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If your claim for benefits is denied, you can file an appeal with the Appeal Tribunal of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. You can file your appeal online or by completing and returning the “Request for a Hearing” form included with the initial denial letter. You have 15 calendar days from the date on the determination to file your appeal.
In your appeal, state that you are appealing the decision and explain why you believe it is incorrect. For example, if the decision letter states that you were denied benefits because you quit voluntarily, you might say: “I was told I had to resign immediately, or I would be fired because I reported or made claims of discrimination at my workplace.”
Once you file your appeal, you must continue to file weekly claims for unemployment benefits, search for a new job, and keep records of your job search, just as if your claim for benefits had been granted. If you win your appeal, you will be entitled to benefits retroactively from the date when your claim should have been granted—but only if you have been filing claims and looking for work each week.
If you are considering an appeal, check out the information on appeals in the New Mexico Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook.
You may also want to consider hiring an attorney to help you with your appeal. Your employer may have an attorney at the hearing. If so, having a lawyer on your side will help even the odds. An attorney can question witnesses, help you decide what evidence would be most helpful, and present legal arguments about why you should have been awarded unemployment benefits.
However, you’ll have to consider whether the cost of hiring an attorney is worth what you might win in benefits. An attorney should be willing to meet with you for a quick consultation to review your case, explain your chances of winning the appeal, and talk about fees. If you have a strong case and the fees are reasonable, it might make sense to hire a lawyer to represent you.
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