It is easy and convenient to submit an appeal for an unemployment compensation claim through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) website for both employers and claimants.
No matter how you submit an appeal—mail, fax, or online—the same timeliness rules apply. All appeals must be filed within 14 days of the date a determination on benefits is mailed, not the date you receive it.
Information you need to supply
Most fields on the TWC online form are straightforward. You will need to enter the claimant’s identifying information as well as the employer’s contact information in order for TWC to mail you an appeal packet. This information is usually printed on the determination you received. The form asks what you are appealing, either a determination on payment or a decision from an Appeal Tribunal Hearing Officer, and the date it was mailed to you. The mailing date is printed on each form. Pay particular attention to the date printed at the bottom of the claim determination in the section labeled “If you disagree with this decision.” You will lose your appeal rights if you miss the deadline to appeal.
Next, you will have an option to explain why you are appealing. This step is optional, as your reason will be covered at the Appeal Tribunal telephone hearing. You may simply write “The employer appeals.” However, providing some information in your appeal, particularly as related to school calendars, may be helpful. The appeal form asks you to notify TWC of any dates or times you are unavailable for a hearing. This will be your only chance to let TWC know about schedule conflicts.
What you need to know about scheduling
Please also take into consideration the schedules of all witnesses you need at the hearing, including administrators, teachers, supervisors, and support staff. For example, TWC is open the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Most districts have their last day of class the week before Christmas and may not return until the week after New Year’s Day. If you do not ask TWC to consider the school calendar, your hearing may get scheduled during the break.
Missing a hearing because you’re closed for break is not good cause for failure to appear, so you will forfeit your only chance to present your case. (This is also a good opportunity to remind you to check your mail over the break, because placing it on hold or not checking it doesn’t remove the deadlines). Think about other relevant unavailable dates, such as the week of Thanksgiving (TWC only closes Thursday and Friday), Spring Break, conventions, training, and school-specific events such as standardized testing dates, when your personnel will be busy. TWC will try to accommodate your schedule requests, but they are not bound to do so. Even if the hearing date falls on a date you don’t like or can’t make, failure to attend will cause you to lose your appeal rights.
In the “Reason for Appeal” section, you may want to ask that TWC send an additional appeal packet to TASB Risk Management Fund if you would like assistance in your appeal hearing. You may want to add language such as “Please send a copy of our appeal packet to our representative, James Ezell, C/O TASB Risk Management Fund, P.O. Box 301, Austin, Texas 78767-0400. TWC will attempt to accommodate requests, but does not always send us a copy. If you would like assistance, please contact me as soon as you receive your hearing packet, even if you believe a copy was sent to me.
Remember that if you use the TWC online form to appeal, you are not able to attach documents, such as warnings, policy, or notes.
You must send these documents by mail or fax them to both the hearing officer and claimant if you want them to be considered as evidence.
As a final note, the online appeal form can also be used to appeal a written decision from a hearing officer, but I do not recommend this due to space limits on what you may write or attach. If you participated in a telephone hearing and would like to appeal that decision to the Commissioners, send your appeal by fax or mail to give yourself enough room to explain your position.
Fund members can also contact us for assistance in filing an appeal, or with other unemployment claims questions, at 800-482-7276 ext. 6258.