This guide explains how an individual may appeal a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). unemployment benefits decision denying an individual unemployment benefits.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
Though appealing and the process explained in this guide may seem straight forward, handling a TWC appeal is fraught with peril. The TWC has its own precedents, procedure, and policies, and the TWC makes it easy for a former employee to slip up and end up completely barred from contesting a finding that the employee is ineligible for unemployment benefits.
Timely File for an Appeal
TWC gives employees 14 days from when the decision is mailed from Austin to appeal the decision. Importantly, this does not mean 14 days from when someone receives the decision. Absent a very, very small set of exceptions, failure to timely appeal will wholly and completely bar a former employee from contesting the initial determination. You must timely appeal the unfavorable decision.
Receive and Review the TWC Hearing Packet
TWC will then send out a hearing packet that should state the time and the date of the telephone hearing. It is important to review and read the package as it gives many detail about the hearing and the process. Of course, an attorney competent in employment law or TWC appeals should be able to guide you through what to expect in a TWC unemployment hearing.
Submit Supporting Documents to the TWC
By this time, you should know the reasoning behind TWC's denial of unemployment benefits. It is important to gather documents and statements that support your case. It is recommended that you submit these documents as far in advance of the hearing as possible.
Call into the Hearing
You may call into the TWC 30 minutes before the hearing. It is extremely important that you do not miss the hearing. Missing the hearing or failing to call in can jeopardize your chances of a favorable ruling or even obtaining a hearing at all. You will call TWC and then the hearing officer will call you back.
Have the Hearing
This is where having an attorney is important. Generally, the TWC Hearing Officer will ask questions, but you will have an opportunity to ask questions of the former employer. Having an attorney who understands the TWC case law will help you fine tune questions and likely give you the best odds at prevailing in obtaining a favorable ruling.
Wait for the Determination
Once the hearing is over, the TWC officer will issue a written opinion which will be mailed to you. The Officer may uphold or reverse the original decision. If the decision is in your favor, then you may then begin to receive unemployment benefits. If the hearing officer upholds the original determination denying unemployment benefits, then you may try a written appeal to the appeals tribunal. This is also something for which I would recommend hiring an attorney.
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