The Appeals Process
These steps occur after the initial claims determination:
- Job Loss: The claimant loses his/her job through no fault of his/her own.
- Initial Claim: Claimant files a claim for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits with DES.
- Determination: The deputy makes a determination either granting or denying UI benefits to the claimant.
- Appeal: The claimant can appeal either the denial of benefits, or the amount of UI benefits. Likewise, former employers may appeal the allowance of benefits or the amount. Both parties have 30 days from the date of the determination to file an appeal in writing or online using UInteract.
- Hearing: An Appeals Tribunal referee conducts a hearing in which both parties have a chance to argue their case and present their evidence. See below for more information.
- Decision: The referee issues a decision based on the hearing
Purpose of the Hearing
Allow the parties to present evidence to show whether the determination made by the Division of Employment Security (DES) was right or wrong.
Importance of Hearing
The hearing before the Appeals Tribunal may be the only opportunity a party will have to present evidence.
The Appeals Tribunal must decide the appeal using only the evidence presented at the hearing. For that reason, the Appeals Tribunal cannot discuss the facts of the case with you before or after the hearing.
It is your responsibility to keep your address current with the Appeals Tribunal. If your address is not kept current, you may not receive all information about your appeal.
Attendance at the Hearing
The decision in the case will be based on the evidence presented at the hearing by the parties present. If you filed the appeal and do not participate in the hearing, your appeal will be dismissed.
If you did not file the appeal and do not participate in the hearing, your evidence will not be considered in the decision.
Notice of Hearing
A notice of the hearing is mailed to each interested party at least seven days before the hearing. Read the notice carefully.
A copy of the appeal packet (which will be used as an exhibit in the hearing) will be mailed with the hearing notice. You should have the appeal packet with you during the hearing.
Preparation for Hearing
You should begin preparing for the hearing immediately after you file your appeal.
If you have received notice that an appeal has been filed by another party, begin preparing for the hearing immediately.
The Appeals Tribunal will not postpone a hearing because a party is not prepared, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Your preparations for a hearing should include arranging for necessary witnesses and gathering documents or other materials that you believe support your case. If you expect to be represented by an attorney at the hearing, that attorney must enter an appearance with the Appeals Tribunal. If you expect to be represented by an agent, officer, or managerial employee, you must immediately notify that person of his/her responsibility so he/she may begin to prepare.
Parties should be prepared to present firsthand evidence to prove the facts, which are believed to be true. Individuals who have personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the issue should testify. No one should rely on hearsay to prove a fact. No one should rely on what previously has been presented to the DES or any other state or federal agency to prove the case before the Appeals Tribunal.
You must arrange for all witnesses to be available for the hearing for an hour, starting the time the hearing is to begin. A witness should be someone who saw or heard something that is important in proving a fact. It is not necessary to have many witnesses repeat the same testimony. Before the hearing begins, you must identify each witness who may participate in the hearing, including their full names and phone numbers.
You may ask for a subpoena for any witness/party who refuses to testify or hand over documents voluntarily. You must act quickly once you receive your hearing notice.
Send a request for a subpoena in writing and include the following:
- Claimant's Social Security Number and the Appeal Number
- Witness names or a list of documents needed
- Address where the subpoena will be delivered
- Statement of what the witness' testimony or documents will prove
- Statement that you have asked for testimony or documents and have been refused
Mail or fax your subpoena request to the referee at the address or fax number in the lower left hand corner of your hearing notice. Allow enough time to have the subpoena prepared and sent to you. Deliver the subpoena to the witness/party once you receive it.
A claimant may represent himself/herself or may be represented by an authorized agent who is competent to act in his/her own behalf and who is not paid for the service provided. If you choose to use an agent, you and the agent need to put in writing that the agent accepts responsibility for representing you. This document should include both of your signatures, the date signed, and the agent's address. You can either mail or fax it to the Appeals Tribunal.
