Why Would I Want a Hearing?
What if I disagree with the Department of Labor’s Notice of Determination?
If you disagree with the Notice of Determination you may request a hearing.
What is a Hearing?
What is a hearing?
A hearing is a proceeding held by a neutral Administrative Law Judge for the purpose of getting the facts to decide if a determination made by the Department of Labor is correct or not. Hearings are held over the phone. At the hearing, the claimant and the employer may give testimony and present documents in support of their positions. Sometimes, a representative from the Department of Labor will also be at the hearing.
How do I ask for a Hearing?
How do I ask for a hearing if I am a Claimant?
Hearing requests must be in writing. Speaking to a representative on the phone is not the same as a hearing request. You should be specific about the determination you disagree with to make sure everything that you disagree with is included in your hearing.
- To request a hearing online, go to https://labor.ny.gov/signin and sign in to your NY.Gov account. Choose “Go to My Online Forms.” Under the “Forms Available for Filing” menu on the left, choose the “Claimant Request for Hearing” form. Please fill out the form completely and submit it.
- You may also request a hearing by mail or fax. Submit a Claimant Request for a Hearing form which can be found in the back of the claimant handbook. You may also write a letter including your first and last name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number to the address below:
NYS Department of Labor
P.O. Box 15131
Albany, NY 12212-5131 or
- Fax to: 518-457-9378
How do I ask for a hearing if I am an Employer?
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://dol.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/02/lo436.pdf.
You are required to provide a detailed explanation of the events which you believe are the grounds for denying benefits to the claimant.
Is there a deadline for requesting a hearing?
A request for a hearing must be postmarked, faxed, or sent electronically within 30 days of the date printed on the initial determination. If you are late in making your hearing request, you may lose the opportunity to have the Administrative Law Judge hear the facts of your case. If you are asking for a hearing after 30 days, you must explain why you are filing the hearing request late. There are limited circumstances where an Administrative Law Judge may extend the time to file a hearing request.
I filed a hearing request and did not receive anything in response.
If you filed a hearing request and did not receive a Notice of Hearing within 30 days, you should keep your original request but also file another hearing request and contact the Department of Labor.
I do not have any documents to prove what I am saying is true. Can I still request a hearing?
Yes. The Administrative Law Judge will make a decision based on all the evidence, including your testimony.
Help for Claimants
How can I speak with someone to ask questions about the hearing process or a document I received?
The Claimant Advocate Office provides free, impartial, and confidential services that help claimants understand their rights and responsibilities under Unemployment Insurance Law. They can help if you:
- Received a determination or a questionnaire and do not fully understand it;
- Were found ineligible for benefits and need the hearing process explained to you; or
- Have an upcoming hearing or appeal and need help preparing for it
You can contact the Claimant Advocate Office at 855-528-5618, Monday - Friday 9 AM to 4 PM.
Call toll free: 855-528-5618 or
Send a Secure 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.
You can find more information here.
*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. You can find a list of legal resources on the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's website at https://uiappeals.ny.gov/list-attorneys-and-authorized-representatives. You may also request this list by calling (518) 402-0210.
I have other questions about my benefits.
For information about your benefits, you need to contact the Telephone Claims Center at (888) 209-8124 during the hours of operation: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM or following the instructions at the Unemployment Insurance Contact page.
What if I agree with the Notice of Determination, but I can't afford to pay back what they say I owe?
If you do not disagree with the Notice of Determination but cannot afford to pay back the amount listed there, you should contact the Department of Labor about other repayment options, such as paying the amount back over time or waiver options. For more information, contact the Telephone Claims Center at (888) 209-8124 or for hearing impaired individuals (888) 783-1370 or contact the Department of Labor using your NY.Gov ID.
For more information, please review the Overpayments and Penalties Frequently Asked Questions on the Department of Labor’s website.
I never applied for Unemployment Insurance benefits.
If you never applied for unemployment insurance benefits and received a Notice of Determination from the Department of Labor, you may be the victim of identity theft. You should contact the Department of Labor to notify them of the problem. You should also request a hearing for the Notice of Determination that you received to protect your rights.
If you believe you have been the victim of identity fraud, go to https://dol.ny.gov/report-fraud/ for more information and to report the fraud to the Department of Labor.
If I Get Another Determination
What if I get another Notice of Determination after I have asked for a hearing?
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.
If you are not sure if you need to file a new hearing request, you should file a new request to make sure your rights are protected.
Can an Employer Stop My Request?
What if any former employer tries to prevent me from asking for a hearing or an appeal?
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.
When Will the Hearing Happen?
How soon after I make my request will the hearing take place?
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.
Can I request my hearing for a certain day or time?
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.
I need to change the date or time of my hearing.
If you need to change the date or time of your hearing, you can contact the hearing office at the number at the top of the Hearing Notice. The Administrative Law Judge will rule on your request.
If your request is denied, but you are unable to go forward with the hearing at the scheduled time, you can still apply to reopen the hearing after you get the default decision.
Continue to Certify for Benefits
Should I continue to certify for benefits while waiting for the hearing?
Yes. If you are seeking benefits, you should continue to certify for 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.
Administrative Law Judge
Who is the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
The Administrative Law Judge is an impartial decision-maker who is supervised by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. The Administrative Law Judge is independent of the Department of Labor.
What role does the ALJ play at the hearing?
The Administrative Law Judge hears the case and makes a written decision on the correctness of the Notice of Determination. The Administrative Law Judge will conduct the hearing by asking questions of the parties and their witnesses (who must swear or affirm to tell the truth) and considering any relevant documents that are accepted into evidence.
Will the Administrative Law Judge help me during the hearing?
The Administrative Law Judge can answer questions about how the hearing works and explain the issues they will decide. The Administrative Law Judge is not your lawyer or representative and cannot help you decide how to present your case.
May I contact the ALJ before or after the hearing?
The Administrative Law Judge is not allowed to speak to a party before or after the hearing. If you have questions about the hearing date, the hearing procedure, or want to request a postponement, you should contact the staff at the hearing office at the phone number at the top of the hearing notice. The staff at the hearing office may not provide you with advice about your case.
You may contact the Claimant Advocate Office at (855) 528-5618 or [email protected] for any other questions you have about your case prior to the hearing.