www.fluidnow.com Unemployment Appeals Overview

Unemployment Appeals Overview by www.fluidnow.com. According to the fluidnow.com, The unemployment compensation program provides temporary benefits to qualified workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. When an unemployment compensation claim is filed, any issues are investigated to determine whether all requirements for payment are met and, if so, whether those payments will affect a former employer. A determination, including appeal rights and instructions, is mailed to all parties. An unfavorable determination can be appealed by the claimant or employer.

All appeals are reviewed to verify that each was filed by a person with the right to do so. Then a docket number is assigned. A hearing is scheduled. Each person who testifies is placed under oath (or affirmation) to tell the truth. The hearing is electronically recorded. A written decision is mailed to all parties. A party who is not satisfied with the result may request a review of the case by the Unemployment Appeals Commission (UAC). After reviewing the case record, including the electronic recording, the UAC will issue an Order that affirms, reverses, or modifies the hearing officer’s decision or returns the case to the Office of Appeals for further action if a significant error occurred.

Introduction

The information below is provided to help you understand the appeal process and prepare for your hearing. We hope you find the answers to your questions here, but please understand that not every situation or circumstance could be included. If you are a claimant and are still unemployed, continue claiming weeks while any appeal is pending. If a favorable decision is issued, benefits will only be paid for weeks that were properly claimed.

If you have questions after reading this information, call the deputy clerk at the telephone number on the Notice of Telephone Hearing or check our website at www.fluidnow.com. If you are an unemployed claimant, continue claiming weeks as scheduled while any appeal is pending. If you receive a favorable decision, benefits will only be paid for properly claimed weeks.

Be ready on time to receive the hearing officer’s telephone call. If you do not receive a call within ten minutes after the scheduled hearing time, contact the deputy clerk whose telephone number appears on the Notice of Telephone Hearing. Employers must provide the name and number of the person to be telephoned for the hearing. Claimants will be called at the telephone number shown on the hearing notice unless a different number is provided before the hearing. It is each party’s responsibility to remove any call-blocking service that would prevent the telephone call from reaching you. Any party scheduled to appear in person, should pay particular attention to Item 16.

1. Why is this hearing important?

The decision from this hearing will replace the determination that was appealed. Only one hearing level is provided by law. To protect your rights, you must participate even if the other party filed the appeal. If you cannot attend as scheduled, immediately follow the instructions in Section 9 to request rescheduling. Otherwise, you may receive an unfavorable decision. A claimant who receives an unfavorable decision will have to repay benefits that should not have been received. An employer who receives an unfavorable decision may receive benefit charges that increase the employer’s tax rate or require reimbursement to the trust fund.
Be prepared to present evidence on all issues listed on the Notice of Hearing. The decision will be based only on evidence presented at the hearing. A second appeal level exists, but includes only a review of the existing record, not a new hearing.

2. Why was a hearing scheduled?

A hearing was scheduled because an Agency determination was appealed. Participating in the hearing is important, even if the other party filed the appeal.

3. What happens if I don’t participate?
If the party who filed the appeal participates, a hearing will be held. The decision will be based on the evidence presented. If you don’t participate, your evidence will not be considered. If you filed the appeal and do not participate, your case will be dismissed.

4. What are my rights at the hearing?

As a party, you have the right to:

A. Testify in your own behalf;

B. Present documents and other evidence;

C. Question your own witnesses;

D. Question the opposing party’s witnesses;

E. Examine and object to evidence presented ;

F. Explain or rebut evidence presented; and

G. Make a closing statement at the end of the hearing.

5. How can I arrange for witnesses?

Contact and ask the witness to testify. The best witness is one with personal knowledge of the facts. A witness who was present at an event is much better than one who was told about it by someone else. If possible, you and your witness(es) should be at the same location for the hearing. If a witness cannot be at your location and must be contacted at a different telephone number, provide the witness’ name and telephone number to the deputy clerk whose name and telephone number appear on the Notice of Telephone Hearing. Instruct the witness to be available at the scheduled hearing time and to remain available until dismissed by you or the appeals referee.
If a witness refuses to testify voluntarily, a subpoena can be requested by writing to the address on the Notice of Hearing. Mail or fax the request as soon as possible, so the subpoena can be served before the hearing. Include the case docket number; the witness’ name, address, and telephone number (if available), as well as a detailed description of any document(s) the witness should furnish for the hearing.

