Non-Monetary Issues

What Else Do I Need to Know?   

Protested Claim

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.

Fact-Finding Interview

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.

Appeal Process

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.

Online Appeal

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

Appeals Bureau
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:

Toll-free in Iowa:  800-532-1483
Toll-free outside of Iowa:  800-247-5205
Des Moines local:  515-281-3747
Fax:  515-478-3582


Once a claim is appealed, a formal hearing will be scheduled with an ALJ. A notice for a telephone hearing requires the parties to call in to the the toll free number: 866-783-7021 at the time of the hearing. When instructed, enter the PIN number that you received on your Notice of Appeal and Telephone hearing followed by the [ # ] key and wait for the Administrative Law Judge to begin the hearing. 

Warning: The Administrative Law Judge WILL NOT call you for the hearing, you MUST call into the number provided above to participate. Failure to participate in the hearing may result in the dismissal of your appeal.

If you are unable to participate in the appeal hearing as scheduled, please submit a written request to postpone the hearing to the Appeals Bureau at least three days prior to the scheduled hearing.  Written submissions may be made via fax, email, or regular mail. 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.  ​For additional information about what to expect during the appeal hearing, review the instructions on the back of the hearing notice.  

The ALJ's final decision will be mailed to the parties as soon as possible 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.


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.


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
Fourth Floor
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.