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Iowa Appeals Process – What Happens When you’re Denied Benefits?

Last Verified: January 2017 “Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information about your state’s unemployment rules. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we’ve verified this information with your state’s department.”

You may appeal any decision by the department to the Appeals Bureau. You may appeal a monetary determination or a denial of benefits. You may file your appeal online at the Workforce Development site or by mail.

Iowa Workforce Development

Appeals Bureau

1000 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50319

[email protected]

515-281-3747 or 800-532-1483

How to File an Unemployment Benefits Appeal in IA

At the web site, the system will prompt you to include the necessary information. If you file by mail, you must include:

  • Your name, address and social security number
  • The decision you are appealing and why
  • The date of that decision
  • Whether you want a telephone or in-person hearing
  • Whether you need an interpreter and the language you need

You don’t have to make a complete and detailed argument when you file your appeal.

Preparing for an Unemployment Appeals Hearing in IA

The Appeals Bureau will schedule a hearing once they receive the appeal. You will receive notice of the date and time of the hearing (and place if you request an in-person hearing). If you have a telephone hearing, you will receive the phone number to call for your hearing and instructions for joining the conference call.

You have the right to have a representative present at the hearing. You may hire an attorney or ask a friend to represent you, but neither is necessary. If you ask a friend to represent you, that friend cannot testify to the facts of what happened with your case.

You may have witnesses and present evidence at the hearing. Make sure your witnesses and evidence are relevant to the circumstances of your dismissal. Your witness is not likely to be asked about your character. Your witness should have first-hand knowledge about what happened.

You should prepare to make your case to the judge. Consider the facts of what happened and how they lead to your dismissal. Your argument should make logical sense and not be based on emotion.

What Happens in an Unemployment Appeals Hearing in IA

Call in to the telephone number provided on time. If you are late or miss the hearing without informing the Appeals Bureau, the judge may conclude that you have “failed to appear” at the hearing and decide to let the original determination stand.

Your employer or the Department staffer who decided your initial claim may appear at the hearing. They will see your evidence and you will have access to theirs if they have any.

The judge will give instructions to the parties at the hearing and state the issues to be addressed. Then, he will begin asking questions. The order is to be determined. You may go first if you filed the appeal, or the employer may go first if the issue is whether you voluntarily quit or were fired without cause.

The judge will give you an opportunity to present your case. You will have an opportunity to enter your evidence into the record, tell what happened from your perspective and ask your employer questions. The employer or Department staffer will have the same opportunities as you. The judge will have questions for both parties.

When the hearing is finished, the judge will dismiss both parties and then make a decision later. The judge will only use the facts and evidence presented at the hearing.

The Appeals Bureau will mail the judge’s decision to both parties within 14 days of the hearing. The judge may affirm the department’s original decision, reverse the original decision or send your case back to Workforce Development to look at it again.

You should continue to certify weekly for benefits even if you are not receiving them so that you may receive credit for those weeks you would have been otherwise eligible.

There is a second level of the appeals process. If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you may appeal to the Employment Appeal Board. You will receive instructions on how to make a next-level appeal.

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