Contested Claim Procedures
The VEC utilizes a multi-step qualification procedure, which includes several levels of appeals or review.
The initial qualification decision in a contested claim is made by a Deputy Examiner of the VEC. Generally, the Deputy is tasked with reviewing the Separation Report filed by the employer and conducting telephone interviews with both the employee and employer. Following the interviews, the Deputy will issue a qualification decision.
Appeals Examiner Hearing
If either party is dissatisfied with the Deputy Determination, they may request an administrative hearing before an Appeals Examiner. The Appeals Examiner's Hearing is the fact-finding stage of the VEC qualification process and serves as the formal record for any future appeal. For this hearing, each side may present witnesses, offer documentary evidence or cross-examine adverse witnesses. You have the right to be represented by an attorney. Following the hearing, the Appeals Examiner issues a detailed Decision citing the factual and legal basis for the qualification Decision. The hearing is recorded in the event of any future appeals.
If either party is dissatisfied with the Decision of the Appeals Examiner, they may appeal the Decision to the VEC's Commission level. At this level of appeal, the claim is heard in review by a Special Examiner. The Special Examiner does not hold a new evidentiary hearing. Rather, he or she reviews the full record of the Appeals Examiner for proper application of law and VEC precedent. In limited instances, a case may be remanded back to the Appeals Examiner for good cause, which typically requires a showing that relevant evidence was not available at the initial hearing.
If a party believes that the Commission has misapplied the law, they may seek court review at the State Circuit Court level. Again, the Court does not hold a new trial, but hears legal argument based upon the record of the Appeal Examiner