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If you disagree with the Notice of Determination you may request a hearing.
The hearing is an informal procedure at which the claimant and the employer may give testimony and present documents in support of their positions. On occasion, a representative from the Department of Labor will also be at the hearing. The hearing is conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who is neutral.
Submit your request for a hearing to Unemployment Insurance Division, PO Box 15131, Albany, NY 12212-5131. “Employer Request for Hearing” forms are available online at https://labor.ny.gov/ui/aso/hearing2.shtm
You are required to provide a detailed explanation of the events which you believe are the grounds for denying benefits to the claimant.
If you are a claimant, contact the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Advocate Office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call toll-free: 855-528-5618. You can also contact the Claimant Advocate office by sending a secure online message. Log in at https://labor.ny.gov/signin Select the envelope icon. On the next page, select the menu button beside “Message Inbox” and choose “Compose New.” Select “Claimant Advocate Office” for the subject line.
*Staff at the Claimant Advocate’s Office are not lawyers and cannot represent you at a hearing. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney or a registered representative, you may be able to get free representation from a pro bono attorney or your local Legal Aid Society or legal services program. For a list of legal resources, including attorneys, registered representatives, legal services programs and pro bono attorneys’ organizations, go to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board website at www.uiappeals.ny.gov. Click on the “Resources” tab and then click on “List of Attorneys & Authorized Agents.” You may also request this list by calling (518) 402-0205.
A request for a hearing must be postmarked, faxed, or sent electronically within 30 days of the date printed on the initial determination. It is important to make a timely hearing request, or you may lose the opportunity to have a hearing about the facts of your case.
Hearings are scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST). You cannot request a specific day or time. If there is a specific date or time that you are unavailable for a hearing, you should include this information in your request for a hearing with an explanation of why you are unavailable.
Yes. You should continue to certify weekly as long as you are unemployed and seeking benefits, both before and after the hearing, or if you appeal to the Appeal Board or to the Court. If you fail to certify you could lose your benefits. You should follow all instructions you receive from the Unemployment Insurance Office.
The ALJ is a neutral decision-maker on the staff of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board and is independent of the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) and the Department of Labor.
The ALJ has a right to sustain (agree), overrule (disagree) or modify (change) the Notice of Determination. The ALJ will conduct the hearing by asking questions of the parties and their witnesses (who must swear or affirm to tell the truth) and by accepting documents into evidence. The ALJ will review the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing and make a decision, in writing, about whether the claimant is entitled to benefits. In some cases, the ALJ decides whether a claimant worked as an employee or independent contractor and whether a business is liable as an employer for contributions to the unemployment insurance fund. For more information see below under ‘At the Hearing, what happens at the hearing?’
Hearings are generally scheduled two weeks after the Appeal Board receives the hearing file from the Department of Labor. Hearings are generally held within 30 days after you make the request.
A hearing notice will be mailed to all involved parties and their representatives at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled hearing.
Read the Notice of Hearing carefully.
The Notice of Hearing will have the following important information:
Call the hearing office as soon as possible to update your telephone number. The hearing office phone number is listed on the top of the Notice of Hearing.
If your hearing notice says to appear at the hearing office, you should try to do so. If you are unable to attend in person, you should call or fax the hearing location at the top of the Notice of Hearing and request a phone hearing. Explain why you need a phone the phone hearing. You will be told if you are permitted to participate by telephone.
If you or your witness have limited skills in the English language you may request interpretation services to assist you during the hearing. Contact the hearing office on the Notice of Hearing prior to the hearing. An interpreter will be provided at no charge. Language services may be provided for any spoken language or sign language.
If you or your witnesses have a disability of any kind, arrangements will be made to make sure all parties can participate in the hearing. You should notify the hearing office listed on the top of the Notice of Hearing of any requests for accommodation.
If you receive a new Notice of Determination after you asked for a hearing, read the instructions provided on the notice carefully. You may be required to make a new hearing request on any additional determinations you disagree with. Follow the instructions on the Notice of Determination about when and how to ask for a hearing.
According to the Labor Law, no one has the right to interfere with your claim for benefits. To file a complaint, call 888-4-NYSDOL and choose the option for Labor Standards or ask to be connected to the Labor Standards Division.
Watch the video on "How to Prepare for a Hearing" on the UIAB website by visiting uiappeals.ny.gov. Once you land on the page, scroll down to find the video.in the language you need. The video is subtitled in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Russian, Polish, and Italian.
Read the hearing notice carefully to see if you should bring any documents or witnesses to the hearing. Be sure to see if there are any Special Instructions on any pages of the Notice of Hearing.
