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Default Freaking Out Over Unemployment Insurance Appeals Hearing

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  • Default Freaking Out Over Unemployment Insurance Appeals Hearing

    My wife has been unemployed since last year, and now 11 months later we receive a hearing notice to determine whether or not the employer answered to the initial claim in a timely fashion.

    I went over all the paperwork, and figured out what happened.

    When my wife initially filed her claim online, she inadvertently entered in my social security number instead of hers.

    We received a letter in the mail shortly thereafter saying that it did not match the Social Security Database, so she called back and had them correct it. She did not file a new claim, because the website says not to.

    After the initial claim with the wrong SS# was in the State's computer system, it automatically generated a letter to the employer informing them of their rights and how many days they had to respond.

    The employer received the letter with the wrong SS# on it, but, they did not check the employee records to verify if everything was correct. The sent over the documentation to their payroll department, who also did not check their own records and they generated a response and faxed it within the time on the letter.



    Here is where it gets complicated.




    After we called the State and corrected the SS# issue, the State's computer system then generated a new letter with the correct SS#, and they sent it to the employer 10 days after the first one.


    The employer never responded to the second letter, to which the state automatically approved the claim because a response was not filed within the time frame applicable to State law.


    The appeal documentation shows both letters with both SS#'s, it also has a letter in it from the State that only references the second letter, not the first, and it says that they never received anything from them in accordance with the second letter.

    The appeal documentation also shows the payroll department is falsely stating that their employer records show that the SS# is the one from the first letter, which is false, they should have figured that out pretty quickly along time ago, they process the payroll and tax info, my payroll stub has my social sec # on it.


    So now, I have no idea what to do, because I feel if she admits that she made a mistake entering it online initially 11 months ago, they will rule in their favor.

    The only issue being disputed in the claim is the timeliness/response issue, so they never even looked at the semantics as to why she was fired. However, they included lots of paperwork, including signed pages from the employee handbook, and statements. What happened was accidental, and it was her word against theirs, with no witnesses.

    Part of me blames everyone, because I entered it wrong, the State's system is a little too automated, the employer and the payroll company both failed to cross check the SS# themselves when they received the first letter. The State failed to send the employer any type of letter stating an error took place, instead, they re-generated a new letter with a correction on it, to which the employer ignored.

    I don't know if I should not even attend the hearing and just let the judge rule based on what he has on his desk. Part of me thinks that he probably cant even figure it out himself if the State cant even figure it out. Only I have pieced it all together.

    I dont want to end up owing a ton of money to the State because their system is entirely too slow and was never designed to handle these high un-employment rates. Their computer system is entirely too automated and it ends up confusing everyone when errors are made.

    What do you think I should do? Not attend the hearing? Attend and just lay it out? Attend and just answer any questions, and not make any case for myself?

    I cant handle more debt, this is going to seriously destroy us as a family as a married couple. If they garnish us it is really going to change so much in our lives, Im going crazy.

    How do you think the judge will rule if he realizes that it was her fault initially for entering in the wrong SS#??

    What is fair for all parties involved??

    Should I have a attorney represent her for the hearing?

    Do I stand to dispute owing the State their money based on their clerical error and 11 month delay in the matter?, (I.E.) ((Automatic Generation of Claim without cross checking the SS database first)) The State themselves wont even reference to the employer anything about the first letter, only the second letter, implying that the employer should have checked the SS#.

    I know its her fault for originally entering the wrong SS# in, but for this to go on for 11 months and now we can potentially lose and owe thousands seems rather extreme and unfair.
    As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

  • #2
    The issue was corrected almost immediately. That the employer didn't file an appeal EARLIER when they were sent the second letter, is their fault. These mistakes happen often, including "transposing" numbers in an SSN. So long as their was no fraud, I see no issue.

