Atwater Law PLLC
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Durham, NC 27701

Questions & Answers

North Carolina Unemployment Lawyers

What happens after I file my appeal??

After you file an appeal, your case will be scheduled for an evidentiary hearing. Once scheduled, the Division of Employment Security will send you a Notice of Hearing, which will indicate the date and time of your hearing, the issues that will be addressed during your hearing, as well as the name and contact information of the hearing official assigned to preside over your case.

Where are hearings held??

Hearings are generally held by telephone conference call and/or in-person at some Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS) public employment offices around the state. For a current listing of DWS offices where hearings are conducted, you may contact the Appeals Section at 919-707-1060, by fax at 919-733-1228, or by email at

What is a Telephone Hearing??

A telephone hearing is a hearing that is conducted over the telephone. At the time of the hearing, the hearing official, will contact the claimant, the claimant’s attorney (if you have one), the employer witnesses, and the employer attorney (if they have one).

While telephone hearings are a convenient and relatively informal way of conducting hearings, they are nevertheless serious. The entire proceeding will be recorded. All testimony will be under oath. Each party will have an opportunity to testify and present documentary evidence. Each party will have an opportunity to cross examine the other party’s witnesses. In addition, each party will have an opportunity to make a closing argument, whereby they can summarize the evidence, cite relevant points of law, and offer arguments as to why said party is entitled to prevail.

What if my telephone number has changed from the number that the DES has on file?

If your telephone number has changed from the one which is on file and on your Notice of Hearing, typically you need to fill out the Telephone Hearing Questionnaire with the correct telephone number and mail it back to the address indicated on the Telephone Hearing Questionnaire. However, if we are represent you, we will notify the hearing official of any changes to your telephone number

I appealed a denial of unemployment benefits; should I continue to file weekly claims?

Yes. As long as you are unemployed, willing and able to work, and are actively seeking work, you should continue to file your weekly claims. If you ultimately win your appeal, you will only be entitle to back compensation for the weeks that you filed.

What happens after I have my unemployment hearing?

Following your hearing, the hearing official will issue a written decision based solely on the competent evidence which came out at the hearing. This decision will address issues outlined in the notice of hearing. In addition, the decision will outline findings of fact and conclusion of law.

Will my employer have an attorney at my unemployment hearing?

Many employers exercise the right to be represented by attorneys at unemployment hearings. However, in most instances, you will not know whether an employer is represented by legal counsel until the time of the hearing. Even in those instances where employer has not hired an attorney, it is likely that the employer will be represented by a Human Resources Specialist experienced at participating in unemployment hearings.

If I do not appear at my unemployment hearing, what will happen to my appeal?

If you are the party that has appealed the determination, your appeal will be dismissed. If the employer is the appealing party and you do not appear, the hearing will be conducted without you and the hearing official will render a decision based solely on the competent evidence presented at the time of the hearing.

I have important documentation relating to my unemployment appeal; do I need to submit the documentation for my unemployment hearing?

Yes, you should submit any relevant documentation that you want the hearing official to consider in connection with your unemployment hearing. In fact, the hearing official can only consider evidence that is in the record.

So, if there is documentary evidence (pictures, recordings, text messages, doctor notes, etc.) that you want the hearing official to consider in connection with your unemployment appeal, you will need to submit such evidence to the hearing official at a reasonable time prior to the start of the hearing. In addition, you are required to provide a copy of said documentation to the employer prior to the hearing.


More questions? Ask Our North Carolina Unemployment Lawyers.