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Kansas Unemployment Appeals
Frequently, people will call stating that their employer has denied them unemployment benefits. This isn't accurate as it's not up to an employer to decide whether or not you are eligible for benefits. That determination is made by the Dept. of Labor, and while employers frequently dispute unemployment eligibility, that is nothing more than their argument. The Kansas Dept. of Labor has a very specific process that is used to determine unemployment eligibility, and to successfully win your Kansas Unemployment Appeal you will have to successfully navigate that very particular and demanding process. While the process is similar in Kansas and Missouri, there are some important fundamental differences.
Before any benefits will be granted, you have to file a claim. This can be done online via the Dept. of Labor's website at:
The Initial Determination
Following an application, the employer will receive what is called the "Employer Notice" which lets them know that an application for Kansas unemployment benefits has been filed and gives them the opportunity, within a very specific period of time, to submit their version of events.
Ultimately, an examiner at the Dept. of Labor will review the written documentation and statements that have been submitted. Based upon those statements, and potentially a very brief phone interview, the examiner will make an initial unemployment eligibility determination. You will receive via mail a document titled: "Notice of Determination." That document will state whether or not you have been initially determined eligible for unemployment benefits. If you have been denied Kansas unemployment benefits you have 16 days to appeal that determination. If you are initially approved for Kansas unemployment benefits the employer has 16 days to appeal the determination. It is important to understand that either party has the right to an automatic appeal of this initial determination.
Remember: There are hard and fast deadlines with these matters. If you miss one, it may make it very difficult to win your Kansas unemployment appeal.
Read the Notice of Determination very carefully and note that you only have 16 days from the date that document was mailed to appeal an adverse determination. If you miss that time period it is much more difficult to win your benefits.
The First Kansas Unemployment Appeal
If you are intially denied unemployment benefits by the examiner, don't worry. Many, many valid claims are denied upon the initial determination. It is crucial to understand that the initial determination carries no weight and is given no consideration if there a Kanas unemployment appeal is filed. Once the initial Kansas unemployment appeal is filed, it is essentially as if the intital determination never happened!
At this level of appeal an administrative law judge called the "Referee" will conduct an evidentiary hearing following which, based solely upon the evidence elicited during that hearing, and the relevant law, will make a brand new determination as to Kansas unemployment eligibility.
These hearings are normally conducted over the phone, but they are not a "simple phone call" with the judge. Testimony will be taken, objections ruled upon, documentary evidence introduced and cross examination allowed. You are likely to face questions from the judge as well as cross examination from your former employer. These evidentiary hearings are very much like and must be treated as miniature trials.
Kansas unemployment appeal hearings are recorded and a transcript of that recording, along with the relevant documents, become the "Record." You are very unlikely to get a second chance to build that record as all further appeals are based upon that record as it stands. Absent truly extraordinary circumstances, there will not be any more hearings. That is why the Kansas unemployment appeal hearing is the most important event that will happen during the course of your appeal for Kansas unemployment benefits and is without question the best time to consult with an experienced Kansas unemployment appeal attorney. Your intitial Kansas unemployment appeal is critical as you won't get another chance to build th factual record for your case. It is the best time to bring in an experienced Kansas unemployment appeal attorney..
The Employment Security Board of Review
If the Referee denied benefits you must appeal to the Employment Security Board of Review. At this level of appeal the Board will review the record that was created at your hearing and either reverse or affirm the Referee's determination. You will not have another hearing. To have any reasonable chance at reversal your written appeal must make compelling legal arguments as to why the Referee's determination was erroneous. Should the Board of Review affirm a decision denying benefits, you have exhausted your adminstrative remedies and must take the matter to the District Court via a process called Judicial Review of an Agency Action. If you are already in this position, you should contact and experienced Kansas unemployment attorney immediately to discuss your options.
Appeals to the Unemployment Security Board of Review must be filed within 16 days of the mailing of the Referee's decision.
Attorneys are allowed to conduct unemployment appeal hearings with clients located remotely. Even if your not physically located nearby, you do not need to go it alone or unprepared.
Please understand, although usually conducted over the phone, this telephone hearing is NOT the same as the phone interview you may have had with an examiner.