    However, if the claimant was never entitled to unemployment compensation, then that becomes interesting. You may want to consult a labor attorney just to bounce it off them.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wish I could hire an attorney but its the last thing I need, because as of now, we are not spending anymore of her unemployment checks, we are just going to wait this out, before we dig an even bigger hole.

      I read the state handbook for overpayment of unemployment insurance, they do speak of waiving overpayments classified as (administrative) or no fault on your part, that will be the last option.

      I feel like vomiting, really, we just got over a lengthy lawsuit and bk for alot of debt, and now this.
      As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you should get a "free" consult and pick a labor attorney's brain! It's usually a free 15-30 minutes of consultation and may be worth it.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by optimistic1 View Post
          I wish I could hire an attorney but its the last thing I need, because as of now, we are not spending anymore of her unemployment checks, we are just going to wait this out, before we dig an even bigger hole.

          I read the state handbook for overpayment of unemployment insurance, they do speak of waiving overpayments classified as (administrative) or no fault on your part, that will be the last option.

          I feel like vomiting, really, we just got over a lengthy lawsuit and bk for alot of debt, and now this.
          i really think it's going to alright....as jb pointed out you immediately corrected the error....we have also had a few situations and problems and needed to contact our LOCAL office for help....

          if you call the "state" office many times they are not as helpful....we now have a contact person when we have questions that we have been able to call numerous times with questions or problems we have experienced while collecting...

          so...i would either go IN to your local office.....or call them....and i'm certain it will be straighten out.

          best of luck to you!
          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

          Comment


          • #6
            You should be able to drive to the unemployment office and resolve the issue with the clerk. I had a previous jerk employer that actually challenged my right to receive unemployment compensation a few weeks after I received my first check. He even lied on the forms about reason for termination, etc. I had proof his statements were false.

            The unemployment department set up a date for me to challenge the documents (and they said I would have a person their to represent me in front of the judge as well). The employer only had to call in.

            The employer never called in, so the unemployment clerk told me I could leave.

            A month or so later, the employer said he never got the call from unemployment office (you know he lied again), so they then set up another appointment for me to go to. Again, the jerk employer never called in. I brought my girlfriend as a witness, we sat right by the clerks window where the employer would call into. I told the clerk and the other person exactly what the employer was doing and lying about. I had them document the situation.

            They were even going to give the employer a final chance, but I think he finally gave up.

            So you can call the office or visit them directly and explain the mistake and I'm sure they will help you fix the problem. They were friendly and easy going with my case. I think it also depends rather you have it at the courthouse or at a remote building (like mine was). If it isn't really busy, you should be ok.

            Comment


            • #7
              My BF had the same thing happen. He went to the hearing and won. His had nothing to so with incorrect information, but rather how he reported his severance check. What is ironic is he called the state twice to ask how to report it. They still sent a letter saying he owed money. He appealed and won without an attorney (couldn't afford one due to unemployment). I would say get a free consultation as already suggested but definitely show up for the hearing!
              A fresh start is a beautiful thing. And I'm not an attorney, just opinionated!

              Comment


              • #8
                Why on earth would a hearing regarding the timely filing of information suddenly make you worry about your wife's eligibility to receive UC? From what you say, it sounds like your wife made a clerical error. Once she discovered the error, she corrected it in the manner and time frame prescribed by the UC office in your state.

                Do/did you both work for the same employer? You are interchanging her/she with I/me several times in your post. (Example: "...she inadvertently entered in my social security number" and "...because I entered it wrong".

                Regardless, employers get penalized when employees file unemployment. The percentage that they must pay to the state for UC increases. It really can hit them hard right where it hurts the most - in their bottom line.

                To me, it sounds like your wife's ex-employer wants to have the state adjust the financial penalty for not timely filing their dispute to your wife's claim. Since it sounds like the state did not connect the ex-employer's first answer with the subsequent corrected request for info and the ex-employer probably did not file a second answer because they thought it was answered correctly the first time! Just a "perfect storm" of assumptions and misunderstandings like you said due to lack of human eyes looking over the forms.

