Please be advised that the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board has recently updated the guide titled, “Hearings Before Unemployment Insurance Administrative Law Judges -- Questions and Answers”. The updated guide contains full explanations of a variety of Board policies and procedures, including those relating to default decisions and requests to reopen a case. Notably, and as explained in the updated guide, any party that does not attend an unemployment insurance hearing after receiving notification may only request one reopening within a reasonable time. Any further requests to reopen will be referred to the Appeal Board. Consistent with this change in practice, administrative law judges will no longer grant a second leave to apply to reopen.
Additionally, in an effort to ensure that the parties are able to attend hearings, the updated guide details a procedure through which the party requesting a hearing to re-open can provide the Board with his/her/its unavailability within the next 45 days.
Finally, as set forth in the updated guide, Default Decisions will provide the parties with the determination along with the following information:
- It is very important that you appear at all scheduled hearings.
- If you have good cause for not appearing or proceeding at a hearing you may request to reopen the case. Fax or mail your request, the case number and the reason for your failure within a reasonable time of the date on this decision to the Administrative Law Judge Section address on the front of the decision. Attach any documentation that explains why you did not attend the hearing.
- List any dates in the next 45 days on which you are not available for a hearing. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule. Do not request a reopening if you are not ready.
- At the next scheduled hearing, the Judge will first take testimony on whether you had good cause for not appearing or proceeding at the prior hearing. The Judge will decide the other issues in the decision only if there is good cause for missing the prior hearing.
- If you fail to either appear or proceed at a second hearing, any further request for reopening must be made to the Appeal Board. The Board will grant another hearing only if it determines that your failure to appear or attend at both prior hearings was for good cause or if in its discretion the Board orders another hearing to consider that question.