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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19682
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Last year, my claim for unemployment (in Illinois) was approved

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Last year, my claim for unemployment (in Illinois) was approved after I was fired from my job. I was fired because of misconduct, but because my my "misconduct" was not willful (I really didn't know I was violating policy), nor was it recurring (I immediately stopped when my employer reprimanded me for my actions - though I was still let go), my Unemployment claim was approved. I was fortunate enough to receive money from IDES, and it helped my family and I make ends meet until I found a new job.

I've been employed since August, and I thought this was all behind me, but I got a letter from IDES this week stating that my former employer filed an appeal to my unemployment claim via a third party agent (UC Express). It's been a YEAR since I filed the unemployment claim, and they did not appeal the decision when I first filed it. Can they really win an appeal after so long? I can't imagine having to pay all that money back.

Thank you for the information and your question. I am a little befuddled that the State would allow a dispute/appeal by the employer at this late date. Although it is not unusual for the State to allow some leeway (like a few weeks or even a few months), several months is very unusual. If I were you, I would consider hiring a local employment law attorney who handles unemployment issues to handle this. Your strongest argument is that the appeal/dispute by the employer should not be heard since they missed their appeal deadline by months. I can say that usually,unless the employer has "good cause" to show why they delayed so long, the hearing officer will find in the claimant's favor.

Even if you do have to go through this, remember that it is the employer that must prove that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, did whatever they said you did. It doesn't sound like they could do that, even if the hearing officer gives them a chance to do so.

If, by a very long shot, the state would find for the employer, you should easily be able to get a waiver for repayment of the benefits based on the delay and a hardship.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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