You have the right to contact an attorney or registered representative to represent you at the hearing. You do not have to be represented by an attorney.
The Board does not provide or recommend attorneys, but it does maintain a list of attorneys and other persons and organizations that represent claimants. This list can be accessed using the link below. Claimants may be charged a fee for the services provided by an attorney or other representative, but only if the decision goes in the claimant’s favor and only after the Board approves the fee. The list also includes organizations that provide legal services for free.
The hearing file contains documents used by the Department of Labor in reaching its determination. These documents may include Department of Labor forms, questionnaires or written statements completed by the claimant or the employer and/or summaries of telephone interviews prepared by a Department of Labor representative. The hearing file may also contain documents sent in by the claimant or the employer prior to the hearing. Nothing in the hearing file may be used by the ALJ in the decision unless it is introduced as evidence at the hearing. If you would like a document to be considered as evidence, you must make a request to the ALJ.
If would like a copy of your case file, you can request a copy at the office where your hearing is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM. If you cannot afford to pay for a copy of your file, sign the form at the hearing location which will allow to you to receive a copy free of charge. You can also call the office where your hearing is scheduled and ask them to make a copy of your case file which you will pick up at a scheduled time.
You should have a copy of your case file with you when you meet with an attorney or a representative.
You may also request to view your case file 30 minutes before your hearing at the office where your hearing is scheduled. If your hearing is by telephone, you will receive a copy of the entire hearing file with your hearing notice. If the copy of the file did not come with the hearing notice, immediately call the hearing location at the phone number listed on the top of the hearing notice and a new copy will be sent to you.
It is important that you speak with any witnesses that can help your case and arrange for them to come to the hearing. If they are unable to appear in person, you may arrange for them to be available by phone at the time of your hearing. Be prepared to provide the ALJ with the witness’s telephone number.
Go to the hearing and be prepared to testify and present the rest of your evidence. Explain to the ALJ who the witness is or what the documents are, why you were unable to bring them to the hearing, and why you believe the witness or document is necessary. If the ALJ decides that the missing evidence is necessary, the hearing can be adjourned (postponed) and rescheduled to a later date, or it can be closed with the right to apply to reopen. If necessary, the ALJ may also issue a subpoena to help you get the document or witness. If a witness is unable to appear in person, you may arrange for the witness to be available by phone at the time of your hearing. Be prepared to provide the ALJ with the witness’s telephone number.
A subpoena is a legal paper that orders a witness to come to the hearing or orders a company or an individual to send documents to the ALJ for the hearing.
If you have an attorney, the attorney may issue the subpoena on your behalf. If you do not have an attorney, you may contact the hearing office by fax or mail as indicated on the top of your hearing notice if you believe you need a subpoena.
Be sure to include your name, case number, and the name and address of the person or the company whose records that you want to have subpoenaed, why you cannot bring the witness or evidence on your own, and what you believe the witness or evidence would prove. Your request may be granted at the time of the request and the subpoena issued at that point, or you may be told to make your request directly to the ALJ who will decide during the hearing whether to issue a subpoena.
The ALJ will consider whether there should be another adjournment or whether the case will be decided on the rest of the evidence.
You can mail or fax documents which you believe are important to your case to the address or fax number at the top of the Notice of Hearing. The documents should arrive at the hearing office at least three days before the date of the hearing. Be sure to include your name and your ALJ case number. If the other party is appearing by telephone, you should send a copy of your documents to the other party at the address listed on the hearing notice. If you are unable to send the documents in advance, you should bring them to your hearing, but you must bring three copies of the documents.
The ALJ is not permitted to speak to a party before or after the hearing. You may speak to staff in the hearing office or the Claimant Advocate Office prior to the hearing if you have any questions.
You have the right to listen to recordings of any previous hearings. You can come into the office where the hearing took place to listen to the recording or you can request a DVD of the hearing recording by calling the hearing office at the telephone number shown at the top of the notice of hearing. The cost of the DVD is $10. If you cannot afford to pay the $10 you must sign a form indicating that you are unable to pay for the DVD.
Yes, you can submit witness statements; however, witness statements are considered hearsay testimony. Firsthand witnesses (witnesses who actually saw or heard the events that are at issue in the hearing) are more important than documents describing what happened or witnesses who can only repeat what they were told by another person.
Our website includes links to the Unemployment Insurance law and other legal resources. Also, there is a link to a searchable database of Appeal Board decisions going back to 2008: http://uiappeals.ny.gov/search-ui-appeal-board-decisions.shtm. You may reference these decisions to the ALJ in your closing statement to support your case.