                I do think your wife should attend the hearing because it seems like it will make you crazy with anxiety not to go. I personally would only answer if asked a direct question and answer it with as few words as possible. Take copies of anything that may help you to the meeting. Also, I suggest taking a chronological timeline that you wrote out with your presumptions as to what happened on it - a hearing is not a place to suddenly have "date amnesia" due to nervousness. If the ex-employer fails to appear then you'd "win" by default.

                I personally don't see anything worth an anxiety attack over. Do check it with an attorney and definitely do not play ostrich and ignore the chance the upcoming hearing affords you to be heard. Also, you are usually allowed to have someone'"with you" as an advocate and they don't have to be an attorney. Good luck and keep us posted!!
                ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
                Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.

                Comment


                • #9
                  opt...make certain you let us all know how it goes...

                  once again, i'm sure it will fine.
                  8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most importantly, don't allow a former employer to abuse you or try to prevent you from collecting what you are entitled to and earned. Fight. Show up to the hearing, dress professionally, act professionally, and bring all supporting documents. The agencies are usually pro-employee, rather than pro-employer. So stand up for yourselves. Good luck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by helpme2010 View Post
                      Most importantly, don't allow a former employer to abuse you or try to prevent you from collecting what you are entitled to and earned. Fight. Show up to the hearing, dress professionally, act professionally, and bring all supporting documents. The agencies are usually pro-employee, rather than pro-employer. So stand up for yourselves. Good luck.
                      exactly! but this was just a simple error that was corrected immediately...i think it will be fine.
                      8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
                        exactly! but this was just a simple error that was corrected immediately...i think it will be fine.
                        It was a simple error on the part of the OP - but it sounds like the state compounded it by sending out a new letter without making it very clear to the ex-employer that this was a new document that required their attention. The ex-employer ignored the second letter when most would have responded a second time or called to check why they had received a second letter. Sounds like a perfect storm of errors.

                        I do hope the OP does come back and let us know how it went.
                        ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
                        Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ValleYum View Post
                          It was a simple error on the part of the OP - but it sounds like the state compounded it by sending out a new letter without making it very clear to the ex-employer that this was a new document that required their attention. The ex-employer ignored the second letter when most would have responded a second time or called to check why they had received a second letter. Sounds like a perfect storm of errors.

                          I do hope the OP does come back and let us know how it went.
                          i do as well....

                          i know we at first had problems ...no good to call them. we had to go in ourselves and make certain (it was about us moving out of state and collecting, in our case)...so i really do hope the OP does get this taken care of. i'm hoping it went well also..
                          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
                            i do as well....

                            i know we at first had problems ...no good to call them. we had to go in ourselves and make certain (it was about us moving out of state and collecting, in our case)...so i really do hope the OP does get this taken care of. i'm hoping it went well also..

                            I agree with tobee, call the local office and tell them you want to go to the office and discuss the situation. At least when you are in the office, you can sit down with them and go over the mistakes, show them paperwork, and correct the problems. I think you will find they will give you more time and answer your questions when you are live in their office.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Update.


                              They won the appeal, the court allowed the filing even though it was late due to the error, the administrative code which is law that pertains to the subject, clearly states it.

                              And after they won that, even with a lot of paperwork evidence, they lost the initial decision, and they instantly appealed that, and they have an attorney that is free for them because they use a reputable payroll company.

                              So now, we are scrambling to get anything on them and we are preparing our case. If we lose, hopefully we can just show that we are unable to pay it back and hopefully it will be canceled, they do allow it, but only under extreme financial hardship.

                              I will update again after the initial appeal hearing, I am hoping it will be strike two for them, because they can appeal the appeal a third time and possibly win again. I cant wait until the whole stupid thing is over with.

                              Their claim has quite a few holes in it, and I am hoping the judge will see it for what it is.
                              As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

                              Comment

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