Any employers an individual worked for in the last 18 months may be charged for the individual’s UI benefits. Because of this, employers are able to protest the claim seeking relief from the benefit charges. The protest must be filed within ten calendar days after the notice of claim is sent to the employer. Claims are automatically protested if the individual indicates they were fired from or quit their most recent job.
If a claim is protested, IWD may arrange a fact-finding interview. Individuals are still required to file weekly claims until the fact-finding process is completed. If an individual is found eligible for unemployment and weekly claims have not been filed, back-dating claims will not occur.
The fact-finding interview will be conducted by phone. The individual and the employer will receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Fact-Finding Interview letter containing the scheduled date, time, and the phone number where the individual will be called for the interview. The notice contains complete instructions including what to do if the telephone number listed is incorrect. Failure to participate in a fact-finding interview could result in denial of UI benefits.
After the fact-finding interview, an eligibility decision will be mailed to the individual and employer. Either party can appeal the decision if they disagree. Appeal rights and instructions are included on the back of the decision notice.
First-Level Appeal — Administrative Law Judge
Both the employer and the individual have the right to appeal the fact-finding decision and present testimony to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The appeal must be postmarked or received by the appeal deadline listed in the decision or the right to appeal may be lost. The appeal period is extended to the next business day if the appeal deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
To access and submit an online appeal form, visit www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov and provide the requested information. A written appeal can be mailed to:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
The written appeal should include:
- Individual’s name, address and SSN
- Date of the decision
- Reason for appealing
- Hearing preference (telephone or in-person)
- Language for interpreter, if needed
Contact the Appeals Bureau for assistance by:
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone at 515-281-3747 or 800-532-1483
Once a decision is appealed, a formal hearing will be scheduled with an administrative law judge. Hearings are typically held by phone, however, the individual or the employer may request an in-person hearing. The party requesting the in-person hearing must travel to the IowaWORKS Center closest to the other party. There are 15 IowaWORKS Centers where in- person hearings are held.
Note: If the individual is still unemployed, they should keep filing weekly claims during the appeal process.
If a notice for a phone hearing is received, it will contain complete instructions. Both parties must provide a current phone number to confirm participation in the hearing. The telephone number may be provided by calling the Appeals Bureau or entering the number on the web page listed on the notice. The Appeals Bureau phone number on the notice is toll-free.
Warning: If a current number is not provided to the Appeals Bureau prior to the scheduled hearing, the party will not be called to participate.
Unlike the fact-finding interview, an appeal hearing is a formal process where all parties are sworn in and the hearing is recorded. The administrative law judge will take new statements concerning the issue even if a statement was already given at the fact-finding interview.
Either party can submit additional evidence at the hearing, so participation is important. If an individual chooses to hire an attorney to attend the hearing, the individual will be responsible to pay the full expenses for the attorney.
The administrative law judge will make an impartial decision based on the information presented at the hearing and the contents of the individual’s file. The administrative law judge’s decision should be mailed within 14 days.
Second–Level Appeal — Employment Appeal Board
If either the employer or individual disagrees with the administrative law judge’s decision, it may be appealed to the Employment Appeal Board. The Employment Appeal Board is part of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals located in the Lucas State Office Building. The appeal must be postmarked within 15 calendar days from the mailing date of the administrative law judge’s decision.
All parties will receive a CD of the administrative law judge’s hearing recording and will be given an opportunity to submit a written summary of their side. The Employment Appeal Board does not hold hearings. The board decides each case by reviewing all the evidence that was presented to the administrative law judge. The board may:
- Affirm or reverse the administrative law judge’s decision or
- Send the case back to the administrative law judge for further review or
- Order a new hearing and decision if the evidence in the administrative law judge’s hearing is not sufficient or incomplete.
It usually takes 45 to 75 days from the date the appeal is filed to receive the Employment Appeal Board decision.
If an employer or individual disagrees with the Employment Appeal Board decision, a petition may be filed for judicial review in Iowa District Court or request a rehearing before the Employment Appeal Board. The procedure and appeal deadlines are provided on the Employment Appeal Board decision.