As an employee, you pay into California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which is supposed to pay unemployment compensation benefits if you become unemployed. When EDD wrongfully denies your claim, your financial health is in jeopardy. You could face evictions, foreclosures, vehicle repossessions, and more since you do not have the money you anticipated being available to help you while you are unemployed.

The EDD denies unemployment applications for many different reasons. Not all are valid. A Sacramento unemployment compensation lawyer from Erkel Law, P.C., can help explore your case and determine whether you have grounds for an appeal. A knowledgeable employment attorney could represent you through the appeals process to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Reasons EDD Gives for Denying Unemployment Compensation Claims

EDD gives several common reasons for denying unemployment claims. Reasons fall into two broad categories: losing a job because of behavior and failing to take acceptable employment when available.

Unemployment benefits are supposed to protect people from involuntary unemployment. However, that condition is not supposed to force people to stay in untenable work conditions. Employees should be able to quit as long as they have reasonable cause and still get their unemployment benefits. Good cause requires more than unhappiness in the workplace. The workplace must be dangerous, discriminatory, or hostile to justify quitting because of workplace dissatisfaction. Work conditions are not the only reason people can quit their jobs for cause. Family emergencies or similar situations that make work impossible can also justify quitting.

Someone may not be eligible for unemployment benefits when they are fired for cause. Being unable to do a job is cause, but it should not keep someone from getting benefits. However, employee misconduct, even a single instance, can result in the EDD denying an application for benefits. Fortunately, good faith mistakes and minor offenses should not be enough to keep someone from getting benefits. Employees whose claims are denied for those reasons are often successful on appeal.

When people apply for unemployment benefits, they agree to look for new work and to accept comparable job offers. A person does not have to accept the first job offer they receive. However, they have to accept an offer for a job with a location, hours, and pay similar to the job they lost. Failing to do so can result in the EDD denying benefits. The EDD and job applicants may have very different opinions about how similar the job offer is to their current offer. A lawyer in Sacramento can help applicants challenge unemployment compensation denials based on this reason.

EDD may deny a claim because they believe an applicant is ineligible for the benefits. Eligibility is based on employment periods, whether someone is seeking work, whether a person has complied with certification requirements, and whether a person can accept offered work. These issues are also subjective, and an attorney can help people fight those decisions.

Appealing the Denial of Unemployment Compensation

When EDD denies unemployment claims, applicants have only 30 days to request an appeal hearing. The EDD will provide the applicant with a date for the hearing. Most hearings are now held by phone, with an administrative law judge presiding.

An applicant must demonstrate that the decision was legally or factually inaccurate to challenge the EDD’s decision successfully. Determining which argument to make depends on the reasons the EDD gave for the denial.

Applicants should gather as much evidence as possible to support their positions. Performance reviews, emails, HR policies, attendance records, and pay records are all good sources of information. A Sacramento attorney can help determine whether applicants need additional evidence in their unemployment compensation appeal.

Talk to a Sacramento Unemployment Compensation Lawyer

Getting unemployment benefits denied can be tremendously disheartening. Losing a job is already stressful. While unemployment compensation benefits do not replace income, they can help stave off financial disaster. Being denied those benefits can threaten your family’s future. Let a Sacramento unemployment compensation lawyer from Erkel Law, P.C. help. Schedule a consultation to learn more.

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