During the hearing, the ALJ will:
If you are late for an in-person hearing, you may not be allowed to participate. If you requested the hearing, a default or non-appearance decision will be issued. If you did not request the hearing, the hearing will go forward with only the party who made the request and a decision will be issued.
Call the hearing office listed on the top the hearing notice within the first 15 minutes of the time of the hearing.
Generally, hearings take from 45 to 90 minutes. If there are multiple issues to be addressed in the hearing, it may be scheduled for a longer time frame. However, a hearing will last as long as it takes the Judge to get the necessary evidence to decide the case. Some hearings will not be finished during the scheduled time frame and will have to be adjourned (continued on another day).
Yes. If possible, print the text messages before the hearing so hard copies of the messages can be entered into evidence. If you do not have the ability to print the messages, you can read the text messages at an in-person hearing but be prepared to hand your cellphone to the ALJ and other parties so that they can read the messages themselves. If you are participating by telephone, you will need to print the text messages and send copies to the ALJ and other parties before the hearing.
If you want the ALJ to consider a video or audio recording, you must make copies for the ALJ and other parties. The hearing notice will include a list of the formats that may be used.
No. The hearing will be recorded by the UI Appeal Board. If the decision of the ALJ is appealed, you may request a transcript free of charge. If the decision of the ALJ is not appealed, you may request a copy of the hearing recording or a transcript for a fee.
Post-hearing briefs are not accepted. You and/or your representative or attorney should present all of your evidence and/or legal arguments at the hearing.
It is very important that you attend your scheduled hearing. If you cannot attend your hearing, contact the office listed on the top of the Notice of Hearing as soon as possible to explain why you cannot attend. Based on the reason(s) you give for not attending the hearing, the judge will decide if you can be excused from the hearing and whether or not the hearing will be adjourned (postponed). Any correspondence related to your case should include the ALJ Case Number listed on the Notice of Hearing. Personnel at the Hearing office will tell you whether your request for a postponement is granted.
The hearing will go forward so long as the party who requested the hearing appears, even if the non-requesting party does not appear. The ALJ will issue a decision based solely on the testimony and any documents offered by the appearing party.
If you did not attend the hearing and the decision is not in your favor, you may apply to reopen the case. Applications to reopen will only be granted if you show that you had a good reason for not showing up at the hearing and you apply to reopen the hearing within a reasonable time.
A hearing could be postponed at the request of a party before the hearing for a variety of good reasons. Examples include a party or a party’s representative, or attorney has another legal proceeding at the same time, or the claimant or the employer’s necessary witness has jury duty, or military duty of short duration (for example, a short National Guard duty).
Call the hearing office before the day of the hearing to follow up on your request. If you have not received an answer by the time of your scheduled hearing, you should attend the hearing.
Generally, an adjourned hearing can be placed back on the schedule within two to three weeks. It may take longer if the ALJ has issued a subpoena for records.
You should let the ALJ know that you have tried to find an attorney or representative with no success. The ALJ may grant you permission to reopen the case once you have found an attorney or representative.
Before your reopened hearing, review your case file and listen to recordings of any previous hearings, at the hearing site before the hearing (for in-person hearings). All hearing offices are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Bring your hearing notice to the hearing site well in advance of the hearing and request to view and/or copy the case file. If you have financial difficulty, you may fill out a waiver and request a free copy. If you are looking for legal representation, it is important to have a copy of your case file ready so that an attorney can review it.
Any party that does not attend an unemployment insurance hearing after receiving notification may only request one reopening. If you fail either to appear or proceed at a second hearing, any further request for reopening must be made to the Appeal Board. The Board will grant another hearing only if it determines that your failure to appear at both prior hearings may be for good cause.
Shortly after the hearing, the ALJ will issue a written decision based on the testimony and any exhibits (documents, videos, or items) that were made part of the record during the hearing. The decision will include the facts that the ALJ found to be true, and the reason for sustaining or overruling each determination, based on the law. If you do not understand the decision, immediately call the hearing location at the phone number listed on the top of the hearing notice and ask for an explanation. Claimants may call the Claimant Advocate Office toll free at 855-528-5618.
The decision will be mailed to you as soon after the hearing as possible. If you do not receive a decision within three weeks, contact the hearing office where you had your hearing (the phone number is at the top of the notice of hearing).
No. The ALJ will make a decision based only on the testimony and exhibits taken at the hearing. You must submit all your evidence before the hearing is closed. You may state why you believe the decision should be in your favor during your closing statement at the hearing.
