Unemployment benefits exist to provide temporary relief to people who lost their job through no fault of their own. Claims for wrongful termination require that the employee be terminated for a reason prohibited by law. However, a person can be eligible for unemployment benefits in spite of being terminated for a reason permitted by law. For example, employees who lose their jobs due to a “lack of work” are eligible for unemployment, despite being terminated for legally permissible reasons.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) determines whether a claimant is eligible for benefits, and if so, for how much. After a claimant and their former employer submit all the requested information, ODJFS determines whether they were terminated through no fault of their own, and the amount of weekly benefits to which that person is entitled. This “initial determination” is provided to all interested parties after ODJFS makes its decision.
If either party disagrees, they may file an appeal with ODJFS. Typically, the deadline for such an appeal is 21 days from the date of the initial determination. Exceptions are sometimes made when the claimant is unable to file the appeal in a timely manner, usually for medical reasons. From here, ODJFS will issue a “redetermination” after considering any new evidence presented. After this, either party may appeal the redetermination within twenty-one days to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). The claimant is then provided with an oral hearing to make their case for eligibility.
If you determine that you need representation, then contact an attorney immediately. The short deadlines for appeals makes time an important factor in this process. An attorney will need to obtain important information, sign up a client and determine a course of action in a very short amount of time. The more notice you provide an attorney, the better case they will be able to present.
Willis Spangler Starling offers representation for clients who find themselves dealing with the unemployment appeals process. We assist our clients by providing insight on how to draft a persuasive explanation of their termination and by assisting a client through a hearing with the UCRC. If you feel that you need help with this process, then please contact our office as soon as possible. Call 614-721-6305 to get started today.