Louisville Attorney Discusses Kentucky Unemployment Claims
I often receive calls from people who have never filed for unemployment benefits in Kentucky and are confused by the process and the system. This first blog post is intended to help answer those initial questions.
When you apply for unemployment benefits, you will first receive a letter telling you what you will receive weekly and the maximum amount you can get IF you are eligible. Next you will receive a Notice of Determination telling you whether you are eligible to receive benefits. It is important to make sure that the unemployment office always has a correct physical address where you receive U.S. mail from the U.S. Post Office. It is also important to daily check your mailbox. (At present, these notices are not sent via email.)
Depending upon the answers to the questions you give when you apply for benefits you will either begin immediately receiving benefits or benefits will be delayed pending the results of an initial investigation. Your answers are made under oath and if you are not truthful and you receive benefits it is considered fraud and you must pay back all the money you received, are ineligible to receive future benefits for a specified period of time and are subject to criminal prosecution. So be honest!
If you do not immediately begin receiving benefits then the unemployment office will conduct an investigation. Usually they will send a request for information to the employer and wait for their response before having an investigator look at it. If your former employer does not promptly respond this can cause several weeks’ additional delay. When there is an initial investigation, an investigator from the unemployment office will usually call you and ask you about the case.
If you initially receive benefits and your employer sends information which suggests that you were not entitled to benefits an investigation will be opened at that time.
If you do not get benefits, you must file your appeal in Kentucky by the date given in the Appeal Rights section at the bottom of the Notice of Determination. Usually, there is a specific date listed in this section stating that your appeal must be filed by that date. If there is not a specific date listed, you will be told how many days you have from the Mailed Date at the top of the Notice to file your appeal. You will find specific instructions about how and when to file the appeal in this section of the Notice. Follow those instructions carefully. If you are even one day late you have lost your right to appeal and the decision stands.
If you get benefits your employer can also appeal and you may not find out about the appeal until you receive a notice of the hearing that is sent 10 days before the hearing date. You need to attend this hearing. It will be by telephone but it is still a formal hearing with testimony taken under oath. Depending upon how quickly your employer responds and how busy the unemployment appeals office is, you may not receive that notice until four to eight weeks after you start receiving benefits. If you get benefits and then lose the appeal filed by your employer, you have to pay back the money you have received.
For more information please look for my next post on filing an unemployment appeal or you can go the official Kentucky website.
Kentucky Office of Employment and Training to file online or to:
http://kcc.ky.gov/career/Unemployment.aspx for more information.