Why Is It Important To Attend The Hearing?
There are several reasons why it is important for you to attend the hearing:
1. If you are the party who appealed the case and you do not show up at the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will have to dismiss the case (that is, cancel the appeal) for lack of prosecution (that is, failure to appear to carry forth the appeal).
2. If you are the party with the burden of proof (that is, with the requirement to "make the case"), and you are not present at the hearing, then no one will be present at the hearing to "make the case" and you will probably lose.
3. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can only consider sworn testimony taken at the hearing, and documents admitted as evidence at the hearing that are supported by sworn testimony. For that reason, even though the Unemployment Insurance Agency may have found in your favor in the past, the ALJ must take a fresh look at the evidence, and cannot consider documents found in the file unless someone is at the hearing to testify about them.
4. The hearing is generally your last chance in the appeal process to present the facts of your case. Even though there are further steps available in the appeal process after the hearing, with rare exceptions the only facts that will be taken into consideration in the rest of the appeal process are the facts established at the hearing.
Appeals to the Board of Review and the courts usually involve only arguments about the law, not about the facts. For that reason, the hearing is critical in the appeal process.