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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    2

    Default How to Get UI Benefits Reinstated After a Court Appeal

    I was fired in 2009. I applied for unemployment benefits and they were granted. Several months later my former employer contacted AZDES and lied saying I wasn't fired, but that I voluntarily quit. AZDES stopped my benefits and told me I had to return what they had already paid me. I appealed, (thru AZDES). That appeal took several weeks and AZDES rejected it without considering any of the documentation or evidence. I appealed 2 more times, (which took several months). At one point AZDES reps told me that they weren't limited to considering ONLY the hard evidence, but that they had the freedom to rely on gut feelings regarding who they found to be more credible.

    The appeal was FINALLY moved outside the troubled, controversial and corrupt AZDES and into the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. My former employer sent me an email boasting that he had won the case before it was ruled on. He claimed that he had emailed the Judge and she told him she was siding with him. I sent the email to the court and asked why he had access to the Judge when I did not. Turns out he was once again just lying. In her ruling the Judge stated that "It troubles this court that Mr. _____ made false statements that implied wrong doing on the part of the court."

    By the time that decision was handed down it was 2010. I contacted AZDES to get my unemployment benefits reinstated and they told me that because the original case was started in 2009 they could not reinstate benefits for that case. I would have to reapply again using my current situation, (which meant I would not qualify because I hadn't worked since the original case was filed).

    That was the last I heard from AZDES. At the end of 2016 I started receiving notices saying I owed $6,000+??? The notices claimed to be from AZDES but were sent from a South Carolina address. I was skeptical to say the least. I ignored the first notice figuring it was some kind of scam. When I got a second notice I contacted AZDES to see if the person on the notice was legitimate, and to find out what it was for. That's when I learned they were now suddenly attempting to collect the money they had paid me back in 2009... again.

    I appealed it . . . again . . . thru AZDES, (an exercise in futility), and it was summarily rejected . . . again . . . predictably. I sent a constituent complaint form to the Governor's office as a last ditch effort to see if that would help. They forwarded it to AZDES and the same condescending woman I spoke with before called me to explain that since the case dates back to 2009 there is nothing anyone can do - I have to just pay the $6,000... plus interest.

    Some time around 2011 or 2012 I was brushing up my resume and I couldn't remember dates of employment for a certain job, so I did an internet search to see if I could find anything and I ran across an employer/employee reporting site that had that employer, the dates of my employment, and the reason for my separation. Ironically, that same site also had my employment information reported from the lying employer as well, and under reason for separation they had listed "Terminated." At the time I believed the matter was ended and I wasn't interested in digging it up again, so I just moved on. When I started getting the notices at the end of 2016 I searched and searched trying to find that site again, but I couldn't find anything.

    It's bad enough that I have to pay AZDES $6,000+. In the first place, if I remember right, I was only paid about $3,000 before the dirtball lied and stopped my benefits. But in addition to the $6,000 that "no one can do anything about" they tack on interest in the amount of about $25 a month.

    It sucks that you almost have to hire a lawyer to protect you from these incompetent and corrupt government agencies fleecing you now. AZDES has been in the papers almost constantly over the past several years with employees and directors getting fired left and right for incompetence, lying, fraud, corruption, and whatever else. I pay enough in taxes - it sucks to have my money STOLEN by these bureaucratic thieves.

    Sorry for being so long-winded. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,360

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    http://www.azcourts.gov/coa1/Search-Decisions

    I read the Court of Appeals cases for fun. I don't remember a single one like yours. Unless the Court reversed, modified, or remanded for a new hearing, that original decision stands.

    You didn't necessarily need an attorney, but you really needed help with the process. The decisions tell you that if you don't do something in the time limits that the decisions become final, and it really does mean that. Wait too long, and it doesn't matter how right you are, the decision stands.

    https://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov...erpayments.pdf

    From the above, on page 6-2, because it's a nonfraud overpayment, the state can't sue you, and from 6-14 after 5 years from when the decision becomes final it gets written off. That only leaves the state the ability to collect from future UI payments and taking your tax refunds. Just don't pay them. Eventually it will go away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    "By the time that decision was handed down it was 2010. I contacted AZDES to get my unemployment benefits reinstated"

    Okay, so I gather that the civil court overturned the decision to deny benefits, right? Okay, at that point, the overpayment of that $3000 should've been taken off your records. Once they determined you were eligible, then they automatically release that overpayment. Apparently it didn't happen as it should've. That's what you could've been asking about. If that somehow didn't happen, and it was still on your record that you had a denied claim, then I can see how, when they turned all those back overpayments to a collector yours was on the books in error. But when you called the state, when you contacted the agency, when you appealed the overpayment (if you did, from what I am reading, it's hard to tell) I cannot, for the life of me figure out why they could not see that you had an approved claim.

    Yes, the claim was only good for one year from the date of filing. If you didn't get a reopen filed within that one year, then those benefits you should've gotten were gone. But they should not be saying you have an overpayment if they judge ruled to overturn your denial on that claim. A puzzling situation.

