Is it common for employers to claim they never received the hearing notice for an unemployment benefits appeal?

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Is it common for employers to claim they never received the hearing notice for an unemployment benefits appeal?

The day of my hearing (which I waited 6 weeks for), my ex-employer simply claimed that he never received a copy of the hearing notice when he was called in to the telephone conference call. He demanded that the hearing be rescheduled so that he can have time to prepare and find an attorney. The hearing officer immediately granted his request to reschedule, and now I have to wait another 6 weeks for a hearing. Is this a common occurrence for employers to simply say they didn’t receive the notice?

Asked on February 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

Frank Avellone / Law Office of Frank G. Avellone

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For better or worse there is probably nothing you can do about this. The system is supposed to be sympathetic to at least the first request for a new hearing so that folks can prepare or seek the services of an attorney. After all, it could have been you who needed the new date.

That being said, if you were awarded benefits and the employer is appealing, then, in many states, you may be entitled to "benefits pending appeal."  Check with your unemployment office.  If this is not the case and you wind-up winning, then you'll get a large check retroactive to date of your original application (with the usual disqualification of the first week). 

In many states, including Illinois, the Agency hearing officers usually make a decision in less than a week after the hearing. The hearing (whether by telephone or in person) before the Agency Hearing Officer (or administrative law judge) is the MOST IMPORTANT stage.  All appeals beyond this stage are based on the evidence taken at this hearing with very little or no opportunity to add or correct evidence thereafter.  In short, if you think you need an attorney, now is the time. 


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