What Else Do I Need to Know?
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:
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 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.
Second Level Appeal:
If you disagree with the decision, you or any interested party may:
1. Appeal to the Employment Appeal Board within fifteen (15) days of the date under the judge’s signature by submitting a written appeal via mail, fax, or online to:
The appeal period will be extended to the next business day if the last day to appeal falls on a weekend or a legal holiday. There is no filing fee to file an appeal with the Employment Appeal Board.
AN APPEAL TO THE BOARD SHALL STATE CLEARLY:
1) The name, address and social security number of the claimant.
2) A reference to the decision from which the appeal is taken.
3) That an appeal from such decision is being made and such appeal is signed.
4) The grounds upon which such appeal is based.
2. File a petition in District Court within thirty (30) days of the date found under the judge’s signature. Additional information on how to file a petition can be found at www.iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/district-court. There may be a filing fee to file the petition in District Court.
Note to Parties: YOU MAY REPRESENT yourself in the appeal or obtain a lawyer or other interested party to do so provided there is no expense to Workforce Development. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer, you may obtain the services of either a private attorney or one whose services are paid for with public funds.
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.