitled to have an attorney, paralegal, or other person represent you at your Unemployment Insurance hearing. The Office of Appeals does not have a list of attorneys to give to claimants. An attorney, paralegal, or other person who represents you can ask witnesses questions, make legal objections to documents and witnesses, and give a closing statement on your behalf. If you pay a representative, the person must be a licensed attorney or be supervised by one.
If you file an appeal and would like someone to represent you, the following groups may be able to assist you:
- ASU Law, Civil Litigation Clinic (Maricopa County residents only) 602-496-1717 or [email protected] (Only January-March; June-July; and September-November); or visit AZLawHelp.org
- Community Legal Services (Maricopa County residents) 602-258-3434;
- Community Legal Services (Yuma County residents) (928) 782-7511;
- Community Legal Services (Mohave/La Paz County residents) (928) 681-1177;
- Community Legal Services (Yavapai County residents) (928) 445-9240;
- DNA-People’s Legal Services (Coconino County residents) (928) 774-0653;
- Southern Arizona Legal Aid (Southern Arizona Counties) (520) 623-9465
Don’t delay! If you want to see if one of these organizations can represent you, you should contact them as soon as possible.
You must file your appeal within 15 calendar days after the mailing date of Determination of Deputy or Determination of Overpayment. Appeals that are filed late will generally be allowed only in cases of departmental error or misinformation, or failure by the post office to properly deliver the determination. Do not wait to appeal until you have proof to support your case; you will have enough time to gather evidence after filing your appeal.
There are several ways for you to file your appeal:
- Call the telephone number listed on the Determination of Deputy or Determination Overpayment to speak with a DES representative about filing an appeal.
- Be prepared to state why you believe the decision is in error.
- You may FAX or mail your appeal to the Department. Both the FAX number and mailing address are shown on the determination.
- You may submit your written appeal in person at any Employment Service Office.
For your convenience, you may use the Request for Reconsideration/Appeal (form UB-126) form or other method of your choice (typed and printed or handwritten). Attach a copy of the determination or decision you are appealing. Important! You or your authorized representative must sign your appeal. Your appeal must include your name and Social Security number.
At this time, the option to file an appeal online is only available to claimants. Be prepared to provide the following:
- Social Security Number
- PIN Number
- An explanation of why you believe the decision is in error.
The appeal will be processed and scheduled for hearing as soon as possible. A Notice of Hearing generally will be sent to you within 3 to 6 weeks from the date the appeal was received. Read it carefully, it will tell you the date, time and location of your hearing, the issue to be heard, how to participate in the hearing and give other important information about the process. Most all cases are scheduled for telephone hearings. An “in person” hearing does not mean that all parties and the Administrative Law Judge are together. The non-requesting party (this is mainly with separation issues where you as the claimant or your employer were not the party who filed the appeal) is given the opportunity to appear in person but they are not compelled to do so.
Requesting Special Accommodations for the Hearing
If you need an interpreter or have a disability that requires a reasonable accommodation (such as a hearing impairment which would require a sign language interpreter), the Office of Appeals will furnish an impartial interpreter at the hearing if you give advance notice by calling the telephone number on your Notice of Hearing. Requests should be made immediately to allow time to arrange the accommodation.
Registering for Your Telephone Hearing
You must register for your telephone hearing as instructed on the Notice of Hearing. If you do not register, you will not be allowed to participate in the hearing and the Administrative Law Judge may decide the appeal without your participation. You will receive a written decision which includes appeal and reopening rights. If you cannot attend the hearing at the scheduled date and time, immediately call the Office of Appeals at the telephone number on the Notice of Hearing to request a postponement. There are three ways to register:
- Click link to go to the C2T Online Registration System.
- Type the seven (7) digit appeal number (between the U and zeros). Example: If the appeal number is U-1234567-001 type: 1234567
- You will receive a confirmation number. Write down the number for future reference.
- Call (602) 771-9019, or toll free 1 (877) 528-3330
- You must speak to a Customer Service Agent in order to register for the hearing by telephone.
- DO NOT leave a message. Leaving a message will NOT register you for a hearing. You will not be able to participate in the hearing if you do not register.
- You will NOT receive a confirmation number when you register by telephone.
Registration is not required if you are scheduled for an in-person hearing (refer to your Notice of Hearing to determine if you are scheduled for an in-person hearing):
- You must arrive at least 15 minutes before the time of the hearing at the office location printed at the top of the Notice and register with the receptionist.
- If you are not in the office when the hearing begins the Administrative Law Judge may decide the appeal without your participation.
Your hearing will be conducted by an impartial Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Appeals. It will deal only with issues relating to Unemployment Insurance. The hearing is your only opportunity to present your case to the Administrative Law Judge who will decide whether Unemployment Insurance benefits are payable. When appropriate, the Administrative Law Judge will also decide whether such benefits should be charged against an employer's tax rate. You should be prepared to present firsthand evidence to support your position. Your testimony as to what someone else told you happened - hearsay - is not the best evidence. The Administrative Law Judge may admit hearsay but may not give it much weight.
The appeal will be decided solely on the basis of the testimony and evidence made available to the Administrative Law Judge at the hearing. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for the hearing. Your case file has only those documents that pertain to the issue(s) under appeal. These documents are compiled by the Office of Appeals when your appeal is processed. Copies of all documents in your file related to your appeal hearing will be sent to you with your Notice of Hearing. If you have questions about the documents in your file, please call the Office of Appeals and a Docket Officer will assist you.
- First read the Notice of Hearing. Read both sides and all of the attachments carefully. If you have any questions, call the telephone number at the top and ask to speak with a Docket Officer.
- Next, read the Determination of Deputy. It states why the Deputy ruled in one party's favor.
- Consider whether the facts, as you understand them, would lead to a different conclusion.
- Make notes of the events and circumstances as you recall them.
The determination also lists the law which the Unemployment Insurance Adjudicator applied to your case. A.R.S. means Arizona Revised Statutes. A.A.C. means Arizona Administrative Code. Copies of these are kept at most public libraries. They are also available on the Internet: Arizona Revised Statutes (Chapter 4 - Economic Security) and Arizona Administrative Code (Title 6 - Employment Security). If you have any questions about the law, call the telephone number at the top of the Notice of Hearing, and ask to speak with a Docket Officer. The Docket Officer cannot give you legal advice, but can answer general questions about what a particular statute or regulation means. Note: the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case cannot discuss the case except during the hearing.
- You have the right to testify on your own behalf at the hearing. This will mostly be in response to questions asked of you by the Administrative Law Judge.
- You have the right to question all witnesses who appear at the hearing.
- You have the right to present your own evidence, such as documents, records, etc.
- You have the right to make legal objections. You may object to the form of a question, or the admission of evidence. The rules of evidence for administrative hearings such as this are very relaxed. However, the Administrative Law Judge will exclude testimony or evidence which is repetitive, irrelevant or obviously unreliable.
- You have the right to make a closing statement. This is your chance to tell the Administrative Law Judge why you should win, based on the facts already presented at the hearing and the law that applies. It is not testimony. Generally, closing statements should be used to persuade the Administrative Law Judge to apply the law to the facts of the case in your favor.