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Claimant's Guide to the Appeals Process

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Introduction

This pamphlet is mailed to a claimant whenever an appeal has been filed from the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Department regarding a claim for benefits. If you receive this pamphlet in the mail, this means that you or your former employer have filed an appeal.  With this pamphlet you should also have received  a Notice of Hearing Before a Referee informing you of the time, date, and place of the hearing. When you receive a determination with which you disagree, you should file an appeal as soon as possible. Information about filing an appeal is contained in the section "Steps in the Appeals Process: The Who, What, When, Why and How" and in A Guide to Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut, Your Rights and Responsibilities, which is available at all American Job Centers.

Information in this pamphlet will help you understand the unemployment compensation law, protect your rights, act in your own best interests, and prepare and present your appeal in the most effective manner. Please read this material carefully. If you have any questions, you may contact the Call Center or the Appeals Division.

This pamphlet was written so that all claimants would be able to understand the appeals process without the help of a lawyer. In a few places we have used technical terms because those terms may be used during the hearing, and you should become familiar with them. One term that is used throughout this pamphlet is "the Administrator." The Administrator is the State Labor Commissioner, who is in charge of the Unemployment Compensation Department. The terms "Administrator" and "Unemployment Compensation Department" mean the same thing in this pamphlet. The Appeals Division is separate and independent from the Unemployment Compensation Department and is not bound by any decision of the Administrator.

Appeals procedures are designed to carry out the unemployment compensation statutes and regulations. This pamphlet summarizes the law but does not have the force and effect of law. Copies of the statutes and regulations of both the Unemployment Compensation Department and the Appeals Division are available for inspection at all American Job Centers and Appeals Division offices.  They are also accessible on the Internet.  At these offices you may also consult the Appeals Division's Precedent Manual and electronic index (ADLIB), which contain major court and Board of Review decisions interpreting the Unemployment Compensation Act. Addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers of these offices, the local phone numbers for the Call Centers, and the Appeals Division's  Internet address, are listed under "Listing of Appeals Division Offices and American Job Centers".

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Highlights

  • Filing Your Appeal. You have only twenty-one (21) calendar days from the date of the Administrator's predetermination hearing decision to file an appeal with the Appeals Division. Do not delay. Likewise, you have only twenty-one (21) calendar days from the date of the Referee's decision to file an appeal to the Board of Review. Do not delay filing your appeal at either step. See "Steps in the Appeals Process: The Who, What, When, Why and How" and "Appeal To The Board Of Review" for additional information.

  • How to File. Use the form available at any American Job Center, write a letter containing the basis for your appeal to the Appeals Division, or use the appeal form on the Internet  at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/apfrmnt.htm.   See "Steps in the Appeals Process: The Who, What, When, Why and How" and "Appeal To The Board Of Review"  for additional information.
     

  • File in Person, by Fax, by Internet, or By U.S. Mail. You may file in person at any American Job Center or at any Appeals Division office, or by fax or Internet. If you file by mail, use the U.S. mail, or a private delivery service approved by the IRS: Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service.  Use a stamp, not a private postal meter. The date of mailing can only be determined by a U.S. Postal Service postmark. See "Steps in the Appeals Process: The Who, What, When, Why and How" and "Appeal To The Board Of Review"  for additional information.
     

  • Preparing Your Case. Read the decision you received to determine the points of law that pertain to your case and what factors were used in reaching the decision. Determine what documentation and witnesses you will need to present a strong case. Proper documentation and credible, first-hand witnesses are vital to your success. See "Preparing for the Hearing" and "What Goes on at the Hearing" for additional information.
     

  • Documentation. Records such as time cards, financial records, written warnings, employee handbooks, contract of hire, application for employment, medical records, police reports, and other agency reports (CHRO, Workers' Comp, rehabilitation reports, etc.) are examples of useful documentation. Bring two copies that you can enter into the record. If your hearing is going to be conducted by telephone, you should mail or fax these documents to the appeals division off ice where your hearing is scheduled, and to the other parties at the addresses listed on the hearing notice, as soon as possible before the hearing. You should redact your social security number and any other personal identifying information from any submitted documents; however, you should include your social security number in a cover letter to the appeals division so that the documents are properly matched to your case file. If you need access to your personnel file, give your employer a written request at once. See "Preparing for the Hearing" for additional information.
     

