Books titled help and support


Glossary of Terms


The hearing cannot finish in the time allowed and is re-scheduled to continue on another day.


Administrative Law Judge

The impartial person who holds the hearing. The Administrative Law Judge asks questions, rules on issues that come up during the hearing, and makes the decision.



The legal process used by a party who disagrees with the decision of a hearing Administrative Law Judge and requests that one or more issues be reviewed by the Appeal Board. The appeal decision is signed by one or more members of the Appeal Board.


Appellate Division

A part of New York’s court system. Parties who receive unfavorable decisions from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board may appeal to the Appellate Division. All appeals from the Appeal Board go to the Third Department.


Application to Reopen

A request by a party for a new hearing after that party did not appear at a scheduled hearing or a request by a party for a reopening of an Appeal Board decision.



The process used by an unemployed person to request UI benefits. A claim may be filed by telephone, using the Interactive Voice Response System, or by using the Department of Labor’s website.



A person who applies for unemployment insurance (“UI”) benefits.


Closing Statement

An explanation given at the end of the hearing by each party, stating the reasons why it should receive a favorable decision.


Commissioner of Labor Representative

An employee of the Department of Labor, who may appear at a hearing on behalf of the Commissioner of Labor. The representative may present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make a closing statement to explain why the initial determination issued by the Department of Labor should be sustained.



When one party asks questions of another party or the other party’s witnesses. For example, the claimant (or claimant’s representative) may question any witness appearing on behalf of the employer. The employer’s representative may question the claimant and any witness appearing on behalf of the claimant. A representative of the Commissioner of Labor, if at the hearing, may question all parties and their witnesses.



The legal document signed and issued by the hearing Administrative Law Judge after a hearing, or by one or more Appeal Board Members after an appeal. The decision will state whether the Initial Determination by the Department of Labor should be sustained, overruled, or modified. The decision contains a procedural history, findings of fact, and an analysis of the facts and the law.



The failure to appear at a scheduled hearing by the party who requested the hearing or the failure of a party to proceed at a hearing.



A corporation, a partnership of two or more people, a small business, a single proprietor, or a business owner for whom a claimant worked.



Testimony or exhibits presented by a party in a hearing, which is used to convince the Administrative Law Judge to find facts and decide the case in favor of one side or the other.



Evidence in the form of documents, media, or other physical objects.



Evidence presented by a witness who heard about an incident from someone else but did not see or hear it him or herself.


Initial Determination

The document issued by the Department of Labor that concerns a specific legal issue and decides whether the claimant is or is not eligible for benefits.



A person or business which will be affected by the hearing results. The three parties that may participate in an unemployment insurance hearing are the claimant, the employer, and the Commissioner of Labor.



The person at the hearing who speaks to the Administrative Law Judge and questions witnesses on behalf of a party. The claimant’s representative may be an attorney but is not required to be. The employer may be represented by an attorney or by a company that represents employers in government matters. Or, the employer may be represented by one of its own employees, such as an employee from the personnel or human resources office.



To separate witnesses: if a party produces two or more witnesses, only the witness testifying will be allowed to remain in the hearing room. Other witnesses will be sent somewhere where they cannot hear the person testifying. The witnesses are separated so that they do not influence each other’s testimony.



A legal document, signed by the Administrative Law Judge, which directs an individual or business not a party to the hearing to provide a document to the Administrative Law Judge or which directs a specific person to testify at the hearing.



Statements given by parties or party witnesses under oath or affirmation.


The Record

The evidence the Administrative Law Judge will use to decide the case, including all testimony and documents entered into evidence.



A person other than a party who testifies at a hearing.