Filing an Appeal, What You Need to Know


What is the Deputy’s Decision?

The Deputy’s decision is the first decision issued by the Commission on a particular claim issue. It is issued by a Deputy in the Adjudication department. It provides the following information: the name of the parties in your case, the dates benefits are allowed or denied, and the issues and law codes that apply. Furthermore, the Decision provides you information about your right to appeal.

Where is the appeal information located?

On the Deputy’s decision, the appeal information is in two places. In the upper right-hand corner of the document, the final date to appeal is printed in bold. On the back of the printed decision, and on the second page of the digital version of the decision, at the top, are the appeal rights. These appeal rights explain how to submit your appeal to the agency.

Who Can Appeal?

If you disagree with the Deputy’s decision regarding your benefits claim, you have the right to appeal. The important thing to remember is that you can only appeal a decision that is adverse to you or “not in your favor.”

When to Appeal?

You must file your appeal within 30 days of the mailing date of the Deputy's decision. The Commission considers the date of your appeal as either: the U.S. Postal Service postmark or date of receipt by the VEC. For your convenience, the final date to appeal is always set out in the decision. You must file your appeal before midnight on that date. It is always better not to wait until the last moment, and there is no need for you to delay filing your appeal for reasons such as waiting until you obtain additional evidence. Extensions will only be granted with valid proof of "good cause," meaning circumstances beyond your control which prevented timely filing.

How to Appeal?

The fastest and preferred way to file an appeal is online.

  • Claimants may log in or create an account through the Claimant Self Service Portal also known as UI Direct at:
  • Employers may log in or create an account through the Employer Self Service Portal to file an appeal at:
  • Alternatively, you can mail or fax your appeal using this form. Print it and send it to:
    Virginia Employment Commission
    First Level Appeals
    P.O. Box 26441
    Richmond, VA 23261-6441
    Fax: (804) 786-8492
  • In-person filing is also an option by visiting a local Virginia Works Office.
    Find a list of local offices here:
  • Appeals submitted through methods other than those listed above will not be accepted.

What Cannot be Appealed?

  • Premature appeal - the appeal was filed before an adverse decision was mailed.
  • The appeal did not provide enough information to determine what the appellant wanted to appeal.
  • The appeal was a general complaint or request for payment rather than expressing disagreement with a specific Deputy's decision.
  • The appeal attempted to challenge the weekly benefit amount listed on a monetary determination before the Monetary Unit has issued a redetermination.

Understanding the Appeals Process

First Level Appeals

The appeals process begins with First Level Appeals. An impartial Appeals Examiner is assigned to your case to conduct the hearing and develop the record of the case. The record will include any evidence and testimony presented. Hearing participants should be prepared to provide a clear and concise explanation of why they believe the Deputy's decision should be affirmed or reversed.

Notice of Appeal:

Once you file your appeal, a Notice of Appeal is generated and sent to you and any other parties to the claim. This notice lists the docket or case number and lets you know your appeal has been received and is being processed. It also lets other parties know that an appeal has been filed. Information appears on this notice that is important to your participation in the appeals process.

Notice of Telephone Hearing:

A hearing may be scheduled in your case to hear your appeal. If a hearing is scheduled, you will receive a Notice of Telephone Hearing detailing the date, time, and relevant Virginia statutes and regulations. The Notice of Hearing with documents relevant to the appeal will be mailed at least 10 calendar days in advance of your hearing date. You must register your telephone number to participate in the hearing by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the business day prior to your hearing.  You can register your phone number by calling the number on the notice or register online at: You will need your docket number to register your phone number. If you fail to register your phone number by the deadline, the Appeals Examiner will not call you to participate in the hearing. The hearing will be held without you.

Preparation for the Hearing:

Before the hearing, familiarize yourself with the facts of your case and organize any evidence to support your argument. You may submit any documents relevant to your appeal that you would like to be considered. You must send them at least two business days prior to the hearing and you must send them to the opposing party. You have the right to present relevant witnesses. Register them for the hearing and make sure they are aware to expect the call. Be sure your phone is reliable, fully charged and find a quiet place for the hearing. You cannot participate in the hearing if you are driving a vehicle even with Bluetooth technology.

What to Expect:

An appeal hearing is a formal legal process where an Appeals Examiner thoroughly develops the record of your case. The Appeals Examiner will hold a trial-like hearing, usually by telephone. All testimony is taken under oath and recorded. Except for a certified court reporter, the recording made by the Appeals Examiner is the only recording allowed by law. The Appeals Examiner will explain the hearing procedures, review relevant documents, enter them into the record as exhibits, ask the parties questions, allow for cross-examination, and finally give each a party a chance to make a closing statement. The Appeals Examiner will decide the outcome of your appeal.

Appeals Examiner's Decision:

After the hearing, a written Appeals Examiner’s decision will be mailed to you at the latest mailing address on file with the Commission. It will tell you whether the initial Deputy’s decision is affirmed, amended, or reversed. You should read the Appeals Examiner’s decision carefully. It, too, has appeal rights and an appeal deadline. If the decision is not in your favor, you have the right to appeal it. The Appeals Examiner’s decision becomes final 30 days after the mailing date unless you file an appeal to Commission Appeals.

What to Expect if the Appeal is Reversed in Your Favor:

Due to high volume, please allow up to 45 days for the Appeals Examiner's decision to be implemented after it is mailed. The Appeals process is a legal process and the decision must be accurately documented for the record. This requires VEC to thoroughly review the original claim based on the reversal to ensure due process for all parties. A monetary analysis will be conducted to determine if payment is due. If you have not received an expected payment after 45 days, please contact the Customer Contact Center 1-866-832-2363.

Commission Appeals

If you are dissatisfied with the Appeals Examiner's decision, you can further appeal to the Commission Appeals by following the instructions provided in the decision letter. Once you file an appeal you will receive a Notice of Appeal. The fastest and preferred way to file a Commission Appeal is online. Alternatively, you can mail or fax your appeal using this form.

Commission Review:

The Commission usually decides appeals without a hearing. A Special Examiner reviews the appeal letter and the record created by the Appeals Examiner’s hearing and issues a decision that affirms, amends, or reverses the Appeals Examiner’s decision. In limited circumstances you may request that the Commission take additional evidence. This may only include evidence that is not repetitive and could not have been presented before the close of the First Level Appeals hearing.

A hearing to present oral argument may be requested within fourteen (14) days of the mailing date of the Notice of Appeal. At the oral argument hearing, you are permitted to provide your arguments for why you feel the Appeals Examiner’s decision should be affirmed, amended or reversed. The oral argument is based only on the record from the Appeals Examiner’s decision. No new testimony or evidence is taken during an oral argument hearing.

Commission Decision:

A Special Examiner will issue a written decision, which becomes final 10 days after the mailing date. You have the right to appeal the Commission’s decision to Circuit Court, but you must file your appeal within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed. Instructions for filing an appeal are provided in the decision letter.

Legal Representation and Assistance:

You have the right to be represented by a lawyer or other representative. Notify the VEC as soon as possible if you hire a lawyer or other representative. The Virginia Employment Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available for individuals with disabilities. Please email: or by calling (804) 786-3020 or (800) 552-4500 so that arrangements can be made for their participation in the hearing.

For TTY Callers: Virginia Relay, Call 711 or 800-828-1120.

Sample Notices and Additional Resources: