Benefits Appeals

​Q: If I disagree with a decision of the office, can I appeal?

A: Yes. Practically every action of the office affecting an employer or a worker may be appealed for review by an impartial referee or hearing officer.

Appeals from benefit determinations may be made by either the employer or the claimant and are heard by an Appeals Branch referee. Be sure to include the social security number of the claimant when sending documentation. If either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the referee, a further appeal may be filed with the Unemployment Insurance Commission, and, thereafter, through the courts.

Below is a summary of the steps in the appeals process. Please pay particular attention to the number of days specified for each type of appeal- Filing your appeal on time is essential for protecting your appeal rights.



  • ​Notice of Determination (UI-492) Appeal to Referee *File within 30 days of mailing date of determination
  • Referee’s Decision Appeal to UI Commission: *File within 30 days of mailing date of deter​​​mination
  • Commission Order Appeal to Circuit Court:*File in the county were the claimant was employed “An Order of the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission may, within twenty (20) days of the mailing date of the Order, be appealed, to the appropriate Circuit Court, under the provisions of KRS 341.440(3), which provides, “In the absence of an appeal therefrom, the decisions of the commission shall become final thirty-five (35) days after the date they are made.”

Except as provided in KRS 341.460, within twenty (20) days after the date of the decision of the Commission, any party aggrieved thereby may, after exhausting his remedies before the Commission, secure judicial review thereof by filing a complaint against the Commission in the Circuit Court of the county in which the claimant was last employed by a subject employer whose reserve account is affected by such claims.  Any other party to the proceeding before the Commission shall be made a defendant in such action.  The complaint shall state fully the grounds upon which review is sought, assign all errors relied on, and shall be verified by the plaintiff or his attorney.  The plaintiff shall furnish copies thereof for each defendant to the Commission, which shall deliver one (1) copy to each defendant. See KRS 341.450.

Q: How do I file an appeal?

A: The party filing the appeal must do so within the number of days specified above. The time period is triggered by the mailing date of the decision being appealed. Appeals must be made in writing. A letter to the Appeals Branch or to the UI Commission stating the intent to appeal is sufficient. Appeals may be addressed as below:

Appeals Branch
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601​
Fax: 502-564-7850

UI Commission
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601​​
Fax: 502-564-3562

The appealing party may withdraw an appeal by informing the Appeals Branch or UI Commission, in writing.

Importance of the Hearing

The referee will decide the appeal solely on the documents submitted prior to the hearing and the testimony during the hearing. A recording of the proceeding will be kept by the Appeals Branch (or UI Commission) for future proceedings. Therefore, you should be fully prepared to present your case at the hearing.

The hearing will be informal but it is in your best interest to present all your evidence at the hearing in an orderly manner.

Be on time, as the referee has other cases to hear, and a delay may cause your case to be rescheduled or dismissed. Continuances are rarely granted.

Q: Who should attend the hearing?

A: The employer and the claimant should attend the hearing. Most hearings are scheduled via teleconference. Any witness who testifies on behalf of the claimant or employer should have personal knowledge of the events in question.

If a hearing is scheduled by teleconference, and you have any documents or written materials that you want the referee to consider in this hearing, send them immediately to the Appeals Branch at the address on the "Notice of Hearing." You must also send a copy of these documents to the other party. Failure to send a copy to the other party shall result in the documents not being accepted for the hearing. Be sure to keep a copy of these documents for your own use at the hearing. Be sure to include the social security number of the claimant when sending documentation.

The claimant and the employer may be represented by attorneys or other individuals of their own choosing, but this is not required. The referee will assist both parties at all times to bring out facts that will be helpful in properly presenting their cases.

Q: What information should I give at the hearing?

A: The claimant and/or employer should bring all reports and records that might prove his/her case, such as records of absences, doctor's statements, information concerning pay rate, previous warnings, etc. Witnesses should be prepared to answer all questions. Subpoenas for witnesses or records may be issued prior to the hearings, if necessary. Requests for subpoenas must be sworn statements setting forth the name and address of the party to be subpoenaed, the information the party may present at the hearing, and the need for the information.

Your Rights at the Hearing

Each party has these rights:

  • ​To testify in his/her own behalf.
  • To be represented by an individual of his/her own choosing.
  • To present documents and records regarding the case.
  • To have his/her own witnesses testify.
  • To question opposing parties and witnesses.
  • To explain or rebut evidence against him/her.

Conduct of Hearing

The referee has the sole authority for conducting the hearing and will swear in all parties and witnesses before they begin to give testimony. 

In conducting the hearing, the appeals referee will:

  • ​Explain the issues and the meaning of terms the parties do not understand.
  • Explain the order in which persons will testify. (As a general rule, in voluntary quit cases, the claimant testifies first. When the case concerns the discharge of a claimant or a labor dispute, the employer generally testifies first.)
  • Assist parties in asking questions of other witnesses.
  • Question parties and witnesses to obtain necessary facts.
  • Determine on his/her own motion or the request of a party whether testimony and documents being offered should be received and considered.
  • Require parties to give a proper background or foundation for secondary evidence, documents, and opinion testimony.

Following the close of the hearing, the referee is not allowed to discuss any matter with either party. The decision is based solely on the information presented at the hearing.

The Decision

The decision will be mailed to the parties promptly. The decision will set forth the facts found from the evidence presented, the reasons for the decision and the decision itself. If you appeal a benefit determination, you will receive a referee decision.

If you appeal a referee decision on a benefit issue to the UI Commission, the Commission will decide the case based upon the record of the hearing before the Appeals Referee.

If you appeal a tax-related determination, or if you appeal a referee decision to the UI Commission, you will receive a Commission Order.

More Information

As a claimant or an employer, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities. The Kentucky Unemployment Insurance laws and regulations are found in Chapter 341 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes and Title 787 of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations. They can be viewed on the following website:​