Unemployment Reconsideration for MN Benefits

An unemployment reconsideration in Minnesota is an appeal that comes after a phone conference with an unemployment law judge. In other words, the party that loses a phone hearing can appeal through the reconsideration appeal process.

The reconsideration process is worth the effort. However, the amount of time granted for this process is short. For this reason, filing or responding to an unfavorable decision requires an attention to detail.

Unemployment Reconsideration: 1st Step

The first step in seeking a reversal is doing preliminary work before time runs out.  The fact a party lost means they either didn’t make important facts clear enough or an applicable rule was not addressed.

As a result, consider being proactive by obtaining a copy of the recorded transcript from the phone appeal. Next, review the audio and identify which facts were poorly developed.

Unemployment Request for Reconsideration: 2nd Step

The second step in a reconsideration for benefits is to clarify the end goal. The losing party should consider seeking two potential goals:

  1. A reversal of the Unemployment Decision; or
  2. Asking the Unemployment Law Judge to order an additional or subsequent phone conference.

The reasons and supporting facts behind these goals are going to be unique to every person and claim. For those defending against an overpayment, the goals are slightly different. Thus, seeking a professional opinion before proceeding is highly encouraged.

Unemployment Request for Reconsideration

Unemployment Reconsideration: What Does It Look Like?

The third step in the unemployment reconsideration is drafting a formal response. I prefer adding the legal standard to assist the adjudicator or unemployment law judge. This means highlighting the facts, applicable law, and legal precedent to a submission.

Also, consider including:

  • A statement that clearly identifies what you want (should the case be reversed or is there a strong reason that an additional hearing must take place),
  • An outline which fact or facts were not affirmed, and
  • Adding legal precedent in support of the ask.

Reasons an Unemployment Appeal Are Reversed

Generally, there are 6 reasons (as described under statute 268.105) for a judge to reconsider and reverse an unemployment case.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • A breach in Due Process,
  • Department Error,
  • Procedural Issue,
  • An Error of Law,
  • Evidence, and
  • Selective subjectivity.

Again, these issues are going to be different in every case.  And, these topics on an individual basis are very complicated.  Nonetheless, a wonderful starting point is a review of Minnesota’s unemployment rules.  As a reminder, rules are different than statutes.

Any Applicant not familiar with the 6 reasons referenced above, are likely failing to see an opportunity to have a decision reversed.

How Can An Unemployment Lawyer Help?

Attorney Jasper Berg

New Evidence for an Unemployment Reconsideration

Yes, every Applicant should consider whether the new evidence might change or help influence the Judge.  As seen under rule 268.105, there are two reasons an unemployment law judge will look at the new evidence:

(1) New evidence (documents, testimony, and witness) would likely change the outcome of the decision and there was good cause for not having previously submitted that evidence; and

(2) New evidence would show that the evidence that was submitted at the hearing was likely false and that the likely false evidence had an effect on the outcome of the decision.

Unfortunately, new evidence is another layer of complexity. On one hand, the issues raised in an appeal must be addressed. New evidence adds to the issues, which cannot even be contemplated without meeting a certain threshold. Thus, there is an art to the drafting process.

Who reviews your Request for Reconsideration?

Most times, the Judge that reviewed the phone hearing will be the same Judge that reviews a reconsideration for unemployment benefits.  This is not a deterrent.  Instead, this is an opportunity to address and correct errors.

For those thinking their Judge was biased, this too can be addressed by applying Minnesota rule 3310.2915.   Otherwise, here are a few reasons why a new judge might be necessary:

  • Your judge was biased,
  • Using the same judge violates due process, and
  • Judicial efficiency.

All this being said, facts and laws must come first.

Deadline to file an Unemployment Request for Reconsideration

Yes, every reconsideration has a deadline.  The deadline is generally identified in two locations:

  • Last page of the decision on a Level I appeal, and
  • In bold text inside an Applicant’s online account.

A person who misses their deadline should handle their appeal with even more care due to other legal issues coming into play.

How to file a reconsideration of unemployment

Each type of filing has its advantages and disadvantages.  In my experience, there are three ways an Applicant can file a reconsideration:

  1. Online using a box limited to about 1,000 words,
  2. By mail, and
  3. By fax.

This law office prefers to file a request for reconsideration using all three methods.

How long does an Unemployment Reconsideration Take?

At a minimum, the party filing this type of unemployment appeal will need to wait at least 20 days.   In some situations, a decision can take many months.

What if the judge doesn’t agree with your Unemployment Reconsideration?

If the unemployment judge does not agree with your unemployment request for reconsideration, do not despair because there are other types of appeals.

The third type of appeal is an appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The fourth type of appeal is an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.