While filing for unemployment you should have a lawyer to represent your interests and to familiarize you with the process. According to recent research, you statistically have a better chance of success on your claim if represented by a lawyer. The attorney can also provide you with phone numbers in order to help guide you around the Department of Unemployment Assistance. This is critical advice as the national unemployment rate is around 10%.
Here are some general tips for your unemployment hearing if you cannot obtain an advocate: 1) dress professionally; 2) keep your emotions in check; 3) provide documentation that is relevant to your case; and 4) answer only the question that is asked.
Dressing Professionally: Believe it or not, dressing professionally makes all the difference in the world. It says to the examiner that you take this matter seriously and sets the hearing in the right direction.
Keeping Your Emotions in Check: Someone’s employment is part of their identity, particularly those who have worked for the same employer for a long time. In most cases, we spend more time at our job than with our own families. Hence, losing one’s job can be both emotionally and financially devastating. Therefore, it is important to keep your emotions in check the day of the hearing. This may be the first time you see your employer since the last day you were employed at the company. The employer may have placed misrepresentations in your Department of Unemployment Assistance file. It is important to keep your eye on the prize and remember it is your benefits you are seeking, and not vengeance against your employer.
Providing Documents That Are Relevant to Your Case: Ultimately, it is your employer’s word against yours and the DUA Examiner must make the determination of whether you receive your benefits. Therefore, it is critical to supplement your testimony with documentation.
Only Answer the Question That Is Asked: This may seem self-explanatory, but you only have, at the most, an hour with the examiner and most hearings are finished in far less time. Therefore, the examiner is looking for very specific information, and claimants tend not to answer directly the question that is asked. It is important to answer the questions that are asked directly because it will increase your credibility with the examiner. Do not worry; you will have an opportunity to speak on your own behalf before the hearing is closed.
Hopefully, with these helpful hints, your unemployment hearing will go smoothy and garner the correct result.