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Overview of the Employment Security Appeals Division

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Who We Are/What We Do

The Employment Security Appeals Division is an autonomous, quasi-judicial agency housed in the Department of Labor. Its primary function is to hear and decide appeals arising from decisions made by Connecticut's Unemployment Compensation Department, from which it is statutorily independent.

Generally, a person is eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits if he or she:

  • Has earned sufficient wages from employment that is covered by the Unemployment Insurance system; and,

  • Has left his or her most recent employment for non-disqualifying reasons; and,

  • Is able to work and available for work; and,

  • Is actively seeking work.

Where the individual has separated for reasons other than lack of work (quit or fired), or where he or she is otherwise the subject of an adjudication process, an examiner in a local office makes a determination relative to the individual's eligibility for benefits following a fact finding interview. An appeal can be made by the claimant where benefits have been denied, or by the claimant's employer where benefits have been awarded to the claimant and charged to the employer's account. Once an appeal is filed, the case enters the jurisdiction of the Employment Security Appeals Division.

Shortly after the appeal is filed, the Appeals Division mails to each party either a Claimant's Guide to the Appeals Process or an Employer's Guide to the Appeals Process, and a notice of a hearing before an Appeals Referee.  Attached to the hearing notice may be important documents such as the claimant's fact finding statement or the appeal statement.

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Referee Hearings

The Appeals Division is comprised of the lower level Referee Section and the higher level Board of Review. At the Referee level, all parties to the appeal are provided an opportunity to appear at a hearing where a Referee takes evidence and sworn testimony regarding the issue under consideration. The information that the Referee hears is most often about the circumstances surrounding the claimant's separation from employment. The parties have the right to have representation at the hearing and also to bring witnesses. Although the original decision of the Unemployment Compensation Department is made part of the appeals hearing record, the Referee hears the case de novo, which means from the beginning, without being bound by the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Department. The appeals hearing is recorded. The recording, together with the case file containing any documents entered into evidence, becomes the official record of the Referee's hearing. The Referee issues a written decision, which contains the Referee's findings of fact and decision based on law. The party which loses as a result of the Referee's decision has 21 days to appeal that decision to the higher level Board of Review.

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Board of Review

The Board of Review does not generally hold another hearing. Instead, it renders its decision based on a review of the entire record created at the Referee level, including the recording of the hearing. The Board of Review may affirm, reverse, or modify the Referee's decision. The Board of Review may also send the case back to the Referee for further proceedings if the record is inadequate. The party which loses at the Board of Review level may appeal to the Superior Court within 30 days of the issuance of the Board of Review's decision.

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Reference Materials

Copies of the statutes and the regulations of both the Unemployment Compensation Department and the Appeals Division are available for inspection at all American Job Centers and Appeals Division offices (or below). The Appeals Division Procedural Regulations and an Index of Board of Review Decisions since January, 1990, can also be accessed electronically at this site.

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Location of Appeals Division Offices

The addresses and telephone numbers of Appeals Division offices are listed below. Directions to each office are found by clicking on the office name.

Appeals Division Offices - Referees, Chief Referee, Board of Review
MIDDLETOWN (Hamden area) 645 South Main St. Middletown, CT 06457 (203) 230-3700 (860) 754-5059
MIDDLETOWN (Hartford area) 645 South Main St. Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 566-5262 (860) 754-5059
MIDDLETOWN (Norwich area) 645 South Main St. Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 892-2253 (860) 754-5059
WATERBURY (Waterbury area) 249 Thomaston Ave. Waterbury, CT 06702 (203) 596-4138 (203) 437-3440
WATERBURY (Bridgeport area/ Interstate) 249 Thomaston Ave. Waterbury, CT 06702 (203) 579-6271 (203) 437-3440
CHIEF REFEREE 645 South Main St. Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 754-5061 (860) 754-5059
BOARD OF REVIEW 38 Wolcott Hill Road Wethersfield, CT 06109 (860) 566-3045 (860) 263-6977

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

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