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    Appeals Information for Claimants & Employers

    When a claimant files for unemployment benefits, the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) investigates the claim by contacting both the claimant and the claimant’s former employer. The department then issues a written determination detailing its initial ruling on the claimant’s eligibility for benefits and any points of law considered

    You have the right to file an appeal if you disagree with the initial determination. Each determination letter contains detailed appeal rights and information; make sure to read this information thoroughly along with the information listed below.

     

        Filing an Appeal

    Who can file an appeal?
    Any interested party may file an appeal. 

    By law an interested party is defined as a claimant, the claimant’s most recent bona fide employer (the employer who most recently paid the claimant eight times their weekly benefit amount), or any employer whose account may be affected by the claim.

    How do I file an appeal?
    You may file an appeal by completing a Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal Form (APP-100) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include the claimant's name and Social Security number.  

    By law you must file your appeal within 10 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the determination. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or recognized holiday, the appeal period extends to the next business day.

    Note: All appeal documents (APP-100, APP-107 and APP-111) must contain the handwritten signature of the party completing the document before they will be accepted. After completing the appropriate document please print, sign, and return it to DEW’s Appeals Division via fax or regular mail at the address or number provided on the form and below.

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Appeal Tribunal
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Fax: 803.737.0287

     

        Pending Appeals

    Should a claimant continue to file his or her claim for benefits while an appeal is pending?
    Yes. A claimant who has filed an appeal with the department must also continue to file for weekly unemployment insurance benefits by phone or online. Doing so gives the claimant credit for weeks pending the hearing’s results.

    Failure to continue filing may result in the loss of benefits, even if the claimant wins the appeal.

     

        Appeal Hearings

    How are hearings scheduled?
    The appeal tribunal schedules hearings in the order in which appeals are received. The appeal tribunal will mail a written hearing notice detailing the date, time and location as well as the specific issues to be covered in the hearing. The notice will be mailed no less than seven days prior to the hearing.  In the vast majority of cases, hearings are held within 10 weeks of filing an appeal.

    Where are hearings held?
    Most hearings are held via telephone and some are held in person at a designated SC Works center.

    How are hearings conducted? 
    An administrative hearing officer conducts the appeal hearing by placing all witnesses under oath and taking relevant testimony.

    During the hearing all interested parties have the opportunity to ask questions of witnesses and submit any relevant evidence in order to make a fair and informed decision.

    Who is the administrative hearing officer?
    The administrative hearing officer is an unbiased professional that fairly develops the record with equal consideration to all parties present and has no vested interest in the case’s outcome.

    Administrative hearing officers serve as impartial judges of the facts presented and issue written decisions after the hearing. 

    Do I really need to participate in the hearing?
    Yes. The appeal hearing is the only opportunity you will have to present testimony and evidence to support your case. The record developed during the hearing will be the only record the department will use when making a decision on your claim during the appeals process.

    If you are the appellant and you choose not to participate, your appeal may be dismissed.

    If you are not the appellant and you choose not to participate, the department will hold the hearing without you and make a decision based on the appellant’s testimony.

    What if I can't participate in my hearing?
    If you cannot participate in the hearing, notify the appeal tribunal at 803.737.2520 as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the appeal tribunal may postpone your hearing upon receiving faxed documents confirming a scheduling conflict. Postponed hearings will be rescheduled for telephone hearings only.

    Do I need evidence or witnesses?
    Because the appeal hearing will be your only opportunity to present your case, you should bring any evidence or witnesses that support your case. 

    Witnesses with firsthand knowledge are very important in your appeal presentation. Hearsay, or second-hand information, is not as valuable as direct evidence.

    You can also submit relevant written documentation to support your case. Such documents typically would be from the period of employment or related to the issue under appeal. The administrative hearing officer will determine how and whether your evidence will be considered.

    If you choose to bring documentation, you must bring copies for the hearing officer and the opposing side.

    What if I'm unable to get a witness or document for my case?
    The department can issue a subpoena to compel an individual's participation or to produce evidence either party needs for their case.

    An Application for Issuance of Witness Subpoena can be picked up at a Connection Point near you or downloaded here. On the application you must provide a name, address, telephone number and the specific reason you are requesting a document or a witness’s participation. Subpoenas cannot be served on addresses outside of South Carolina.

    The chief administrative hearing officer or his/her designee determines whether a subpoena will be issued on a case-by-case basis.

    How will I find out the result of the appeal hearing?
    The administrative hearing officer will mail a written decision based on the evidence and testimony collected during the hearing. This decision will be mailed to the addresses on record of all parties involved.

    What If I disagree with the hearing officer's decision?

    If you disagree with the hearing officer's decision you have the right to appeal to the appellate panel.

     

        Appeals to the Appellate Panel

    The appellate panel acts as a board of review and is confined to the record developed during the initial hearing.

    The appellate panel cannot consider new evidence or testimony.

    You may file an appeal to the appellate panel by completing an appeal Application for Leave to Appeal to the Appellate Panel Form (APP-111) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include the claimant's name and Social Security number. 

    Your appeal must be filed within 10 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the appeal tribunal decision. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or recognized holiday, the appeal period extends to the next business day.

    Appeals may be submitted by mail or fax using the information listed below.

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Appellate Panel
    P.O. Box 1752
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Fax: 803.737.3166

    Who is the appellate panel?
    The appellate panel is comprised of three members who are elected by the General Assembly to serve four-year terms. Though housed in the appellate division of DEW, the panel is separate and distinct from DEW.

    The panel’s sole function is to rule on appeals of decisions made by the administrative hearing officers.

    Click here to view the 2012-2016 appellate panelists.

    How will the appellate panel consider the appeal?
    The appellate panel may rule on an appeal with or without an oral argument. The appellate panel will mail the parties a hearing notice detailing the date, time and location of an in-person oral argument.

    The appellate panel conducts oral arguments only in Columbia.

    The appellate panel makes its decision based solely on the record developed during the initial appeal hearing.

    What if I disagree with the appellate panel's decision?
    By law, if you disagree with the appellate panel's decision you can appeal to the South Carolina Administrative Law Court within 30 days of the mailing date listed on the appellate panel's decision. Contact the South Carolina Administrative Law Court for more information.


        Administrative Tax Appeal

    Employers may appeal an administrative determination regarding the status, liability and applicable contributions rate using the Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal Form (APP-100). The appeal tribunal will then review the initial determination and affirm, modify or reverse the decision. 

    Appeals must be made within 30 days from the initial administrative determination.

    Appeals may be submitted by mail or fax using the information listed below. 

    Address:
    South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
    Appeal Tribunal
    P.O. Box 995
    Columbia, SC 29202

    Fax: 803.737.0287

    During the hearing an administrative hearing officer acts as the impartial judge of all facts presented and a field deputy speaks on behalf of the agency. Although the field deputy is an agency representative, the administrative hearing officer has no vested interest in the case’s outcome and remains unbiased.

    Corporations must be represented by an attorney licensed in the state of South Carolina. Other entities may represent themselves but the administrative hearing officer will ensure that the case’s facts are fully developed. 

    This hearing represents your only opportunity to present evidence. The parties must ensure witnesses, documentary evidence, and other relevant information is presented on the record during the hearing. 

    If you cannot participate in the hearing notify the appeal tribunal at 803.737.2520 as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the appeal tribunal may postpone your hearing or allow you to participate by telephone.

    The administrative hearing officer will mail a written decision to the addresses on record of all parties involved.


    Additional information on laws and regulations governing DEW

    For more information please contact the Appellate Division at 803.737.2520.


     
     
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