An employer may be represented by himself/herself, any individual who is a partner in a partnership, an officer of a corporation, or a full-time managerial employee of the employer.
In addition, any interested party may be represented in any proceeding before the Appeals Tribunal or the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission by an attorney licensed to practice law in Missouri. Your attorney must send an "Entry of Appearance" letter to the Appeals Tribunal. The Appeals Tribunal cannot and will not advise any party as to whether the party should be represented by an attorney.
Every effort should be made to participate in the hearing when it is scheduled. If you need a postponement, you must make your request to the Referee by telephone or fax at the earliest possible moment. You must explain in detail your reason for requesting a postponement. The Appeals Tribunal will notify the parties if a hearing is postponed.
You cannot presume a postponement has been granted just because you have requested one.
Every hearing is recorded. At the beginning of the hearing, the Referee will identify the determination under appeal, the issue involved, and explain the order in which the hearing will proceed.
All testimony is given under oath or affirmation. The Referee may help both the claimant and the employer present their cases. The Referee may question anyone who testifies. The claimant or the claimant's representative may question the employer and/or the employer's witnesses. The employer or its representative may question the claimant and/or the claimant's witnesses. Additionally, the parties may question their own witnesses. At the end of the hearing, the Referee will ask the parties if they have anything to add.
Telephone Conference Hearings
If you do not have a phone to use, you may use a phone at a Missouri Job Center. Witnesses are not allowed to be together while testifying.
At the time of the hearing, you must call the toll-free number on the "Notice of Telephone Hearing" that will be mailed to you. Listen for the instructions to enter the PIN listed on the notice. Wait for the Referee to join and begin the hearing.
When the Referee asks, give the full names and phone numbers of witnesses who have agreed to testify. You must tell witnesses to wait by their phones until they are called to testify. Most hearings last 45 minutes. Witnesses must be available during the entire hearing. Testimony cannot be taken from a witness who is not at his/her telephone at the time the referee calls.
A party has the right to an in-person hearing. In-person hearings require parties and witnesses to travel to one of the four hearing locations (Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield or St. Louis). Granting a request for an in-person hearing does not mean the other party will have to appear in person. The other party may be given the option to participate in the hearing by phone; this is known as a split hearing, and depends on the location of that party.
Because it is important for you to follow the proceedings during your hearing, we ask that you do not bring young children to the hearing with you.
Telephone/Split Hearing Evidence
If you have evidence, you must mail, fax or deliver one copy of the evidence to the other party and one copy to the referee early enough to be received before the hearing. If you send documents, include the claimant's Social Security Number and the Appeal Number. Evidence not received before the hearing cannot be considered.
Exhibits for in-person hearings.
If you have evidence, you should bring copies of the evidence to the hearing for the referee and the other party.
Contact the Appeals Tribunal as soon as possible for more instructions if you plan to use audio or video evidence at a hearing. Audio or video evidence can only be used at an in-person hearing.
After the Hearing
After the hearing is concluded and after the referee has had time to consider the evidence that was presented at the hearing, a written decision will be prepared, and mailed to each party from Jefferson City.
If you disagree with the referee's decision, you may file an appeal to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. You will have 30 days from the date of the referee's decision to file an appeal.
Notice to Claimants
If you still are unemployed, continue to file your weekly request for payment during the appeal period. If the referee reverses a determination that allowed you to receive unemployment benefits, it will cause your claim to be overpaid.
Special Needs: If you have special needs addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act or require translation services, notify us at the address or telephone number below as soon as you are aware that an appeal has been filed.
If you have additional questions regarding your hearing or the hearing procedure, contact:Appeals Tribunal
Division of Employment Security
P.O. Box 59
Jefferson City, MO 65104-0059
Fax: 573-751-5620 Log into UInteract
Be sure to include your Social Security Number and your Appeal Number, if known, on all correspondence.
If calling by home phone or cell phone, dial “711.” All other callers should dial 800-735-2966.
Additional information about the appeals process can be found on our Appeals page.