    Otherwise, they will have very little authority to do anything but try to scare money out of you, ignore this collection effort unless they carry it further. At that time, talk to an attorney, seriously. Because it appears something didn't happen here that should've happened if your claim really was approved in the end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,179

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    what was "that decision" exactly? You stated that the judge had an issue with the employer, but what was the decision from the judge?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    2

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    The Court of Appeals did not over turn the decision of AZDES.
    The appeals with DES were based on the fact that it was a he said/she said issue. I was fired, I applied for benefits stating that I was fired. The GM then contacted AZDES months later to say that I voluntarily quit. I appealed it 3 times with DES and gave them emails and documentation that pretty much proved I was telling the truth, but they chose to accept the GM's word. When it went to the court of appeals the GM sent me an email saying he just received an email from the Judge telling him she wasn't going to overturn the decision. I then sent a letter to the court and included his email asking why he had access to the Judge via email when I didn't. In her decision the Judge wrote that it is wrong for her to have any conversations with either party before a decision is made, and that "It troubled the court that he made false statements implying he had corresponded with the court."

    So to be clear, the court of appeals did not say he lied about me being fired, they said he lied about having a conversation behind closed doors with the Judge and she ordered him to pay me $200 for damages.

    When I then contacted AZDES my point was that they based all of their decisions and appeal rejections on the fact that they found him to be more credible me. I said I was fired, (which I was), he said I quit. I stated that I had submitted emails and documentation showing that it was more reasonable to conclude that I was telling the truth and he was lying. They ignored that and for whatever reason conveniently chose to believe him. The decision from the court of appeals simply confirmed that he was in fact a liar. They had nothing to indicate I was ever dishonest about anything I said. I asked them to reinstate my benefits based on that and they told me that since it was now 2010 I would have to re apply. That was the last I heard from AZDES concerning this matter until 6 years later (the end of 2016) when they began sending out the notices.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,179

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    So no one ever agreed on your side that you were terminated rather than a voluntary quit? The judge just agreed that he lied on that one point? But never was the decision overturned -- that is, in their minds, you never got them to state you SHOULD still get benefits after they were stopped? At that time you either should have pursued it further or realized you would need to pay back those benefits. Just because your boss lied on one piece, doesn't mean that it throws out all other evidence that he might have had that it was a quit vs a termination.

    I honestly dont' see any recourse for you now except not to pay and hope they dont' garnish tax returns or any other assets that they legally might be able to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    1,142

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    Okay, yes, I see. The judge did not overturn the decision to deny that had come all the way through the AZDES system. He/she just said she "found it troubling" and it cost the jerk $200. That was about as good as it will ever get for you regarding this issue. The ship of that claim you filed in 2009 (expired in 2010) has sailed long since. You were found to be non-eligible by decision after you had already drawn about $3000. It should've been a no penalty non fault overpayment, as at the time you were filing you were eligible.

    That you did not have another claim to sign up on was because that denied claim had expired when the benefit year ended, and in order to remove the denial, you'd have had to work and have re-earnings and be out of work again for a non disqualifying reason. And of course you would have had to have sufficient wages in the base period to set up a claim.

    But it sounds like you went through every appeal, and you did not win, so you'll just have to not worry about that thing that you have on the internet now, showing that your old boss is now saying you were terminated. A claim filed in 2009 that has gone all the way through the appeals system and into court and has not been approved is gone, long gone, and you must let it go.

    That being said, Arizona, like a lot of the states as they become more right wing, has recently begun to labor under the delusion that there are a huge number of "dead-beats" who owe money for illegally received unemployment benefits out there. To sound like they're dealing vigorously with this issue, the agency has probably gathered up all their overpayments and given them to a collection agency of some type to try to recover some of the money showing as owed in overpayments and fraud decisions.

    Every so often in my state some enterprising reporter comes up with this huge amount of uncollected money that's owed to the unemployment system in repayments and tries to drum up a lot of indignation about it among the population. What they do not realize of course, is that the money collected from overpayments doesn't go back into the state's treasury, it goes NOWHERE but back into the unemployment pool that every state is required to maintain by federal law which is not in any way connected with other issues of state finance. But it makes them feel really like they're accomplishing something. Michigan has become particularly evil in the matter of overpayments and fraud, but other states aren't far behind.

    But in your situation, I would say that they really shouldn't have the grounds to prosecute you too vigorously. If you were to file another claim for unemployment, they'd attempt to recoup it. And they might actually get it if you applied for another form of state licensure or eventually dig into your tax refund. They can certainly demand that you send them the money, and of course the collection agency makes money if they can scare you badly enough that you do it. But since you are a non-fraud overpayment, if they just threaten you about this, ignore them. If they do actually begin to garnish something, ask an attorney to look into this for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,360

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    Quote Quoting comment/ator
    View Post
    Michigan has become particularly evil in the matter of overpayments and fraud,
    So you know, Michigan stopped and all those horror stories from the past could have been fought, and it probably would have stopped sooner, but as most claimants don't know any better, it continued for far too long.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...aud/104501978/

    Here's just a sampling of the news reports that have been coming out.

    The gist is that computers were assessing the penalties, no humans were doing follow up, and claimants weren't filing appeals. That allowed the practice continue for as long as it did.

    This guy can get away with not paying. Eventually it will be written off provided he never collects UI benefits again prior to it being written off and avoids using his tax withholding to let the government be a bank so there is no refund to take.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Former Employer Ruled a "Liar" by a Judge, Azdes Still Sides with His Lies to Den

    Thank you for this story and the good news. I have some old friends and former co-workers who were actually tapped to come out of retirement and work on resolving some part of that nightmare mess in Michigan. I didn't find anything on AZ having done this, but suspect that they have contracted out their overpayments to some private firm from the sound of this person's situation. I agree, the OP should just make sure they aren't due any state or federal income tax refunds back while this is hanging over their head.

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