If you were at the hearing and lost all or part of the case, you may file an appeal to the Appeal Board. The decision will contain instructions on how to file an appeal. An appeal must be postmarked or faxed no later than 20 days after the date printed or stamped on the front of the ALJ decision.
The appeal must be in writing. Send a letter to the Appeal Board at PO Box 15126, Albany, NY 12212-5126, or by fax to 518-402-6208. Be sure to include your ALJ Case number in your appeal request.
One or more of the five Board members will review the facts that led to the decision of the hearing ALJ and issue a decision. This is a written process. No further hearings will be scheduled unless the Board decides an additional hearing is necessary.
Not always. If the other party appeared at the hearing and disagrees with the ALJ’s decision they can appeal to the Appeal Board. If the other party did not appear, the other party may request to reopen the case which may lead to a new decision. The Commissioner of Labor may also appeal to the Appeal Board, even if there was no representative of the Commissioner at the hearing.
Once a request for an appeal has been submitted either by you or another party, all parties will be sent a notice of receipt of appeal with instructions about how to request a copy of the transcript of the hearing and how to submit a statement.
If you disagree with the ALJ hearing decision and have requested an appeal to the Board, you must request a transcript of the hearing within seven days of the date on the Notice of Receipt of Appeal. You can request either a paper transcript, a CD/DVD or email of the transcript which you will receive free of charge. Paper transcripts will be mailed to you by the US Postal Service. We can email you a copy of the transcript by secure (encrypted) email if you provide your email address when you request a copy of the transcript.
To request a transcript of your hearing after you have appealed the ALJ hearing decision to the Appeal Board, submit your request in writing to:
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
PO Box 15126
Albany, New York 12212-5131
If your hearing has been completed and you do not want to appeal the ALJ hearing decision but still want a copy of your hearing transcript, request a copy of the transcript in writing and include your name, address, telephone number, signature, the case number, and the date or dates of each hearing along with a deposit of $75 payable to the Department of Labor to the address below. The deposit is non-refundable and will be deducted from the total cost of the transcript.
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
PO Box 29002
Brooklyn, New York 11202-9002
Or call 718-613-3500 for fee information and further instructions.
The Appeal Board must order transcripts from an outside vendor. The cost is $2.70 per page. The transcription cost is what the Appeal Board must pay to have your recording transcribed. Depending on the length of your hearing the cost of the transcript may increase. It is best to call the number above to learn more about the costs.
If you are a Third Party such as an attorney and want to request a transcript of someone else’s hearing, then please call 718-613-3500 for more information.
Yes. You may submit a written statement within seven days of the date on the Notice of Receipt of Appeal.
You don't have to submit a statement, but you should send one if you want the Appeal Board Member to know exactly why you disagree with the ALJ's decision. Two copies of the statement must be sent to the Appeal Board. If the statement is submitted by an attorney, the attorney must provide copies of the statement to the opposing parties and the opposing attorney.
It will vary depending on the number of appeals before the Board at any given time. It can take as long as two or three months from the time the appeal is filed.
Within thirty days from the date of the decision by an Appeal Board Member, a party can appeal to the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, Third Department. The instructions will appear on the Board’s decision. A party may also apply to the Board within the same time frame for a reopening and reconsideration of the Board’s decision.
No. The technical rules of evidence that apply in civil and criminal cases do not apply to administrative hearings. For example, hearsay evidence may be considered although it generally will not count as heavily as firsthand testimony.
No. A claimant cannot give away his or her right to unemployment insurance benefits under the Labor Law.
No. You cannot request that the other party provide evidence before the hearing. You have the opportunity to review the case file, which contains any documents previously submitted to the Department of Labor and any documents upon which the Department relied on to make its determination. If you believe the other party has other documents that may be necessary for you to prove your case, contact the hearing office and let them know the documents you wish to have produced and why they are necessary. The ALJ will address the request at the hearing.
Only an attorney licensed in New York or a representative registered with the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board may charge and receive a fee.
Non-attorneys must submit an application to become a registered representative. The application and any supporting documentation is reviewed by the Chief Administrative Law Judge. If the basic requirements have been met, an interview is conducted. Upon approval by the Chief Judge, and after receipt of a surety bond, the applicant is listed as a Registered Representative and is eligible to assist claimants with Unemployment Insurance cases.
The Appeal Board’s regulations governing registered representatives, including when and how they may receive a fee, is on our website, at http://uiappeals.ny.gov/pdf/appeal-board-rules-and-regulations.pdf
No. The approved fee amount is paid by the claimant directly.