  • Witnesses. Witnesses with first-hand, personal knowledge of the circumstances leading to the separation are vital to your case. Have those witnesses attend the Referee's hearing. Written statements by witnesses, even with first-hand knowledge, will be given little, if any, weight because the author is not available for cross-examination. See "What Goes on at the Hearing" for additional information.
     

  • Attendance at Scheduled Hearings. If you file an appeal and do not show up at the hearing, you will probably lose the case. You may be able to get another hearing but only if you can show good cause for not appearing, such as sudden, documented illness or a personal emergency. Overslept, on a job interview, unexpected appointment, forgot, someone did not remind you, lost the hearing notice, and similar excuses are not good reasons. The Referee's hearing will likely be your only opportunity for a hearing to present witnesses and documentation in support of your case. The Board of Review rarely conducts hearings. See "Once an Appeal is Filed" for additional information.
     

  • Requesting a Postponement. Ask for a postponement as soon as possible if you have an unavoidable conflict. Last minute requests are generally denied unless you have a real emergency, as described above. See "Once an Appeal is Filed" for additional information.
     

  • Representation You may bring legal or other professional representation to the hearing if you wish. However, witnesses with first-hand knowledge are still vital to the success of your appeal. Please read the above section about WITNESSES again. A list of free legal services  is provided in the section "Free Legal Services". You may also request a list of independent hearing representatives by completing the web form at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/HearingReps.htm  See "General Information", "Preparing for the Hearing" for additional information.
     

  • Free Video A video describing the hearing process is available for viewing on this web site at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/VideoIntro.htm. See "General Information" for additional information.

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General Information

Q. Do I need a lawyer?

A. Usually not. By carefully following the instructions in this pamphlet, an unrepresented claimant should be able to gather the necessary evidence. The Referee will assist you in presenting your case at the hearing. However, you have the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative of your choice. Free or reduced-cost legal representation may be available to qualified claimants. A list of free legal services is provided in the section "Free Legal Services".   You may also request a list of independent hearing representatives by completing the web form at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/HearingReps.htm   If you hire a representative, you are responsible for paying your representative's fee, but you may ask the Appeals Division to determine the amount of the fee that can be charged.

If you have other legal disputes with your employer, such as arbitration, workers' compensation, or discrimination cases, and are represented in those disputes, you should tell your attorney or representative about your unemployment claim. Although an unemployment compensation decision cannot be used against you in any other case, what happens in your unemployment appeal may affect other disputes with your employer.

Q. What if I start working part-time?

A. Contact the Call Center at once. You may be eligible for partial benefits. Some of your earnings will be deducted from your benefits for the weeks during which you work. Indicate the hours you worked and the amount you earned (before deductions) for the claim for the week in which you did the work. You should report any work or wages immediately. If you worked, do not wait until you receive payment to report it. Earnings will be verified with the employer.

Q. What if my employer tries to prevent me from filing or continuing with my claim or appeal?

A. No one has the right to interfere with your claim for benefits, and you should not listen to anyone who tries to talk you out of filing a claim or appeal. Only the Unemployment Compensation Department or the Appeals Division can tell you if your claim is valid.

The law protects any employee who files a claim for benefits or who testifies as a witness from retaliation by an employer. If you or one of your witnesses are disciplined or discriminated against by an employer because of participation in an unemployment compensation proceeding, you should file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.

Q. Can I agree to give up my right to benefits?

A. No. The law prohibits your employer from asking you to give up your benefits. If you made such an agreement, it is void and you are not bound by it.

Q. Where can I get more information?

A. From the Appeals Division or your local American Job Center in person, by mail, or by phone at the Call Center between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. Every effort will be made to answer any questions you may have and take appropriate action on your claim or appeal.

You can also visit us on the Internet at http://www.ctboard.org.  In addition to general information, this site contains the Online Hearing Docket; ADLIB, an electronic index of Board of Review decisions; a form for filing an appeal; the video describing the hearing process; and the unemployment compensation statutes and regulations.

The Appeals Division has a twenty-minute video explaining the appeals process and showing you what goes on at the Referee's hearing.  The video is available for viewing on this web site at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/VideoIntro.htm  If you are unable to view the video from the web site, you may request that a copy be mailed to you.  For a copy of the video, call the Appeals Division office nearest you or fill out the form on our Internet site.  You may also view this video, by prior arrangement,  at any Appeals Division office.
 