6. How do I prove I looked for work?

If the issue is whether you were able and available for work, send a copy of your work search contact sheets to the Appeals Office before the hearing. Include each job contact date and method, as well as each employer contact’s name and address.

7. How do I show I filed my appeal on time?

If the appeal does not appear to have been filed within the time allowed by law, the referee will first take evidence on the timeliness of the appeal. If timeliness is listed as an issue, the person who filed the appeal would be an important witness. The case will be dismissed without competent evidence of timely filing.

8. Can I withdraw my Appeal?

The appellant may withdraw an appeal by mail or fax to the Appeals Office address or fax number on the Notice of Hearing or to: Office of Appeals; MSC 347; 107 E Madison Street; Tallahassee FL 32399-4143. Include the claimant’s Social Security number and docket number. In most situations, a withdrawn appeal cannot be reopened.

9. Can I request a postponement?

A postponement may be requested if there is a compelling reason why you cannot participate as scheduled. The request can be made in writing before the hearing or on the record during the hearing. Include the reason you cannot participate and what, if any, attempts you made to re-arrange your schedule so you could participate. The referee will let you know in writing if the request is granted. If a written reply is not received, assume the request was denied. Be available for the hearing and prepared to present your case.

If you missed a hearing for a necessary, compelling reason, you may request re-opening within twenty calendar days after the decision was mailed. Instructions will be included on the decision. Any request for rehearing must be filed on the Internet at www.fluidnow.com/appeals, or by mailing or faxing a written request to the address or fax number on the Notice of Hearing or Decision. No other methods are permitted. Include the Docket Number or the claimant’s social security number and the reason for not attending. Only compelling and necessary reasons constitute good cause. If a rehearing request is granted, you must present evidence of good cause at the new hearing and show due diligence in trying to re-arrange your schedule or requesting postponement. If good cause is not shown, the prior decision will be reinstated.

10. How can I get a copy of the case file?

Copies of all documents available to the referee are enclosed with the Notice of Telephone Hearing. Review and have these documents with you during the hearing.

11. What evidence should I provide?

The best evidence is testimony from a person who was present at an event and can answer specific questions about what happened. Claimants almost always have first-hand knowledge of the events. Employers should choose witnesses carefully to ensure competent evidence is presented. Hearsay (information learned from someone else) may be used to support other evidence, but is not sufficient by itself. (Rule 60BB-5.024, F.A.C.)

If a document you previously submitted is not included with the hearing notice, send another copy to the hearing officer and all other addresses on the Notice of Telephone Hearing. To have documents considered, mail, fax, or deliver a copy of each to the Appeals Office and all addresses on the hearing notice, before the hearing date. Only documents received by all parties can be considered, unless the right to view the documents is waived. All evidence becomes public record when the hearing is convened.

Most documents and affidavits are hearsay and not sufficient to prove what occurred. An employer who must rely on business records should provide a witness who can testify how the records were prepared and vouch for their authenticity. Unless they qualify as an exception to the hearsay rule, (See Chapter 90, F.S.) such evidence cannot be used as the sole basis for a finding of fact. Once the hearing is closed, no additional evidence will be accepted.

12. Should I hire an attorney?

Professional representation is not required and most people represent themselves at unemployment hearings. You have the right to be represented by an attorney or authorized representative at your own expense. Fees for representing a claimant must be approved by the appeals referee, but paid by the claimant. Legal representation may be available through a local Legal Aid Office at reduced or no cost for low-income claimants. For information about hiring an attorney, contact the Florida Bar Association toll-free at 1-800-342-8011. If you hire an attorney or authorize someone to represent you, provide the person’s name, address, and telephone number to the Appeals Office to ensure all notices are sent to that person.

