What Can I Do If My Unemployment Claim is Denied?

A temporary employee voluntarily quit without notice to the employer, they simply stopped showing up. Two weeks later, the former employee filed an unemployment claim with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. In their claim, the former employee alleged they were fired without cause and are therefore entitled to unemployment benefits.

Even after the employer contacted the IDES, officials indicated the employers’ claim to refute payment of benefits was denied. What recourse do Chicago employers have if an unemployment claim is fraudulently filed against their business?

Can Employers Appeal an Unemployment Claim?

A former worker must file a petition to receive benefits from the IDES. The employer is notified, and at that point, they may choose to contest the claim. If an employee was fired for misconduct, or if they voluntarily quit, they are ineligible for benefits. The employer only has 10 days from receipt of notice to contest the petition, otherwise, benefits are automatically approved for the former worker.

If the employer contests the unemployment claim, an IDES caseworker is assigned to the petition. The caseworker will usually interview both parties and then make an objective decision to award or deny benefits. Once that decision is rendered, either party can appeal it. This means if the caseworker approved a worker’s unemployment claim (despite proof that the employee quit voluntarily), the employer can appeal that decision.

Understanding the Unemployment Claim Appellate Process

The aggrieved party only has 30 days from receipt of the letter of determination to file an appeal. They must file a Request for Reconsideration of Claim Adjudicator’s Determination. The letter should contain the rationale for why the party believes a mistake is made. Appeals are forwarded to the appeals division and a hearing date is assigned, where an administrative law judge (ALJ) will preside.

Any documentation the party wishes to admit as an evidence exhibit must be provided to the ALJ in advance of the hearing to be reviewed. If it is not received it can not be relied upon at the hearing. The administrative law judge will issue a decision. Prior to the hearing, an IDES referee may seek the sworn testimony of both parties.

If one of the parties disagrees with the ALJ’s decision, they can file an appeal with the IDES Board of Review. The appellant has 30 days to file an appeal. The Board of Review will usually make a decision without scheduling another hearing, instead of relying on testimony and evidence elicited in the prior hearing. If either party disagrees with the decision of the Board of Review, they must then appeal it to the circuit court of jurisdiction (usually the county in which the employer is located).

If an employer loses an appeal to deny benefits for the former worker, there are consequences. The employee’s benefits are then paid directly out of the employer’s unemployment insurance account, and the employer’s insurance rates may substantially increase. For this reason, it is crucial that employers contesting a Chicago unemployment claim consult with an experienced unemployment law firm.

Call Chicago Unemployment Defense Attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services

If a former employee applied for unemployment benefits despite being terminated with cause, or if they voluntarily quit, you do have options. Even if your claim has been denied, you do have recourse.

The Chicago employment defense lawyers at North Suburban Legal Services can help you file an appeal. We specialize in all facets of employment law, including the defense of unemployment claims, and we serve clients throughout Cook County. Call today to schedule a consultation at 312-909-6089.




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