FOR A FREE VIDEO SHOWING WHAT AN APPEAL HEARING IS LIKE, CALL ANY APPEALS DIVISION OFFICE OR FILL OUT THE FORM ON OUR INTERNET SITE.

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Steps in the Appeals Process: The Who, What, When, Why and How

Q. Who can file an appeal?

A. You or any of your former employers who are affected by a decision of the Administrator can appeal from the denial or the award of benefits.

Q. What can be appealed?

A. Any determination of the Administrator can be appealed to an Appeals Referee. Whenever you receive any decision with which you disagree, you should file an appeal at once.

Q. What if an appeal is late?

A. It may be dismissed, in which case the Administrator's decision will be unchanged. If you wish to appeal, do so as soon as possible. Appeals can be filed in person, by mail, by fax, or by Internet at any American Job Center or Appeals Division office. Do not wait for information, documents or your next appointment with the Job Center. You can obtain whatever information you need while the appeal is being processed. If your appeal is late, you must indicate why you did not file your appeal on time. If it is determined that you had good cause for filing a late appeal, the Referee will be able to hear your case.

An appeal filed by mail must be postmarked (by the United States Postal Service.  If you use a private delivery service, it must be one approved by the IRS:  Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service.) or received within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the date the decision denying benefits was mailed to you. If you file by fax or by Internet, your appeal must be received by the Department of Labor by 11:59 p.m. on the twenty-first day.  Fax numbers and the Board's Internet address are listed under "Listing of Appeals Division offices and American Job Centers."

Q. Why can my former employer appeal if my claim is approved?

A. Because the Unemployment Compensation program is paid for by a tax on employers, not employees. Unemployment claims affect the amount the employer must pay into the Unemployment Compensation fund. Employees pay nothing into the fund. In fact, the law forbids employers to make payroll deductions for unemployment benefits.

Q. What if I am not claiming benefits against that employer?

A. You have no choice about which employer is charged for your claim. This is determined by law. Your separation from any employer within the applicable period may affect your eligibility for benefits or the unemployment tax rate of that employer.

Q. What if the reason for denial no longer exists?

A. Call the Center and request an interview if you believe circumstances have changed. Denials on some issues like availability for work or reasonable efforts to find work apply only while the reason for denial continues. Even if an appeal has been filed, the Administrator can reopen or approve your claim if you meet the requirements of the law in future weeks. You will receive benefits for any weeks for which you qualify.

Q. What if I get another decision from the Administrator denying benefits for a different reason or period of time?

A. You must file another appeal unless the new decision specifically tells you not to. Your first appeal covers only the claims involved in the Administrator's original decision. If you are in doubt, file the appeal. Failure to file an appeal within twenty-one (21) days will cause the decision to become final and binding on you.
 

REMEMBER:  APPEALS MUST BE FILED ON TIME.  FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE DECISION YOU RECEIVE, AND  SEE STEPS IN THE APPEALS PROCESS:  THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, AND HOW AND APPEAL TO THE BOARD OF REVIEW.

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Once an Appeal is Filed

Q. What happens once an appeal is filed?

A. It will be forwarded to the appropriate office of the Appeals Division so that a hearing before an Appeals Referee may be scheduled.

Q. Can an appeal be withdrawn?

A. Yes. A claimant or employer who files an appeal may withdraw it at any time before the Referee's decision is issued. You should withdraw your appeal only if you decide that the Administrator's initial decision is correct.

Q. How will I be notified of the hearing?

A Notice of Hearing will be mailed to you, any employers involved, and the Unemployment Compensation Department indicating the time, date, place, and the issues to be covered.  Start preparing your case as soon as you become aware that an appeal has been filed.

The Appeals Division’s Internet site contains an Online Hearing Docket that lists all hearings within twenty-four hours of their being scheduled.  If you lose your hearing notice or want the quickest possible notice of when your appeal is scheduled, you should check this site.

Q. What should I do if I cannot attend the hearing?

A. Notify the Appeals Division immediately to request a postponement. The telephone number of the Appeals Division office is printed at the top of the Notice of Hearing. Postponements are granted only for very good reasons. If you or a key witness are unable to attend for any reason, make sure that you notify the Appeals Division as soon as possible before the hearing to see if any other arrangements are possible.

