Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Appeals

You and your employers have the right to appeal any written determinations we make about your unemployment benefits, including:

  • Your determination about your benefit amount
  • A determination to deny or reduce your benefits
  • A determination denying you benefits based on your availability/ability to work

How to File an Appeal

You must file an appeal within 15 days of the date we mailed your determination. If you do not file your appeal within 15 days, you must tell us why you are late in filing. Unless you can show good cause for the late filing, your appeal may be dismissed as untimely.

You must submit a written request to the Appeals section by the date listed on your determination notice. You must include the following in your request:

  • Your name
  • The reason for the appeal
  • Your Social Security number

Mail or fax your appeal to:

Appeals Section
Unemployment Insurance Division
SD Department of Labor and Regulation
PO Box 4730
Aberdeen, SD 57402-4730
Fax: 605.626.2322

OR, you may deliver your appeal in person to any South Dakota job service office.

Please note: We cannot accept an appeal over the phone or by e-mail.

Continue to File Your Weekly Certifications

If you appeal a determination, you should continue to file your weekly certifications for each week you are unemployed. If the appeal decision is in your favor, you will not be paid for any week you did not file as required. If an employer appeals your right to benefits and the appeal is decided against you, you will be required to repay any benefits received.

The Appeals Process

After filing your appeal you will receive a written acknowledgement indicating your appeal was received. You will also receive an Unemployment Insurance Appeals brochure explaining the appeals process and how to prepare for the hearing.

A Notice of Hearing will be mailed to you at least seven days before the date of the hearing. Carefully read the notice and any papers that are attached to it. The notice tells you what the case is about, the laws or rules involved in the case, the time and date of the hearing. The notice lists the telephone number you must call at the time of your hearing. If you have requested a hearing and then move, immediately inform the appeals office of your new address by calling 605.626.2310.

The hearing will start at the time shown on the Notice of Hearing. Be sure you appear or call for the hearing on time. If you do not call in or are late for the hearing, your case will probably be dismissed, or it may be decided based on other available evidence.

Most hearings are conducted by telephone conference call, but occasionally the circumstances of a case require an in-person hearing. An in-person hearing is usually held at your nearest South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office. In a telephone hearing, the parties and their witnesses testify over the telephone. Everyone is able to hear the witnesses, and the parties can ask the witnesses questions. If you object to a telephone hearing, you must make a written request for an in-person hearing explaining why an in-person hearing is needed in your case.

Your appeal hearing will be scheduled with an administrative law judge from the Unemployment Insurance Appeals office. The hearing is a fact finding process. The judge listens to each side and makes a decision on the issue in the case. Witnesses testify under oath and in the order set by the judge. Each party has the right to ask questions of the witnesses. Documents can be submitted as evidence, and are typically mailed or faxed to the other parties prior to the day of the hearing. The hearing is recorded. Only the recording made at the hearing and any exhibits admitted into record will be reviewed if the judge’s decision is appealed further.

Legal Representation

You have the right to be present and represent yourself at the hearing. Under South Dakota Law, an attorney or any other authorized representative may represent a claimant. Employers may be represented by an officer or employee of the business or an attorney licensed to practice law in South Dakota. The judge is trained to conduct hearings where one or both parties are not represented. You need to decide whether to have a representative or attorney at the hearing. If you decide to hire an attorney, do it right away and notify the appeals office. Your lawyer will need time to prepare your case before the hearing. If you hire an attorney, it will be at your own expense. You may be eligible for legal assistance through one of the state’s legal services programs if your income and resources are limited.

Additional information about obtaining legal representation can be obtained through the South Dakota Lawyer Referral Service.

What Happens after the Hearing

The final decision will be mailed to the parties as soon as possible after the hearing. The decision will state the important facts of the case, the legal conclusions and the reasons for the decision, and an order stating the result of the decision. The decision may disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits or may allow you benefits.

Further Appeal Rights

If you find the administrative law judge’s decision unfavorable, you may request an appeal in one of two ways:

  1. You can file an appeal of the decision directly to Circuit Court within 30 days after the date of the decision.
  2. Or

  3. You can file a request for a Department of Labor and Regulation review by mailing an appeal to:

Secretary of Labor and Regulation
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
123 West Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

The appeal to the Secretary must be made within 15 days of the date of the decision.

The Secretary’s decision may be further appealed to Circuit Court within 30 days of the date of the decision. Decisions of the Circuit Court may be appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court. If you have any questions about filing an appeal of an administration decision, consult an attorney.

Postponing or Withdrawing Your Appeal

If you are unable to participate in the hearing as scheduled, contact the appeals office immediately to request a postponement, preferably at least 24 hours before the hearing. The hearing will be postponed only for good cause. If you have requested a hearing and later decide not to proceed with your hearing, your appeal may be withdrawn at any time before the hearing. You should mail or fax a letter withdrawing your appeal to the appeals office as soon as possible, so the other party can be notified that the hearing is canceled.

Resource

Unemployment Insurance Appeals Brochure (Adobe PDF format)

Contact Us

Appeals Section
Unemployment Insurance Division
SD Department of Labor and Regulation
PO Box 4730
Aberdeen, SD 57402-4730
Phone: 605.626.2310
Fax: 605.626.2322
email

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