How to Prepare for and Participate in an Appeal - Lower Appeals
How should I prepare for my appeal?
Each party should arrange for all necessary witnesses to attend the hearing, and for all necessary documents to be available at the hearing. Your witnesses may call into the hearing using the same telephone number and conference code that appears on your hearing notice.
Will the hearing examiner already have a copy of any documents that I previously submitted to the agency?
Your appeals hearing is a TOTALLY SEPARATE procedure from the one used by the agency to initially determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits. Similarly, anything that was attached to the appeal request is also NOT AUTOMATICALLY CONSIDERED AS EVIDENCE. Because this is the case, it is unlikely that the hearing examiner will have a copy of or will have reviewed any documents that were previously submitted to the agency by either party. The obligation is therefore on the parties to submit (or RESUBMIT) any documents DIRECTLY TO THE LOWER APPEALS DIVISION (and, if applicable, TO THE OTHER PARTY) that they wish the hearing examiner to consider at the hearing in accordance with the instructions in the next paragraph.
How can I present my documents to the Lower Appeals Division and to my hearing examiner?
To present your documents to the Lower Appeals division (and, simultaneously, to your hearing examiner), you would need to upload them to your BEACON portal. It is relatively easy to upload documents to your BEACON portal to make them accessible during your hearing. First, log into your BEACON portal using a standard computer (this will not necessarily work from the mobile app). From there, select "Appeals" from the "Your Options" menu (far left side of your Home page), and hit the SEARCH key. Your pending Lower Appeal should appear as a line-item. Click the case number hyperlink, then click the "Supporting Documents" tab (toward the middle of the page), and scroll all the way down to the bottom: there should be a link to "Upload Additional Documents".
By doing this, you will be making your documents available during the hearing to yourself, to any opposing party (because some cases involve both a claimant and a former employer), and to your Hearing Examiner. (NOTE: because any other party may also upload their documents the same way, you should check the “Supporting Documents” tab just prior to the hearing so that you can view in advance of the hearing any such documents.)
How do I know if my case involves another party and, if it does, how can I forward my documents to them?
Most (but not all) cases involve both a claimant and one of the claimant’s former employers. We call this a “two-party” case.
If you have any documents which you might wish to present into evidence during your hearing and are involved in a two party case then, in addition to uploading your documents to the “Supporting Documents” tab (using the process described above), you will also need to send a copy of those documents to the other party by regular mail using their name and address. You can usually find their name and address on either the Determination from which the appeal was taken or on the copy of that party’s hearing notice (which is attached an “Appeal Document” connected to your appeal, and will be available in your Beacon portal). To help ensure that your documents are available at the hearing, please make sure to mail them to the other party at least five (5) business days before the hearing.
If you are unsure whether your case is a two-party case, or if you cannot locate the other party’s address on the Determination or on their hearing notice, please feel free to reach out to the Lower Appeals Division and we can try to help you.
What should I do if my hearing concerns my medical condition?
If your disqualification in any way concerns your medical condition (for example, because the agency determined that you are not "able to and available for work," or because you quit your job due to a medical condition, or because you were discharged because of a medical condition), please be sure to have your doctor complete a MEDICAL FORM *BEFORE* the hearing, so that you can present it into evidence at the hearing. (Remember, like any other document, prior to your hearing you have to upload your completed medical form to the Supporting Documents tab.) Here is an acceptable MEDICAL FORM.
Am I allowed to include witnesses in the hearing?
If a party has witnesses that they wish to participate in the hearing, it is the responsibility of that party to provide each of those witnesses with the time, date, phone number and conference code for the hearing (all of this information will appear on the hearing notice).
How do subpoenas work?
If witnesses will not appear or documents will not be produced voluntarily, you may request a subpoena from the Lower Appeals Division. This request must be submitted through BEACON and should be received by the Lower Appeals Division at least five (5) working days before the hearing date to allow for proper processing.
For subpoenaed persons, the request must also:
- give the name of any person to be subpoenaed,
- the reason that the person’s testimony is necessary, and
- the address to which the subpoena is to be delivered.
For subpoenaed records, the request must include:
- a specific description of the documents,
- the reason that the documents are necessary,
- the name of the custodian of the documents, and
- the address to which the subpoena should be delivered.
NOTE: WE CAN ONLY ISSUE SUBPOENAS FOR ADDRESSES IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND. Also note that the Lower Appeals Division reserves the right to deny any subpoena request which we feel is overly broad, unduly burdensome, or otherwise isn’t requested with good cause.
How do I participate in my telephonic appeal?
The hearing notice that the parties will receive will be available in the Correspondence section of your Beacon portal (it will also be attached to the appeal itself in the Lower Appeals section of your Beacon portal). The hearing notice will inform the parties of:
- the time and date of the hearing (unless otherwise specified, all times are in Eastern Time),
- a phone number that the party will need to call at that time and date, and
- a conference bridge number that the party will need to enter when prompted to do so. It is important that all parties and witnesses call into their telephonic hearing in a timely manner, otherwise important rights may be forever lost.
- NOTE: you will need to call into your hearing on the appropriate time and date in order to participate.
Do I have to participate in this hearing?
If the appealing party (the “appellant”) fails to appear within ten minutes of the scheduled hearing time, the hearing examiner may dismiss the appeal. If the non-appealing party (the “appellee”) does not appear, but the appellant does, the hearing will go forward. The failure of a party to appear at the telephonic hearing could affect the claimant’s right to collect benefits and/or the employer’s unemployment tax rate. NOTE: If you do not attend the hearing, there is no guarantee that the hearing examiner will see, read or review any documents that you sent to the Appeals Division. The only way to ensure that your side of the case is presented is to appear at the hearing.
Maryland Department of Labor
Lower Appeals Division
2800 W. Patapsco Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Fax: 410-225-9781 or 410-767-2532