Q. What happens if one of the parties doesn't attend the hearing?

A. If the party that appealed does not attend, the appeal will probably be dismissed and the Administrator's decision will stay the same. If the employer appealed and you fail to attend the hearing, the Referee's decision may be based solely on the employer's testimony. If the Referee rules in favor of the employer, you may have to repay all unemployment compensation benefits which you have received. Therefore, you must attend the hearing unless a postponement is granted.

Q. What if I have a language problem or a disability, including speech or hearing, which will make it difficult for me to participate?

A. Notify the Appeals Division as soon as you can, and everything possible will be done to provide assistance. If you need an interpreter, the Appeals Division will provide one for you. 

Q. Should I withdraw my appeal if I go back to work?

A. No. If you go back to work, you may still be entitled to benefits for the period of unemployment. Hearings are held during normal business hours. However, every effort will be made to schedule a hearing that will minimize the amount of time you have to take off from your new employment. It may also be possible for you to participate by phone. Contact the Appeals office at once if your work schedule conflicts with the hearing.

Q. Do I have to attend if the hearing only concerns my former employer's chargeability?

A. It is important that you attend the hearing even though your benefits won't be affected. If you returned to work after your separation from your former employer and earned ten times your weekly benefit rate before filing your claim for benefits, you cannot be disqualified regardless of the reason for your separation. Nothing that happens at the Referee's hearing will affect your benefits if the Notice of Hearing is marked "chargeability only." However, without your testimony, the Referee may not be able to learn the whole truth and make a fair decision about whether your employer should be charged for your benefits.

Q. What if I move?

A. Notify the Appeals Division and the Call Center. If you move out of state, arrangements can be made for a telephone hearing. (The Appeals Division has a separate flyer describing the procedures followed in telephone hearings.)

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Preparing for the Hearing

Q. How should I prepare for the hearing?

A. Start immediately to gather any papers that relate to the issue such as correspondence from your employer, union contracts, warning notices or medical statements. Also, be certain that any witnesses who have direct knowledge of the events in question are available to attend the hearing.

If you plan to get representation, do so as soon as possible so that your representative will have time to prepare. Notify the Appeals Division of the name and address of your representative so that he or she will be informed of hearings or other proceedings. You must decide before the hearing whether you need representation. You will not be given a new hearing just because you later decide that you should have been represented.

It is your responsibility to present evidence and testimony to prove your case. The Referee will not investigate or contact witnesses for you. He or she will act on the basis of information in the file and evidence and testimony presented at the hearing. The Referee will not usually be able to consider evidence provided after the hearing.

The hearing before the Referee is the only chance that you will have to tell your story. Be prepared to tell the Referee everything you think is important and to present all witnesses and evidence at the hearing.  The Referee will limit the testimony to issues that are relevant to the case.  You will not be allowed another hearing to present evidence which you failed to offer the first time unless you had good cause for your failure.

Q. What if I need to subpoena a witness?

A. If you have an attorney, that person should issue any necessary subpoenas. If not, notify the Appeals Division immediately. The Referee will determine whether a subpoena is necessary and, if so, arrange for it to be served.

Q. What kind of doctor's statement might I need?

A. If your medical condition is an issue in the case (for example, if you quit because the job was affecting your health or you were fired because you were out sick), you should have your doctor prepare as detailed a statement as possible. You should ask the doctor to include the following information, if relevant:

  • your medical history for the year prior to your separation and the dates on which you consulted the doctor;

  • the condition(s) for which you were treated;

  • any medications prescribed;

  • the conditions on the job as your doctor understood them and how those conditions affected your health;

  • any restrictions on employment caused by your condition, and

  • the basis for any advice by your doctor that you leave your job.

Q. Can I obtain my personnel file from my employer?

A. Yes. State law gives you the right to review and copy your entire personnel file, including medical records, for at least one year after your separation. In order to trigger the employer's obligation to provide you access to your file under General Statutes §31-128b you must make a written request to the employer immediately. If you have difficulty getting access to your file before the Referee's hearing, call the Appeals Division office whose number appears at the top of the hearing notice. Effective October 1, 2013, if the employer presents documentation of disciplinary actions, your termination notice or your performance evaluation(s) to the Referee or the Board of Review, the employer must also present any written disagreement you provided to the employer in response to that documentation.
 

