From Your Employment Attorney

How Long Does the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Process Take?

You have received a Notice of Determination or Ruling from the EDD denying you unemployment benefits. Or you have received a Notice of Overpayment demanding repayment of your benefits along with a hefty penalty. You promptly appealed the decision within the time required by mailing it to the address indicated on the notice. How long will it now take to have your appeal heard?

There is no definitive answer to that question. However, based on past experience, this is what you may expect:

Within about a week of mailing the appeal, you may receive a notice of acknowledgment from the EDD indicating that they have received your appeal and have forwarded it to the “California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board” (CUIAB). The CUIAB is not a part of the EDD. It is not located at EDD office locations.  The CUIAB is a separate government entity, independent and free from the EDD.  It has been established to resolve disputes between the EDD and employees such as yourself, through the appeals process. The judges of the CUIAB, called Administrative Law Judges (ALJ), are not paid by the EDD and do not work for the EDD. They hear cases as neutral and impartial judges of both the law and the facts.

I stated that you may receive a notice of acknowledgment of receipt from the EDD within about a week of mailing your appeal. Unfortunately, the EDD does not always send that notice out, so you may not actually receive one.  That’s ok.  Your appeal should still have been promptly sent to the CUIAB for processing.

Once the CUIAB receives the appeal from the EDD, the CUIAB will send you a Notice of Hearing indicating the date, time and place of the hearing. I have seen the CUIAB take anywhere from three to six weeks (or longer) to mail out the Notice of Hearing. However, the Notice of Hearing will usually indicate a date for the hearing that is only about ten to fourteen days after the date the Notice of Hearing was mailed to you. Thus, by the time you receive your Notice of Hearing in the mail, your hearing date may only be a week or so away.

The Notice of Hearing (usually on mustard colored paper) will set forth the issues to be decided at the hearing. Depending on the issues in your case, you may receive more than one Notice of Hearing with various issues on each notice. However, all Notices of Hearing should have the same date, time and place of hearing so that all of your issues can be decided at once.

So in answer to the question of how long it will take to have an appeal heard, it is difficult to say with precision, but it can take anywhere from four weeks to eight weeks, or longer. What I have provided here is only an estimate based on my experience. The actual time can vary based on the number of appeals pending and the number of judges available to hear those appeals. This does however give you a rough idea that may help you plan financially in the near term.

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