Unemployment Reconsideration for MN Benefits

An unemployment reconsideration in Minnesota is an appeal that generally comes  after a phone conference with an unemployment law judge.

In other articles, I refer to this as a Level II unemployment appeal.

Generally, the losing party requests a reconsideration and the winning party responds after the appeal is filed.  However, there are exceptions.

This type of appeal for unemployment benefits is worth the effort.  In my experience, there are six (6) reasons why an appeal is reversed.  Before addressing these issues, let us address the process for seeking an unemployment reconsideration.

Unemployment Reconsideration: 1st Step

The first step in seeking a reversal is doing preliminary work.  This includes:

  • Acquiring a copy of an employment file, and
  • Obtaining a copy of the recorded transcript from the phone appeal, and
  • Identify which facts within the decision were incorrect.

Unemployment Request for Reconsideration: 2nd Step

The second step in this type of unemployment appeal is understanding the end goal.  In my experience, 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 intent behind these two goals is going to be unique to every person trying to acquire benefits or defend against an overpayment.  Thus, I encourage Applicants to seek a professional opinion before proceeding.

Unemployment Reconsideration: What Does It Look Like?

The third step in the reconsideration process for unemployment benefits is drafting a formal response.

When I draft a reconsideration, I prefer using a specific legal standard applied by unemployment law judges.  For the purposes of this page, this means applying facts to specific legal cases and laws.

Also, I like the idea of including:

  • A statement clearly identifying what you want (reverse a decision or order a new hearing),
  • An outline which fact or facts were incorrectly decided,
  • Reference specific legal reasons why the decision should be reversed,
  • Identify facts that were not discussed, and
  • Proposing alternate reasoning.

Reasons an Unemployment Appeal is 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:

  • Due process issue,
  • 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 that statutes and both are defined using a case precedent.

For those looking to conduct their own legal research, using Google Scholar can be a good way to get the ball rolling.  On the other hand, a person not familiar with the 6 reasons referenced above are likely not seeing issues that have the power to reverse a decision.

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.

Who reviews your Request for Reconsideration?

Most times, the Judge that reviewed the phone hearing will be the same Judge who reviews a reconsideration for unemployment benefits.  This is not a deterrent.  Instead, I view the reconsideration for unemployment benefits as an opportunity to correct an error.

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.

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 because other legal issues apply.

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.

Because the legal documents I draft on behalf of applicants are always longer and more detailed than a 1,000 character limit, I use all three methods when appropriate.

How long does an Unemployment Reconsideration Take?

At a minimum, the party filing this type of unemployment appeal will need to wait 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.  For these types of situations, I believe seeking professional help is even more significant.