THE REFEREE'S HEARING IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO TELL YOUR STORY. MAKE SURE THAT YOU PRESENT ALL THE WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE YOU NEED TO WIN. YOU ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE GIVEN ANOTHER HEARING.

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What Goes on at the Hearing

Q. How will the hearing be conducted?

A. Hearings are informal. The Referee explains the procedure and reads into the record the relevant information already on file. This may include the fact finding report and all other documents from the first hearing at the American Job Center. You are not bound by the statements in the fact finding report and will be given an opportunity to present your version of the facts fully. However, if your testimony differs from your fact finding statement, you should be prepared to explain why. All parties and witnesses must testify under oath.

Proper decorum is expected.  The Appeals Division has zero tolerance for workplace violence.  Threatening language or actions toward staff or customers are not tolerated.  Weapons are banned from all Department of Labor buildings.

Q. How can I prove my case?

A. Present the best evidence possible, including your own description of events and circumstances, any documents concerning the issue, and any witnesses who observed or were directly involved in what happened.

If you left work voluntarily, it is your responsibility to prove that you left for good cause attributable to your employer, or another reason permitted by the statute. Also, at any time, you may be required to establish that you are able to work, available for work, and making reasonable efforts to find work. Be prepared to establish your efforts to find work, including names and addresses of employers contacted and the dates. The question is whether you made the effort, regardless of whether the employer accepted a written application. You are expected to look for work in such a way as to become reemployed as soon as possible, using the accepted and customary methods of obtaining the type of work you are seeking.

Be sure you know all the elements that you must establish in order to prove your case, and be prepared to offer testimony and evidence on each element.

Q. Who else will be at the hearing?

A. Your former employer may send a representative and the Administrator may also be represented. Although the hearing will be open to the public, and anyone who is interested may attend, usually only the parties are present. If you believe that the hearing will involve sensitive matters which would constitute an invasion of your privacy, you can ask the Referee to close the hearing to the public.

Q. How will I know what to tell the Referee?

A. The Referee will ask questions designed to obtain the necessary information. Listen carefully to the questions, and answer as directly and plainly as you can. Give complete and accurate information, but do not ramble or bring in unrelated information. You will be permitted to question the other parties and witnesses. Before the end of the hearing, the Referee will give you an opportunity to add anything you feel is important and make a closing statement.

Q. What if I forget to bring something or need to obtain more evidence?

A. You should ask the Referee to continue the hearing so that you can get whatever is needed. The Referee will grant your request only if the information is relevant and you have a good reason for not bringing it with you. The Referee will consider only information, evidence, and testimony presented prior to or at the hearing. You will not be allowed to introduce additional evidence once the hearing is over unless the Referee has agreed to keep the record open.

Q. May I send information to the Referee before the hearing?

A. Yes. Any information sent will be made part of the record. If you send information, be sure to give your name and case number to identify the material so that it can be placed in your file. You should also mail a copy of any such material to the employer and the Administrator. Remember, however, that documentary evidence submitted to the Referee before the hearing is not a substitute for live, first-hand testimony.

Q. May I speak to the Referee before the hearing?

A. The Referee generally will have no contact with you or any party outside of the hearing. Other members of the Appeals Division staff will advise or assist you with procedural matters.

Q. When should I arrive for the hearing?

A. Plan to arrive at least ten minutes early. If you wish to review the case file, you should make arrangements to do so before the day of the hearing. In some cases it may be possible to review the file on the day of the hearing, but you must confirm this with the Appeals Division. The case file contains statements made by you and any employers involved, copies of the Administrator's determination and the appeal statements, and any other documents submitted by any party to the appeal. This information may help you prepare for the hearing.

Q. What record will be made of the hearing?

A. The hearing will be recorded, which will be the official record of the proceeding. Make every effort to speak clearly enough to be heard and understood. Do not interrupt when others are speaking. Do not attempt to speak to the Referee "off the record." The Referee is required to record the entire proceeding. You may obtain a copy of the recording by contacting the Appeals Division after the hearing.

Q. Are the rules the same as in court?

A. No. The rules of evidence do not apply. The law allows the Referee to question the parties and review written or printed records to ensure justice for all interested parties.

Hearsay testimony, that is, repetition of statements made by persons who are not present at the hearing, may be acceptable. However, direct testimony from such persons is considered better evidence. If your employer offers direct testimony on an issue and you reply with only hearsay evidence, the Referee will probably give greater weight to the testimony of the employer. Whenever possible, bring to the hearing the persons who witnessed or who have first-hand knowledge of the events in question.
 

