Basic procedures of the unemployment hearing

Basic procedures of the unemployment hearing

The following is directly out of the hearing officer’s manual for how to conduct a hearing. This is the order and basic process of how a hearing is conducted. The more you know about the hearing process the more prepared you will be to win your case.

After advising that the hearing will be recorded, obtain consent to record from each participant. If a party is professionally represented or selected one of several participants as its representative for the hearing, the representative will make all decisions for the party during the hearing, present the party’s evidence, examine and cross-examine the witnesses, and make the closing statement. Explain the hearing procedures, including:

a. Introduction of the Record. Explain that you will begin by introducing the record, including information from the Notice of Telephone Hearing.
b. Oath or Affirmation. Advise that the testimony of each witness will be given under oath or affirmation, to be administered after the record is introduced.
c. Contents of the File. Advise that a copy of each significant document in the file was mailed to the parties. Briefly identify the mailed documents by number or name and ascertain that each party received a copy. Specifically identify the appealed determination.
d. Order of Testimony. Assign the order of testimony by advising which party will present its case first. An opportunity for opening statement is not traditionally offered at benefit hearings, but is allowed upon request.
e. Right to Examine and Cross-examine. Advise each party (or representative) of the right to question its own witnesses and cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses immediately after the testimony of each witness.
f. Opportunity to Present Evidence. Advise that each party (or representative) has the right to present its evidence and to request that any document available to all parties be placed in evidence and considered in the decision.
g. Closing Statements. Advise that each party (or representative) has the right to make a closing statement at the end of the hearing.
h. Adjourning the Hearing. Advise that you will adjourn the hearing when all evidence is presented and will have no further conversation with any party or representative about the case after the hearing is closed.
i. Second Level Appeal Rights. State that the parties will receive a decision in the mail shortly after the hearing and may request review of the case if they disagree with the decision. Advise the parties that upon receiving a timely request, the UAC will review the case record and determine whether the decision is supported by the record, but will not hold another hearing or accept additional evidence.
j. Questions about Procedure. Ask if any party (or representative) has questions about the procedures. The opportunity to ask questions about the procedures is restricted to the party or its representative, not to each individual witness. Respond to questions and verify that the parties (or representatives) understand the procedures.
k. Addresses and Social Security Number. Verify that the addresses on the Notice of Telephone Hearing are correct. Write any additional addresses and/or corrections on the docket sheet for later database update. If the claimant is present, verify that the social security number is correct on the Notice of Telephone Hearing, but do not say the number aloud on the record.
l. Waivers. If the hearing notice is defective, was not timely received, or new issues are to be added, obtain appropriate waivers from the affected parties.
m. Remand Hearings. Explain any special instructions contained in or resulting from a remand order.

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