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Either the employer or the claimant may appeal a claims deputy's Determination of Eligibility if the Determination is not in their favor. This is done by requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The Appeals Division is staffed by 32 Administrative Law Judges and 30 support staff professionals who handle approximately 46,000 cases per year. The Appeals Division has staff based in eight regional offices located throughout the state.
Indiana state law requires that in order to file an appeal for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), you must do the following:
Go to a WorkOne Center within ten (10) days of the mailing date of your "Determination of Eligibility."
The intake process involves several review steps for each appeal notice. For this reason, you will be unable to get information on your appeals case until at least seven days after you have filed. If there is any problem with your appeal notice, the fax confirmation sheet or other documentation reflecting the date you mailed or submitted your notice through a WorkOne office will allow the Appeals Division to file your appeal “as of” the correct date.
Cases are assigned to ALJs in the order in which they are received. Case assignments generally happen within three weeks of filing, although during some periods of time and as a result of certain economic conditions and/or large-scale job problems throughout the state, the time period from the date of filing to case assignment may be slightly longer.
After assignment, the ALJ presiding over your case will schedule a hearing. State law requires that the Appellate Division mail notices to all parties to a hearing 10 days in advance of the hearing. You will receive a Notice of Hearing along with an instruction sheet. You must return the second page of the Notice of Hearing (also known as the “Acknowledgement Sheet”) indicating that you wish to participate in the hearing and providing a telephone contact number. Most hearings are scheduled as telephone hearings in which the ALJ calls both parties by telephone. Telephone hearings are the most efficient and economical means of conducting hearings and are easier for all parties to attend because it saves time and travel expense. The telephone number on your initial notice of appeal is not sufficient to guarantee that you will be called. You must respond to the Notice of Hearing and provide a current telephone number for the ALJ.
ALJ hearings observe general rules of trial procedure and evidence; however, if a party is not represented at the hearing, the ALJ will assist both parties in understanding the process and procedure. The ALJ will also answer any questions you have about the process or procedures before or during the hearing. All hearings are digitally recorded, and the ALJ issues a written decision in every case. The decision will be sent to each party by mail, generally within about 10 business days of the date of the hearing.
Provide the judge ONE contact telephone number to reach you for the hearing on the Acknowledgment Sheet, which comes with your Notice of Hearing. Deliver this sheet by mail, fax, or in person AT LEAST 24 hours prior to the hearing. If you deliver the sheet by fax, be sure to keep the fax confirmation to prove that your document was sent. You may call the judge’s clerk 24 hours before the hearing to confirm your telephone number. If you leave a message, include your telephone number with area code, the judge’s name, your name, and case number.
If you filed the appeal you must attend the hearing or your appeal will be dismissed. If your case is being heard by telephone, this means that you must be available for the telephone call when the ALJ tries to contact you. ALJ calls generally show on caller ID as “Blocked” or “Number Unavailable”. If you have Privacy Manager or some other call screening system, please be sure that it is disabled prior to the hearing. Ensure that your telephone is sufficiently charged, has an audible ringer, and is otherwise operational prior to the time of the hearing. Although the Appellate Division makes every effort to be timely in starting hearings, it is possible that the ALJ has been delayed by a prior hearing. The ALJ will make at least one attempt to reach you. These attempts are digitally recorded and also documented in your case file. If your case is dismissed, the party that started the appeal has seven (7) days from mailing date of Dismissal to submit a written request for reinstatement of appeal. The reinstatement request should be mailed to the Director of UI Appeals, 100 North Senate Avenue, Suite N800, Indianapolis, IN 46204. In order to be reinstated, you must provide good cause why you were not able to be reached by the ALJ at the time of your hearing. The Director of Appeals considers all requests for reinstatement. By statute, no case can be reinstated more than once.
Regardless of your circumstances, to protect your rights, you should attend the hearing. If you cannot attend a scheduled hearing you may request a postponement. You must notify the ALJ by fax or letter at least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing and state a good reason for your request. You must also send a copy of your request to the other party (and put in your request that you have sent a copy to the other party). You will receive a notice on whether the continuance is granted or denied. Continuances are granted solely at the discretion of the ALJ. If you do not receive confirmation that the continuance has been granted, you should plan to attend the hearing as originally scheduled.
In the past, a person claiming unemployment insurance benefits was required to prove to the ALJ certain facts that would make him or her eligible for benefits, such as the fact that he or she voluntarily left employment for good cause in connection with the work. On the other hand, the employer was required to prove to the ALJ that it discharged the claimant from employment for just cause. The requirement to prove these facts to the ALJ was called the "burden of proof". Beginning July 1, 2014, the Indiana General Assembly has directed that neither the claimant nor the employer has the burden of proof at the hearing before the ALJ. The ALJ will review all of the evidence presented at the hearing and will issue a determination regarding the claimant's eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits after that hearing.
Prepare for the hearing by knowing the issue(s) of your case, having only witnesses who have personal knowledge of the issues, and bringing copies of any documents that may help explain your side of the case. If your hearing is by telephone, you will need to mail, deliver, or fax your documents to the ALJ and the other party prior to the hearing. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing, but it is not required.
Please make sure you bring copies of any documents to support your position and any documents you have received from DWD or the other party.
The ALJ’s decision will become final unless you appeal the adverse Decision to the Review Board within eighteen (18) calendar days after the mailing date of the decision. The appeal must be in writing and signed by you. The appeal must contain the case number, the Claimant’s social security number, and an explanation of the reason for appeal. If you have additional information or documents that were not available at the time of the ALJ hearing, a request to submit the additional evidence and the documents should be included with the letter of appeal to the Review Board. The appeal should be mailed to:
Department of Workforce Development
UI Review Board
100 North Senate Avenue, Suite N802
Indianapolis, IN 46204
or by fax at (317) 233-3348.