BE ON TIME FOR YOUR HEARING.  IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN'T ATTEND, CALL AT ONCE TO REQUEST A POSTPONEMENT.  IF YOU DON'T ATTEND THE HEARING, YOU ARE LIKELY TO LOSE.

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The Referee's Decision

Q. What will the Referee's decision be based on?

A. Only information admitted into the record by the Referee is used to decide the case. It is your responsibility to present this information. The Referee will not investigate or contact witnesses. The statutes, regulations, and decisions of the Board of Review and the courts guide the Referee in deciding the issues.

Q. How will I be informed of the decision?

A. The Referee will mail a written decision to you, your representative, and other interested parties and their agents, including the Unemployment Compensation Department, as soon as possible. The decision will explain your right of appeal if you are dissatisfied with the decision.

Q. If the decision is in my favor, will the checks come with it?

A. No. Any benefits payable will be sent to you by the Unemployment Compensation Department shortly after the decision is issued. The Appeals Division does not process payments. Any questions about checks should be directed to the call Center.

Q. Is my financial need a factor in the decision?

A. No. Financial need has nothing to do with it. The Unemployment Compensation Act is an insurance program designed to pay benefits to people who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are actively seeking work.

Q. Should I continue filing claims while awaiting a decision?

A. Yes, as long as you are unemployed and available for work. If a decision is made in your favor, you will receive compensation only for those weeks for which you have filed claims.

Q. If my claim is reopened, should I still pursue my appeal?

A. Yes. If you win the appeal, you will receive benefits for the weeks before your claim was reopened.

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Effect of an Appeal on the Claimant

Q. Will an appeal affect the payment of benefits?

A. If a decision by the Administrator or the Referee awards benefits, you will receive payments even though a further appeal is pending. If the final decision is not in your favor, you may have to pay back the benefits you received.

Q. What if my former employer appeals and the decision is made in its favor?

A. If you do not appeal that decision within twenty-one (21) calendar days, it will become final and you will be asked to pay back the benefits you received.

Q. How will I have to pay back the benefits?

A. The law provides several options for repayment: a repayment schedule; offset from present or future benefits; or waiver of the overpayment. After the Referee's decision becomes final, the Administrator will advise you of the amount of the overpayment and the various methods of repayment. If the overpayment is not waived and recoupment from future benefits is not sufficient to repay the overpayment, the Administrator will insist upon a repayment schedule. If you fail to comply with the repayment schedule, the Administrator may attach your wages when you go back to work.

Q. Can I appeal from the Administrator's determination about repayment?

A. Yes. You may appeal this determination, but only the amount of overpayment and the method of repayment will be considered. You will not have another opportunity to appeal the decision of ineligibility which created the overpayment. Therefore, it is critical that you appeal the first decision you receive which says that you are ineligible for benefits.

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Appeal to the Board of Review

Q. What can I do if the decision is not in my favor?

A. If you disagree with the Referee's decision, you can appeal to the Employment Security Board of Review. If you have new or additional information, you can write to the Referee and ask to have the case reopened.

Usually, a motion to reopen will be granted only if you give a good reason why you did not present the information the first time. If you did not attend the Referee's hearing, the case will not be reopened unless you prove to the Referee that you had good reason for not attending. If the case is reopened, another hearing may be held, if needed. A new decision will be issued, which can also be appealed.

Q. How do I file an appeal from the Referee's decision?

A. The Referee's decision explains how to appeal or request a reopening of the case. If your appeal or motion to reopen is filed by mail, it must be postmarked (by the United States Postal Service.  If you use a private delivery service, it must be approved by the IRS:  Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service.) or received within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the mailing date of the decision. If the offices of the Unemployment Compensation Department and Appeals Division are closed on the twenty-first day, you will have until the next business day to file your appeal.

You may also file your appeal or motion in person, by fax, or by Internet.

Be sure to read any decision or letter promptly, and do not delay filing your appeal. If your appeal is late, you must indicate why. If you had good cause for filing a late appeal, the Board of Review will be able to decide your case. If you have questions, contact your local American Job Center, the Call Center, or the Appeals Division.