13. What if I need a translator?

The hearing will be in English. Translation will be arranged for claimants who indicate a primary language other than English when filing for benefits. If a translator is needed and the Notice of Hearing does not indicate a translator was arranged, have the deputy clerk contacted at once to advise what language is needed so translation arrangements can be made. The deputy clerk’s telephone number is on the Notice of Hearing.

14. What if I need more information?

The address, telephone, and fax numbers of the Appeals Office where your case was assigned is shown on the Notice of Telephone Hearing, as well as the name of the deputy clerk who should be contacted to provide or receive information. A complete list of Appeals Offices is shown on the last page of this pamphlet. Include the docket number or claimant’s social security number on all correspondence.

15. What are the hearing procedures?

The appeals referee assigned to the case will:

A. Obtain permission to record from each participant and electronically record the hearing.

B. Explain the issues, purpose of the hearing, order of testimony, and other procedures;

C. Identify the determination on appeal and make known the contents of the case file;

D. Place all witnesses under oath or affirmation;

E. Question parties and witnesses to obtain the facts;

F. Assist parties as they question witnesses; and
G. Determine if testimony and documents being offered should be received and considered.

16. How are In-Person Hearings Different?

The following information is important if you received a Notice of Hearing that instructs you to appear in person:

A. Hearing Location. The hearing location address will be shown on the Notice of Hearing.

B. Witnesses. If you arrange witnesses, contact and ask each to attend the hearing. The best witness is one with personal knowledge of the facts, who was present when an event occurred, rather than one who was told about it by someone else. If a witness refuses to appear voluntarily, a subpoena can be requested by writing to the address on the Notice of Hearing. Mail or fax the request as soon as possible, so the subpoena can be served before the hearing. The request must contain the case docket number; the witness’ name and mailing address; the hearing location address and a detailed description of any document(s) the witness should bring to the hearing.

C. Documents. Case file documents will be available for review at the hearing. A party who wishes to inspect or obtain copies of file documents before the hearing may do so at the address shown on the Notice of Hearing or telephone the Deputy Clerk to request copies. Make the request as soon as possible so you can review them before the hearing. Florida Statutes prohibit charging claimants a fee for document copies. The fee charged to other persons will be no greater than the Agency copying cost.

The referee will consider documents in the case file and those received before or at the hearing. To be sure the referee has a complete file, bring to the hearing the original and two copies of any documents you wish to submit, such as letters, medical statements, pay vouchers, disciplinary action forms, time sheets, and employment contracts, even if you previously submitted these documents.

17. How do I know the decision will be fair?

The appeals referee is required by law to be impartial and issue a decision based on competent evidence. The appeals referee is responsible for conducting a fair hearing, questioning the witnesses, and protecting the basic rights of each party. The appeals referee cannot discuss the case with any party before or after the hearing.

18. When will I receive a decision?

A decision will be mailed to all parties as soon as possible after the hearing. The decision will include findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the result, which will affirm, reverse, or modify the determination or dismiss the appeal.

19. What if I disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with the decision, you can request review by the Unemployment Appeals Commission (UAC). Instructions for requesting review are on the decision. Any request for review must be filed within 20 calendar days after the decision was mailed. The UAC will not hold another hearing; its decision will be based on the testimony and other evidence presented to the referee and how the referee used that evidence to reach a decision. Therefore, presenting all of your evidence at the hearing is very important. Upon completing its review, the UAC will mail a written order to all parties.

If you did not attend the hearing for good cause and received an adverse decision, refer to Section 9 for information about requesting a new hearing.

20. Will the Case Record be Confidential?

No, except for the claimant’s social security number, appeal information becomes public record when the hearing is convened.

21. Where can I find more information?

UC Appeals information, including links to UC Law and Administrative Code Rules, can be located on our website at www.fluidnow.com by choosing Unemployment Appeals Information or at www.fluidnow.com/appeals by choosing Receive Other UC Information. Information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance, TRA, and other federal unemployment compensation programs can be located on the Internet at www.doleta.gov. Information about claiming weeks of unemployment while an appeal is pending can be located by choosing Claim Your Weeks on our website at www.fluidnow.com.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing special accommodation to participate in the hearing may contact the deputy clerk at the number shown on the Notice of Hearing at least 5 days before the hearing or via Florida Relay Service at 1-800-955-8770.

