Unemployment Appeal Process
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Nevada Legal Services may be able to assist you if you have been denied benefits or your employer has appealed the determination granting benefits. We may represent claimants in administrative hearing before the Appeals Referee and on appeal to state court.
The Nevada Department of Employment Security will interview you and your employer to determine if you are legally "at fault" for losing your job. The terminology that is used is "discharged" for misconduct" or "voluntary quit". If you lose your job for either of these reasons, you are not eligible for benefits. Whenever you lose your job, you should apply for benefits, as these determinations are highly factual, and you have nothing to lose by applying.
You should apply for benefits whenever you become fully or partially unemployed. This does not include any time that you are on paid vacation from work. At the time you apply, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- The names, addresses, and dates for your last and next to last employer; and
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, proof of your immigration status.
The benefit amount that you will receive depends on how much you have earned. Generally the range of the weekly benefit amount is from $16.00 to $301.00. The benfits will end after 26 weeks. If you are living in Nevada, but earned your wages in another state, you can file an interstate claim. If you have worked in more than one state, you may file a combined wage claim.
If you are eligible to receive unemployment compensation, you should start receiving a check within 2 to 3 weeks after filing the initial claim.
Sometimes your initial applications for unemployment compensation will be denied. If this happens you can protest your denial. You should immediately request a hearing. You have to put the request into writing and sign it. You have 10 days from the date the initial determination is mailed to you, or given personally to you, to request a hearing. The request is considered filed on the date it is received by the Employment Security Office if deliverd by hand, or if it is mailed, the postmarked date on the envelope. All of these dates are shown on the notice.
At least seven days prior to the hearing you will receive a notice that should contain the following information:
- The time, place, and nature of the hearing;
- A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
- A reference to the particular sections of the statutes and regulations involved;
- A short plain statement of the issues involved;
- Your right to be represented by counsel (at your own expense);
- Your right to request the issuance of sobpoenas; and
- Your right to have witnesses at the hearing.
It is important to review the notice, especially the issues discussed at the hearing. If they are not the same issues that you wished raised, contact the hearings division immediately. If you are not satisfied, bring this issue up at the hearing.
Every hearing is recorded. At the start of the hearing, the examiner should turn on the tape recorder and give a concise statement of the issues to be covered and the procedures that will be followed. The issues that will be addressed at the hearing should only be those listed in the notice of the hearing. The order in which the evidence is presented is in the discretion of the examiner.
The examiner has the responsibility to elicit evidence by examining witnesses in a logical and orderly manner. You and your employer should be allowed the opportunity to examine your witnesses, and cross-examine the opposing parties' witnesses, unless the testimony is unduly repetitive. In addition, the examiner has the obligation to minimize the legal technicalities if you are not represented so that you are not disadvantaged. If you have exhibits, make sure you bring them to the attention of the examiner, and that they are marked, identified, and entered into the record.
In summary, you are entitled to a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing. You are entitled to inquire and develop all facts relating to the issues. The examiner should receive and consider all evidence without regard to statutory and common-law rules. If an examiner denies you the opportunity to present evidence, briefly summarize what you would like to present, to have some record of it.
You will receive notice containing the decision of the examiner. If you disagree with the decision, you have 10 days to appeal to the board of review. Once again, it must be in writing and signed by you. However, this time you must identify the issues with which you disagree.
Once the board of review receives the appeal, they may restrict the process to written arguments, or they may request that you be present for oral argument. The evidence that they review is limited to the evidence that was introduced at the hearing. They may refuse to hear an appeal where the examiner agreed with the initial decision of the Employment Security Office.
If you lose this appeal, you have the right to have the decision reviewed by the District Court. You have 10 days to request the District Court to review a board decision. You should contact an attorney about this process.