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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, California, United States
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    2

    Default Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: California

    I'll try to keep this simple.

    I left my job after about a year of a huge amount of stress. This was after having visited a psychiatrist regularly and working with him to deal with the stress (among other things). Since I left voluntarily, they did a telephone interview, and I tried to explain to them that I left due to health problems from stress, but I'm afraid I wasn't as clear as I should have been, I guess, because they denied the claim. I mentioned during the interview that I felt like I was going to get fired and I didn't want that. That is what he latched onto, and used that to deny the claim.

    Firstly, California law does provide for leaving a job due to health problems and getting unemployment. However, I'm not sure if the doctor remembers ever making that recommendation, since it was a while ago. I guess I'll have to contact him and ask for some kind of testimony for the appeal.

    I have one other possible avenue of appeal, which is that they were assigning me work outside of my normal scope of work. However this one seems much more tenuous. Basically I'm a graphic designer, and the work they were assigning me to do involved working with databases, which is outside of my normal work.

    Secondly, I discussed all of this before I quit with the HR manager, who assured me that if I filed for unemployment they wouldn't contest it. So I'm kind of surprised that I even got denied, although they may have never called the company, instead deciding that I just didn't qualify.

    So during the appeal process, any advice for what I should say? Apparently the employer is supposed to appear during this hearing also. What if they just don't show up to contest it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,728

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    However, I'm not sure if the doctor remembers ever making that recommendation, since it was a while ago.
    any recommendation he made should be in your medical records.


    Firstly, California law does provide for leaving a job due to health problems and getting unemployment.
    actually, no, they don't. Maybe health issues caused by your work but not health problems in general, no they don't.


    I have one other possible avenue of appeal, which is that they were assigning me work outside of my normal scope of work. However this one seems much more tenuous. Basically I'm a graphic designer, and the work they were assigning me to do involved working with databases, which is outside of my normal work.
    did you have a contract that specified you would work only as a graphic designer?


    So during the appeal process, any advice for what I should say? Apparently the employer is supposed to appear during this hearing also. What if they just don't show up to contest it?
    they can still deny you if they do not believe you had good cause to quit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,072

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    I don't know where so many people get the idea that if the employer does not contest, benefits are guaranteed. If your employment ends for a reason that disqualifies you for benefits, you're going to get denied whether the employer contests or not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    In order to collect unemployment you must be willing and available to work. If you are unable to continue working at a job because of mental health issues then you are not available to work, so you are not entitled to benefits. You may be entitled to disability benefits of one kind or another, but that would require a medical diagnosis. What you are describing is in the category of disability so that's the avenue I would suggest you pursue. Or find another job if you are now able to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, California, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    Just for posterity's sake, I'll update this.

    I won the appeal. I was denied because the telephone interviewer decided that I left because I was afraid of being fired. I went before a judge and made my case that I left because the stress of unreasonable complaints about my work was causing me to have health problems. I got a letter from my doctor, but it was so brief I thought it would be useless, but I submitted it anyway. It basically had one sentence that said "I have been treating Mr. X for lack of focus and anxiety." But the judge decided I had demonstrated my case to his satisfaction, I suppose.

    Now what I'm trying to find out is if I can get back payments for the time when the appeal was being handled.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,336

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    Quote Quoting mrdarklight
    View Post
    Now what I'm trying to find out is if I can get back payments for the time when the appeal was being handled.
    Read the decision carefully. If you truly won for this reason alone, then it is as though you were qualified from the very beginning. If you were filing your claim forms like you are supposed to regardless that they weren't being paid, they will pay you for each claim that you submitted.

    The reason I say to read it carefully is because quite often when you get a good cause quit for medical reasons, you end up getting a disqualification for not being able and available for work because if you were too sick that you had to quit, then you probably aren't healthy enough to look for work and accept work if offered. When that happens, you won't get paid from the beginning. Then you have to go back to your doctor to get a medical release and submit that while you spend days on end trying to get through to EDD so that you can "reopen" your claim. At that point, you'll get benefits from the time you recovered until you either find a new job or exhaust your benefits.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,072

    Default Re: Appealing California Unemployment Denial

    Just to be sure it's clear, though, Chyvan's scenario is dependent on your having been filing your weekly certifications. If you have not, then you will not be paid retroactively regardless.

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