Representing Yourself at an Unemployment Compensation Hearing

If your unemployment compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal.  Your former employer also has the right to appeal.  This fact sheet will help you in representing yourself.

Whether you have won or lost, continue to file your weekly claims.

For an appeal, the case is transferred from ODJFS to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC).  UCRC will schedule the case for hearing before a hearing officer.  These are usually telephone hearings.  You will be sent notice of the hearing approximately 10 - 14 days before the hearing.

Follow these steps to prepare to represent yourself at the hearing:

  • Request a copy of your unemployment file by sending an email to: filecopy@jfs.ohio.gov  This e-mail address is for file copy requests ONLY!
  • To receive a free electronic copy of your file, send the following information to the above email:
    •  name of claimant
    • claimant’s social security number
    • determination number appealed
    • name of requesting party (your name)telephone number 
    • relationship to the case (claimant, employer, claimant’s rep, employer’s rep)
  • Review the file.  Be prepared to rebut - or challenge - the allegations made by your former employer.
  • Write out a few questions for your former employer's representative.
  • Write a statement you wish to give to the hearing officer and a list of any points you wish to make.
  • If you have any subpoenas to file or documents you wish to send to the hearing officer, do so as soon as possible.  You can submit documents by either email or fax to the UCRC at:

For questions call the UCRC toll free number at 866- 833-8272.   (This number is used to receive documents, appeals & subpoenas ONLY.)

Email UCRC at: UCRC_FAX@jfs.ohio.gov

  • request subpoenas (limit 3)
  • submit documents
  • appeal a Hearing Officer decision (Request for Review)

FAX UCRC at: 1-614-387-3694

  • request subpoenas (limit 3)
  • submit documents
  • appeal a Hearing Officer decision (Request for Review)

​Important: If you send a document to UCRC, send a copy to your former employer.

If the Hearing Officer denies your appeal, you have the right to request a review. To appeal, you must request a review by the UCRC within 21 calendar days of the mailing date of the hearing officer's decision. Your appeal must be in writing and signed by you or your authorized representative. It should state that you are requesting a review of the hearing officer's decision; why you disagree with the hearing officer's decision; and, if you are employed during the day, that you desire a telephone hearing during non-working hours (if so, list the hours you are available for a hearing).

You May File your Appeal by Mail or Fax to:

U.C. Review Commission
P.O. Box 182299
Columbus, Ohio   43218-2299
FAX: (614) 387-3694

The UCRC will issue a written decision.  If your request for review is allowed, the UCRC may issue a decision based on the record of the earlier hearing or hold a further hearing.

Collection of Overpayment

If your appeal is denied, you may receive notice to repay an unemployment benefit overpayment.  If the overpayment is considered a "no fraud" overpayment, ODJFS can attempt to collect from you for the next three (3) years.  Overpayments, not paid within 45 days, may be referred to the Ohio Attorney General for collection.  The Attorney General's Office pursues repayment through various legal options. It can put liens against property, intercept state income tax refunds or take other action.  If the overpayment was made through “fraud,” criminal sanctions may be pursued if full repayment is not made promptly.

Overpayment of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

The rules are different for emergency benefits.  The entire amount of a weekly benefit is withheld until the EUC overpayment is paid.

This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice. Prepared by Community Legal Aid Servies, Inc. Updated July 2013.