There are many reasons an applicant may have his or her unemployment benefits denied in South Dakota. Claimants may have unemployment compensation benefits denied simply because they do not meet all of the requirements, whereas other times it is the result of an error on the application. It is easy to overlook important information required to prove eligibility for unemployment. Another factor attributing to an applicant getting denied unemployment benefits lies with the reason he or she separated from the former employer. If you have had your unemployment benefits denied, the following sections will tell you everything you need to know about the appeal process:
In many cases, being denied unemployment benefits is the result of inaccuracies in reported wages, dates, or contacts. The denial of unemployment might also have been due to an employer arguing that you were justly fired. In that case, the employer would have to show evidence that you were discharged for misconduct or some violation of company policy. If true, then you would not be able to file an appeal.
In the case of wrongful termination in SD, you can appeal the denial when the employer is unwilling to admit error. You could have your unemployment compensation benefits denied if the employer argues that you were fired for misconduct and you disagree. You may file an appeal, but must continue to file your weekly certification.
Make sure to file the unemployment denial appeal by the date listed in the denial letter. After receiving the letter, it is a good idea to file the unemployment insurance denial appeal right away since, typically, appeals will only be accepted up to 15 days afterwards if sent to the Secretary at the DLR, or up to 30 days later if appealing to the Circuit Court.
The appeal will guarantee a hearing on your behalf. You still have to keep filing your weekly South Dakota unemployment claim certification during this time, as failure to do so might result in the delay or denial of benefit dispersal, even if you win the appeal.
Before the hearing, you will be sent a notice complete with information regarding how to gather evidence and witnesses. It will also explain how to request counsel if desired, why the unemployment insurance coverage claim was denied, and the current legal situation regarding your claim. If you wish to have subpoenas for witnesses issued, you must show why they are necessary beforehand so that the witnesses can participate in the hearing.
The hearing takes place through a teleconference. You, your employer and any witnesses will call an operator who will set-up the conference call hearing. Otherwise, you may have an in-person hearing that would take place at the local South Dakota Labor and Regulation office.
At the hearing, the judge begins by presenting the reasons the applicant was denied unemployment benefits, and any other issues listed in the first notice you received. The judge will determine the credibility of witnesses based on evidence provided by you or your employer. To claim unemployment benefits, the burden of proof is on whichever party took the initiative in ending employment. If you were fired, your employer has the burden of proof. If you quit, you have the burden of proof and must show good cause. Remember to choose your witnesses carefully since any negative marks against them by the employer could count as evidence against their testimony. The SD DLR recommends to choose witnesses that can articulate the facts of your unemployment insurance benefits case well. Any authorized party may examine or cross-examine witnesses of the opposing party. It is advised not to argue while the opposing party is examining or cross-examining witnesses, but to wait until it is your turn to ask questions. It is a good idea to keep notes during the hearing so that you remember details when it is your chance to speak. You will be able to cross-examine witnesses used against your case, and have a chance to give a closing argument. A record of the hearing is kept for any further appeal.
The judge will write the final decision and you will receive it in the mail shortly after the hearing. The letter will outline the reasons for the decision and relevant legal conclusions of the case. It will also explain the right to appeal the decision further to the Circuit Court or Secretary of Labor.
If you disagree with the decision on your first unemployment denial appeal, you may appeal directly to the Circuit Court or to the Department of Labor and Regulation’s Secretary of Labor. The appeal to the labor Secretary must be submitted in writing within 15 days of the decision, and to the Circuit Court within 30 days.