Q. How will the Board of Review handle the appeal?

A. The Board of Review will acknowledge your appeal and provide an opportunity for you to submit a written statement in support of your case. It is important that you tell the Board every reason why you think the Referee's decision was wrong. The Board will then review all the material in the case file and listen to the recording of the hearing before the Referee. A decision will be issued which will affirm (agree with), reverse, or modify the Referee's decision. If the Board feels that further information is needed, the case may be remanded (sent back) to the Referee for a new hearing or to the Administrator for further investigation and a new determination. If you are not satisfied with the Board's decision, you have thirty (30) calendar days to file a motion to reopen with the Board or a further appeal to the Superior Court. The Board's decision explains how to do this.

Q. If I appeal to the Board of Review, will I have another hearing?

A. Probably not, which is why you should say everything you feel is important at the Referee's hearing. Give specific facts. Failure to raise issues at the Referee's hearing will nearly always prevent consideration of them at higher levels.

Q. Can anyone else appeal or request reopening?

A. Yes. Any employer affected by the decision and the Administrator have the right to appeal decisions of the Referee or the Board of Review if they are adversely affected by the decision.
 

IF YOU HAVE A GOOD CASE, IT PAYS TO APPEAL.  WHEN CLAIMANTS APPEAL TO THE REFEREE 
AND SHOW UP AT THE HEARING, THEY WIN ABOUT 35% OF THE TIME.

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Free Legal Services

The following organizations may be able to provide free advice or legal representation. If they are unable to assist you directly, they may be able to refer you to an attorney who will provide services at a reduced cost. In addition New Haven Legal Assistance Association conducts a free clinic, the first Thursday of each month, on how to represent yourself at an unemployment compensation appeal hearing.  Click here for additional information on the free clinic.

LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS
 

Statewide Legal Services (SLS)

425 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 344-0380
1-800-453-3320

 

Statewide Legal Services (SLS) is the point of entry to the legal services system for the entire state.  If you are unable to contact SLS, you may wish to contact one of the regional offices listed below.

Conn. Legal Services
211 State Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 336-3851
(800) 809-4434

Conn. Legal Services 
16 Main Street, 2nd Floor 
New Britain, CT 06051 
(860) 225-8678 
(800) 233-7619

Conn. Legal Services 
153 Williams Street 
New London, CT 06320 
(860) 447-0323 
(800) 413-7798

Conn. Legal Services 
20 Summer Street 
Stamford, CT 06901 
(203) 348-9216 
(800) 541-8909

Conn. Legal Services 
85 Central Avenue 
Waterbury, CT 06722 
(203) 756-8074
(800) 413-7797

Conn. Legal Services 
872 Main Street 
P.O. Box 258 
Willimantic, CT 06226 
(860) 456-1761 
(800) 413-7796

Greater Hartford Legal Aid
999 Asylum Ave. 3rd Floor
Hartford,  CT  06105
(860) 541-5000

New Haven Legal Assistance Association
426 State Street
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 946-4811

 

 

LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
 

John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency
Hartford Community Services Office 
22 Orange Street 
Hartford, CT  06106
(860) 727-9301

John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency
Waterbury Community Services Office

83 Prospect Street
Waterbury, CT  06702
(203)  755-8745

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Appeals Division Offices, AMERICAN JOB Centers, and Call Centers

Appeals Division On Line

Internet Web Site: http://www.ctboard.org

REFEREES

  • BRIDGEPORT/INTERSTATE 350 Fairfield Ave., 6th Fl., Suite 601, 06604 Telephone: (203) 579-6271  Fax: (203) 455-2750

  • MIDDLETOWN (Hartford area) 645 South Main St. Telephone: (860) 566-5262  Fax: (860) 754-5059

  • MIDDLETOWN (Hamden area) 645 South Main St. Telephone: (203) 230-3700  Fax: (860) 754-5059

  • MIDDLETOWN (Norwich area) 645 South Main St. Telephone: (860) 892-2253  Fax: (860) 754-5059

  • WATERBURY 249 Thomaston Ave. 06702 Telephone: (203) 596-4138  Fax:  (203) 437-3440

CHIEF REFEREE

  • MIDDLETOWN 645 South Main St. Telephone: (860) 754-5061 Fax: (860) 754-5059

  • BOARD OF REVIEW 38 Wolcott Hill Rd. 06109  Telephone: (860) 566-3045 Fax:  (860) 263-6977

American Job Centers | Call Centers

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200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000
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