Appealing denial of unemployment compensation benefits

Once your local Employment Development Department (EDD) denies your unemployment benefits, you have an opportunity to appeal that decision in front of the Administrative Judge of the Board of Appeal. At that hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain to the judge why you should be entitled to unemployment benefits, and the employer will try to convince the Board while the decision of EDD should be upheld.

In many ways, that hearing reminds the bench trial, as the parties have the opportunity to make opening statements, present relevant evidence (documents) , as well as direct and cross examine their own as well the opposing witnesses.

An employee may be represented by an attorney, and such representation is highly recommended for three main reasons: (1) an experienced employment attorney will make more compelling arguments based on the law and the past case law, analogizing the employee’s situation to other claims where the benefits were granted; (2) examining witnesses and eliciting from them the necessary information can often be tricky and requires experience that few, if any, non-attorneys have; and (3) at the end, most judges will take the lawyer’s words much more seriously than the arguments of any other person.

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