Any employers you have worked for in the last 18 months may be charged for benefits that are paid to you. Because of this, employers are able to protest your unemployment insurance claim seeking relief of charges. The employer must protest within ten calendar days after the notice of claim is sent. Unemployment insurance claims are automatically protested if you indicate that you were fired from or quit your most recent job.
If your unemployment insurance claim is protested, we may arrange a fact-finding interview. The fact-finding interview will be conducted by phone. Both you and the employer will receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Fact-Finding Interview letter containing the date, time, and the phone number where you will be called for the interview. The notice contains complete instructions, including what to do if the telephone number listed is incorrect. Failure to participate in a fact-finding interview could result in denial of unemployment insurance benefits.
After the fact-finding interview, an eligibility decision letter will be mailed to you and the employer. Either party can appeal the decision if they disagree. Appeal rights and instructions are included on the back of the decision notice.
You are still required to file weekly claims until the fact-finding process is completed. If you are found eligible for unemployment and weekly claims have not been filed, your claim will not be backdated. You will not be eligible to receive benefits for any week for which you did not file a weekly claim.
First-Level Appeal — Administrative Law Judge
Both you and the employer have the right to appeal the fact-finding decision and present testimony to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The appeal must be postmarked or received by the appeal deadline listed in the decision or the right to appeal may be lost. The appeal period is extended to the next business day if the appeal deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
To access and submit an online appeal form, visit the Unemployment Appeals Form and provide the requested information. A written appeal can be mailed to:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
The written appeal should include:
- Your name, address and SSN
- Date of the decision
- Reason for appealing
- Hearing preference (telephone or in-person)
- Language for interpreter, if needed
Contact the Appeals Bureau for assistance by:
Toll-free in Iowa: 800-532-1483
Toll-free outside of Iowa: 800-247-5205
Des Moines local: 515-281-3747
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE HEARING
Once a claim is appealed, a formal hearing will be scheduled with an ALJ. A notice for a telephone hearing requires the parties to immediately register their telephone number and confirm participation in the hearing along with contact information for any witnesses. The notice will contain complete instructions to register a telephone number for a scheduled hearing or for using a toll-free number listed on the notice and to confirm participation in the hearing.
Warning: If a current telephone number is not provided to the Appeals Bureau prior to the scheduled hearing, the ALJ will not contact or include you in the hearing.
If you are unable to participate in the appeal hearing as scheduled, call the Appeals Bureau immediately to request a postponement. The appeal hearing will be postponed only for good cause. The request for a postponement should be made at least three days before the hearing.
Unlike the fact-finding interview, an appeal hearing is a formal process where all parties and witnesses are sworn in and the hearing is recorded. The ALJ will take new statements concerning the issue even if a statement was already given at the fact-finding interview. Either party may submit additional evidence at the hearing, so participation is important. If a claimant or employer chooses to hire an attorney to attend the hearing, the claimant or employer will be responsible to pay the full expenses of the attorney.
The ALJ's final decision will be mailed to the parties within 14 days after the hearing. The decision will state the important facts of the case, the legal conclusions and reasons for the decision, and an order stating the result of the decision. The decision may disqualify the claimant from receiving UI benefits or may allow the claimant UI benefits that may be chargeable to the employer.
Once a decision is appealed, a formal hearing will be scheduled with an administrative law judge. Hearings are typically held by phone, however, you or the employer may request an in-person hearing. The party requesting the in-person hearing must travel to the IowaWORKS Center closest to the other party. There are 15 IowaWORKS Center where in-person hearings are held.
You are still required to file weekly claims until the Appeal Hearing process is completed. If you are found eligible for unemployment and weekly claims have not been filed, backdating claims will not occur. You will not be eligible to receive benefits for any week for which you did not file a weekly claim.
SECOND-LEVEL APPEAL: EMPLOYMENT APPEAL BOARD
If either the employer or claimant disagrees with the ALJ’s decision, it may be appealed to the Employment Appeal Board (EAB). The EAB is part of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals located in the Lucas State Office Building.
HOW TO FILE A SECOND-LEVEL APPEAL
The appeal must be postmarked within 15 calendar days from the mailing date of the ALJ’s decision. The appeal should be sent to:
Employment Appeal Board
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
All parties will receive a CD of the ALJ’s hearing recording and will be given an opportunity to submit a written summary of their side. The EAB does not hold hearings. The board decides each case by reviewing all the evidence that was presented to the ALJ. The board may:
- Affirm or reverse the ALJ’s decision
- Send the case back to the ALJ for further review
- Order a new hearing and decision if the evidence in the ALJ’s hearing is not sufficient or incomplete
It usually takes 45 to 75 days from the date the appeal is filed to receive the EAB decision. If an employer or claimant disagrees with the EAB decision, a petition may be filed for judicial review in Iowa District Court or request a rehearing before the EAB. The procedure and appeal deadlines are provided on the EAB decision.
You are still required to file weekly claims until the 2nd level appeal process is completed. If you are found eligible for unemployment and weekly claims have not been filed, back-dating claims will not occur. You will not be eligible to receive benefits for any week for which you did not file a weekly claim.