Tulsa Attorney BlogOklahoma Unemployment: What Do I Do if I Am Denied My Benefits?

Submitting a Time-Sensitive Appeal Can Ensure Benefits


unemployment lawyer in TulsaVideo Transcribed: What do I do if I’ve been denied my unemployment benefits? My name is Jason Sorensen. I’m a Tulsa attorney here at Wirth Law Office, and today, we’re going to be talking about what to do if your unemployment benefits are denied.

Well, the first thing you need to do is make an appeal. You should get a notice saying that your benefits are denied, and there should be some specific instructions as to how to appeal that decision.

But the gist of it is you need to call the unemployment office and let them know that you want to appeal that decision, and one thing to keep in mind that is there’s a very specific timeframe in which you can appeal that decision. You need to abide by that because if you’re late, the unemployment office is generally pretty strict about their windows as to when you can and can’t appeal. So you need to make sure that you abide by that timeframe they give you and make sure you appeal in time. But it’s generally just a call to the unemployment office letting them know that you want to appeal.

Now, once you’ve done that, they’re going to send you a notification letting you know that you have successfully appealed that decision, and shortly, you should be receiving a letter in the mail letting you know when your hearing day is going to be. That hearing day is going to be in a letter. They’re going to send you a letter. It’s going to have your case number, the date and time of your hearing day, and the instructions on how to do that.

But the hearing in an unemployment case is a little different than what you typically see on TV with going to court in front of a judge and everything. In an unemployment case, it’s going to be over the phone with a hearing officer acting as a judge. So you’ll have a few weeks to gather evidence, try to get some witnesses to testify on your behalf, and if you do have any evidence or witnesses that you want to use at that hearing, you need to make sure that you call the unemployment office ahead of time and let them know of your intent to have those witnesses present and that you want to introduce certain evidence, as well. But you need to make sure you do that ahead of time.

Once the day of your hearing does come, the hearing officer will call you, your representative if you have one. They’ll call your employer, and they’ll call all the witnesses for both sides. So everybody will be present on a conference call with the hearing officer. The hearing officer will introduce both sides. They’ll make sure everybody is present that needs to be, and then, they usually start with the employer side. They’ll talk to the employer and ask for them, kind of their side of the story, and then they’ll also talk to each one of the employer’s witnesses. The employer or their representative will talk to each one of their witnesses, in turn, kind of asking them what they’re going to be testifying about.

Then, you or your representative, if you have one, will get to cross-examine the employer and all of their witnesses in turn. So that’s your chance to kind of rebut any testimony that they’re giving or any of the evidence that they’re presenting. Now, after the hearing officer goes through the employer’s side, then they’ll talk to you. You’ll get to give your side of the story along with, you’ll have the chance to talk to each one of your witnesses and get their side of the story to also support your argument and your side of the story. Just like you got a chance to cross-examine, the employer or their representative will also have an opportunity to cross-examine you. So you won’t just be able to just say whatever you want and leave it at that. The employer will get a chance to follow up with the testimony that you or your witnesses gave.

So once that’s all done, the hearing officer will kind of let everyone know that you’ve had this hearing. The hearing officer will dismiss everybody, and you actually won’t get the decision right there at that hearing. The hearing officer will then take everything that they’ve heard, take all the evidence that they’ve submitted, and the hearing officer will look everything over, and make a decision after the hearing. Then, you will probably receive the decision. Usually, it’s a week or two after that. They’ll notify you in a letter telling you whether your unemployment benefits are still going to be denied or whether they’re going to grant them.

This is just general information. If you do need help with an unemployment case or a hearing, it is helpful to have an attorney, just because you have somebody who’s familiar with the process, somebody who’s done it before, and somebody who knows what to ask. So it does make it a lot easier, but if you feel competent enough to do it, you can also do it on your own without an attorney.

If you need help with it, you can visit makelaweasy.com or call Wirth Law Office to talk with an Oklahoma unemployment lawyer.

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