Petition for appeal and recovery of payments
If you disagree with your unemployment fund’s decision, you can challenge it by filing an appeal with the Social Security Appeal Board.
Decisions issued by your unemployment fund
Please read through the decision and the reasons for the decision carefully. If you disagree with the decision, you can challenge it by following the appeal instructions supplied with the decision. Make sure to address your appeal to the Social Security Appeal Board but to submit it to your unemployment fund.
You should also consider talking to your unemployment fund informally about the reasons for the decision first, before filing a formal appeal.
Labour policy statements issued by the TE Office or your local authority
Opinions issued by the TE Office or your local authority are not open to appeal as such. If you disagree with a labour policy statement issued by the TE Office or your local authority, the best way to proceed is to apply for an earnings-related allowance for the period referred to in the statement and wait for your unemployment fund’s decision on your application. Once you receive your unemployment fund’s decision, you can appeal against it. Unemployment funds cannot process appeals filed against labour policy statements before they have issued a decision themselves.
Filing your appeal
Appeals must always be made in writing. However, even an informal message counts as a written appeal. Please make sure to include at least the following information in your appeal:
- The decision that you are appealing against (please mention the decision number)
- What in the decision you disagree with and how you would like to change the decision
- Enclose any documents you have that support your position. Please mention the number of supporting documents in your appeal. Supporting documents can be uploaded via Openetti under ‘Send attachments’. Please include a note in your supporting documents to indicate that they are related to your appeal.
- Your name and contact information
You can submit your appeal to your unemployment fund as an electronic message via Openetti, by uploading a file containing your appeal to Openetti using the ‘Send attachments’ function, by email or by post. You can find the contact information of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science here(opens in new window).
You can also ask an attorney or an agent to handle the appeals process on your behalf.
Deadline for appeals
Your appeal must reach your unemployment fund no later than on the 30th day after you received the decision that you wish to challenge. The date on which you received the decision is the date on which you opened it in Openetti. If the decision was sent to you by post, you are deemed to have received it on the seventh day after it was posted. The decision will specify either the date of receipt or the date of posting. If you decide to send your appeal by post, it is your responsibility to ensure that the appeal makes it to its destination on time.
Opening the decision in Openetti
Your unemployment fund uploads its decision to your account in Openetti on Monday, 10 October. You open it in Openetti on Tuesday, 11 October. You are therefore deemed to have received the decision on 11 October, and the 30-day deadline is calculated from the following day. Your appeal must reach your unemployment fund on 10 November at the latest, or the decision becomes final on 11 November. If 10 November falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, your unemployment fund must receive your appeal before the end of the following business day.
Decision sent by post
Your unemployment fund uploads its decision to your account in Openetti on 10 October. You have still not opened the message on 18 October, at which point your unemployment fund sends you a copy by post. You are deemed to have received notice of the decision on the seventh day after posting, i.e. on 25 October. The deadline for appeals is calculated from the following day (26 October), which means that your appeal must reach your unemployment fund on 24 November at the latest, or the decision becomes final on 25 November. If 24 November falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, your unemployment fund must receive your appeal before the end of the following business day.
Premature or late appeals
Your appeal is deemed to be premature if it reaches your unemployment fund before a decision has been issued for the period referred to in your appeal. Without a decision, there is nothing that can be challenged. Appellate authorities do not, as a rule, entertain premature appeals as they have no basis. It is therefore important that you wait for your unemployment fund’s decision before you appeal.
Your appeal is deemed to be late if it reaches your unemployment fund after the 30-day deadline, as the decision that you are trying to challenge will have already become final at that point. However, appellate authorities sometimes entertain late appeals if you have a particularly good excuse for missing the deadline. The majority of late submissions are nevertheless deemed inadmissible.
Procedure and tracking the progress of your case
When you submit an appeal to your unemployment fund, we will first make an assessment as to whether the reason for your unhappiness with our decision is something that we can resolve ourselves. We may need to ask you for further information. If it transpires that we have made a mistake, we will correct it ourselves. We will process your case as soon as we can and issue a new decision. If we cannot resolve the matter ourselves, we will forward your appeal to the Social Security Appeal Board.
If our decision is based on an opinion issued by the TE Office or your local authority that we must abide by, we will ask the TE Office or local authority to re-examine your case based on your appeal. If the TE Office or local authority changes their opinion based on your appeal, we will revisit your application and issue a new decision on that basis. If the TE Office or local authority sees no reason to change their opinion, we will forward your appeal to the Social Security Appeal Board.
If your case is referred to the Social Security Appeal Board, your unemployment fund will issue its own opinion on the matter, enclosing the relevant documents. You will also receive copies of all the documents at this point. Once the Social Security Appeal Board has taken charge of your case, you will have an opportunity to approach the Social Security Appeal Board yourself with any further information.