Unemployment Compensation is an equal opportunity program of the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Appeal Office Locations, Phone & Fax Numbers:

South Florida Appeals Office
PO Box 8697
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33310-8697
Phone: 954/535-5205 Fax: 954/497-1597

Ft. Lauderdale Appeals Office

PO Box 5706

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33310-5706
Phone: 954… Fax: 954/730-2658

Jacksonville Appeals Office

215 Market Street, Suite 240

Jacksonville, Florida 32202-2850

Phone: 904/359-6825 Fax: 904/798-4238

Central Office Appeals

Caldwell Building MSC 347

107 East Madison Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4143

Phone: 850/921-3572 Fax: 850/921-3925

Tallahassee Appeals Office

Caldwell Building MSC 347

107 East Madison Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4143
Phone: 850/921-3262 Fax: 850/921-3219

Big Bend Appeals Office

Caldwell Building MSC 347

107 East Madison Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4143

Phone: 850/921-3595 Fax: 850/921-3594

North Florida Appeals Office
Caldwell Building MSC 347
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4143
Phone: 850/617-0105 Fax: 850/921-3551

Winewood Appeals Office
Caldwell Building MSC 350WD
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4143
Phone: 850/617-0575 Fax: 850/617-0613

THE APPEALS OFFICE ADDRESS, PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS FOR YOUR CASE ARE ON THE NOTICE OF TELEPHONE HEARING. IF YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN PERSON, THE LOCATION IS ON THE NOTICE OF HEARING.

Comments

  1. if a adj. officer tell u that if you can come up with a certain amount of money then you can claim your weeks and you go out and make more then you were told, how come you still can’t quality for your unemployment?

  2. Darlene M. Loguercio says:

    My name is Darlene Loguercio, tel. # 727-470-9603. I sent paperwork back immediately about a number of weeks in August of this year that I was unable to call in because of a problem with the dial in system; then i went back to work for a week and one half and ended up in the hospital because of my severe heart disease; then i was unable to drive for a number of weeks. i finally found i could go to the public library to contact the dept.since i was not able to get through by telephone. I spoke to a representative who sent me paperwork which i filled out and sent out the same day. I have had no response at all. Because of being in the hospital i am still having financial problems. The money i lost because i couldn’t get through and my health problems i really could use the money i feel i should have been able to receive. The date of my call was 8-18-09. I would appreciate it very much if someone would contact me and let me know what was decided. With Chistmas almost here i could use the help, since i will be out of work for 2 weeks starting 12-21-09 because the school is out and we do not get paid for those weeks. I sure could use some help. i will await your call. i am home from school about 9 to 1 each day except wed. i go back at 12:30. thanks again for any help you can give me. Please call me by telephone as I do not have a computer, i am using one at the Largo library in Largo Florida. I hope this gets to where it needs to go.

  3. sheridan gjelset phillips says:

    I am emailing about my case. I have appealed 3 time. social security is 264-11-3650 I can’t find out imformation about my appeal because don’t getting the letters suppost to get. I would like to know when my next hearing is scheudle for. thanks

  4. Crewstomeka63 says:

    how can i file for an appeal

  5. James W. Coons, Jr says:

    This the second appeal I have filed. Todate I have not heard anything regarding my first filing.
    I still no not understand what I did wrong!
    How was I to know that when I had weeks to claim that you were paying me out of a wrong account and the checks I recieved were for to much money?
    Why did this go on for the length of time to get the alleged overpayment to this amount?
    Since I have not found employment how am I to repay this amount?
    I was told to keep submitting my claim every two week and have recieved small amounts, $116.00, $94.00 and $106.00 in the last 6 weeks. My last check said that this is my final payment.
    I don’t have $3,066.00 to give back and have not been able to earn any income.
    I’m at a loss to understand how I must pay for your error.
    How was I to know the checks you sent were to be a lesser amount because you made the mistake?
    Now that I look at the other postings below, I’m not even sure this will get to the proper department or get a response back!!

    James W Coons

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