Preparing for an Unemployment Appeal Hearing

Gather Your Evidence

This appeal hearing may be your last opportunity to present your case, so please be prepared to do it thoroughly.

Unemployment compensation hearings are said to be "de novo," which is Latin for "afresh" or "anew." This is done to keep your hearing impartial and independent of the Deputy's Decision to grant or deny benefits. Therefore, the Hearing Officer who conducts the hearing is not bound by the Deputy's Decision and will base their decision only on the evidence and testimony presented at the appeal hearing.

If papers, letters, statements, or other evidence were presented previously to the unemployment insurance deputy, and could be helpful to your case, you must take responsibility for presenting this information again at your appeal hearing.

If there are direct witnesses to the circumstances surrounding your separation from work, make sure they will attend your hearing to present their information.

Please Be Prompt

It is important that you arrive promptly at the hearing site. You are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your hearing. If you do not appear and you are the appealing party, your appeal will be dismissed. Click here to read more about what will happen if you do not attend the hearing.

For More Information

The Maine Department of Labor publishes a booklet to help claimants and employers prepare for appeal hearings:

  • How to Prepare for an Appeal Hearing (Me. A-12)
    Download Adobe PDF version Download Word version


  • How to file an appeal
    How to file an appeal video
  • The hearing process
    The hearing process video