Decisions issued by the Social Security Appeal Board
If the Social Security Appeal Board grants your appeal, we will re-examine your application and give you a new decision, which you can again challenge. If the Social Security Appeal Board rejects your appeal, your unemployment fund’s original decision becomes final.
If you disagree with the Social Security Appeal Board’s decision, you can file an appeal against it with the Insurance Court. Petitions of appeal to the Insurance Court are also submitted via your unemployment fund. All the documents that were sent to the Social Security Appeal Board in connection with your original appeal are handed over to the Insurance Court at this point, and there is therefore no need to resubmit any documents.
The Insurance Court’s rulings are final and not open to appeal.
Processing times of the appellate authorities
The average processing time before the Social Security Appeal Board is 10 months. The average processing time in the Insurance Court is 13 months.
Recovery of undue payments
If your unemployment fund discovers new facts that affect your eligibility after paying you benefits, it may become necessary to recover benefits to which you were not entitled. It is also possible for your unemployment fund to have made a mistake. The Act on Unemployment Security obligates unemployment funds to recover such overpayments and unduly paid benefits.
Most common reasons for recovery orders
- Retroactive pension or other social benefit that needs to be taken into account in the calculation of the amount of unemployment benefits
- Retroactive labour policy statements issued by the TE Office or local authority
- Incomplete or inaccurate information about income or social benefits, as provided by the claimant or retrieved from the Incomes Register
- Mistake made by the unemployment fund, such as a typo or an oversight of a fact in the application that should have been taken into account in the calculation of the amount of benefits
In order to avoid the need to recover undue payments, please make sure to include all information that may affect your eligibility for benefits or the amount of your allowance in your application. If you are unsure as to what information to include, talk to your unemployment fund before submitting your claim.
Unemployment Funds’ procedure for recovering undue payments
Notification of overpayment and reopening of benefits cases
If you have been paid too much, your unemployment fund will first send you a letter before issuing a recovery order. The letter will specify the period during which you were overpaid and by how much, and explain why the overpayment occurred. Your unemployment fund may also ask you to agree to have an erroneous decision set aside and for your case to be reopened.
Responding to the letter is your opportunity to comment on the reasons for the overpayment and, for example, to propose a repayment schedule. You can submit your response to the overpayment case and, where applicable, give your consent to having your case reopened via Openetti or by filling in the response form supplied with the letter.
If you consent to having your case reopened, your unemployment fund will set aside the previous, erroneous decision and issue a new decision on your eligibility for benefits as well as an order for the recovery of the overpayment.
If you disagree with the recovery order or the new decision on your eligibility on which the recovery order is based, you can challenge them by following the appeal instructions supplied with the documents. You can read more about the appeals process here(opens in new window).
If you do not give your consent to having your case reopened or do not respond to the letter, your unemployment fund will not be able to issue a new decision that you could then challenge. In such circumstances, your unemployment fund will have to apply to the Social Security Appeal Board to set aside the erroneous decision. Only after the Social Security Appeal Board’s decision setting aside the erroneous decision will your unemployment fund be able to issue a new decision on your eligibility for benefits as well as an order for the recovery of the overpayment.
If you fail to report a circumstance affecting your eligibility for benefits or the amount of your allowance, your unemployment fund will make an assessment as to whether or not the omission was intentional. The letter that you receive from your unemployment fund in such circumstances will also be calling for an explanation of your actions.
If you are found to have knowingly claimed benefits to which you were not entitled, you may, in addition to having to pay back the unduly received benefits, be given a reprimand or a warning or you may be expelled from your unemployment fund. In more serious cases or in the event of repeated fraudulent conduct, your unemployment fund may have to report you to the police.
Relief from the recovery of overpayments
Unemployment funds have discretion to forgive overpayments in full or in part on compassionate grounds, provided that the overpayment was not the result of fraudulent conduct by the claimant. An overpayment case can also be dropped if the amount involved is negligible.
The assessment as to whether or not an overpayment should be forgiven on compassionate grounds is based on the circumstances of the claimant and their family as a whole. In order to make its assessment, the unemployment fund needs information about the family’s financial and social circumstances. You can find a template to print out and fill in for this purpose here(opens in new window). Your unemployment fund will not be able to give you relief from overpayment without it. The facts that your unemployment fund will be looking at include your family’s monthly net income relative to, for example, the basic amounts of social assistance and the protected earnings rate used in the context of debt collection.
Short-term money problems or indebtedness are not sufficient grounds for granting relief without the presence of other compassionate grounds. A mistake made by the unemployment fund or some other official body also does not automatically lead to relief, although such circumstances will be taken into consideration.
Repaying unduly received benefits
Recovery orders are always accompanied by a repayment schedule.
Once you have received the documents, you can contact your unemployment fund and suggest a different repayment schedule. In other words, you will not be expected to pay back the entire overpayment at once but can make arrangements with us to pay in instalments.
All changes to the repayment schedule or individual instalments need to be agreed in writing, such as via correspondence in Openetti or by email. You can find the contact information of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science here(opens in new window).