How to write an appeals letter for an unemployment benefits denial

Written by michaele curtis
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How to write an appeals letter for an unemployment benefits denial
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When you apply for unemployment insurance benefits, the state's department of labour reviews your submitted information, contacts your previous employer and makes a decision to grant or deny you the benefits. You have the right to request an appeals hearing if you were denied unemployment benefits. Although each state has its own process, you may be required to write a statement asking for an appeal and stating why you believe your claim was denied in error.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the word processing program on your computer. Use the business letter format to create a sender's block of information and date at the top of the letter aligned to the right margin. Create the addressee's block of information two lines down and aligned to the left margin. For example, if John Smith wrote this letter to Mark Thomas at the Georgia Department of Labor Appeals Tribunal, it would look like this:

    John Smith

    123 Sunnyside Lane

    Atlanta, Georgia 30301

    December 12, 2010

    Mr. Mark Thomas

    Georgia Department of Labor

    Unemployment Insurance Appeals Tribunal

    1630 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 201

    College Park, Georgia 30349

  2. 2

    Begin your appeal letter by stating your full name and explaining that you have been denied unemployment insurance benefits. Include the date of your denial letter and any reference number that may have appeared in the denial letter.

  3. 3

    Explain that you believe that your denial was made in error and that you'd like to request an appeal hearing. Explain the reason you believe that the denial should be reversed. For example, if the denial letter said you were disqualified because your employer stated you were fired for just cause, explain the details about your dismissal that indicate otherwise.

  4. 4

    Note any evidence or witnesses you may have to back up your story, such as office memos, time sheets or other employees willing to testify on your behalf.

  5. 5

    Review the letter for spelling mistakes, continuity and tone. Ask a friend to read your letter and point out any mistakes or areas they would make changes to. Print the letter and sign it.

Tips and warnings

  • Your appeal letter must be mailed, hand-delivered or faxed to your state's department of labour by the deadline date indicated for appeals. Check your state's department of labour site for the delivery method and contact information for appeals (see Resources).
  • Don't attach any evidence to your appeal letter. You present your evidence during the appeal, not in the letter to request an appeal.
  • Certain states may require that you fill out a form instead of write a letter. Check with your state's department of labour unemployment division to determine if your particular state requires a letter, form or both (see Resources).

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