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Unemployment Appeal Letter

The purpose of this unemployment appeal letter is to ask the Employment Development Department of the State of California to reconsider its denial of unemployment benefits to the writer of the letter, Alison K. Martin. The letter addresses Ms. Martin’s representative, Mr. Tom Cash, and explains why she believes her unemployment benefits were unfairly denied.

Format and Content

An unemployment appeal letter format should begin by concisely stating the purpose of the letter. Explain the specific action that is being appealed, the name of the individual who denied the benefits and the date the decision was made. Explain as briefly and clearly as possible the chain of events associated with the termination of employment. List the events in chronological order, including important dates and facts only. Any witnesses to relevant events should be mentioned, and the tone of the letter should be calm and professional. Explain why the EDD decision is unfair or inappropriate and why it should be rescinded. Thank the reader for considering the appeal and sign the letter.


This example is from a paralegal who believes her employment was terminated without just cause. She was told by her employer, XYZ Law Firm, that her position was being eliminated; however, she learned shortly after her termination that one of the attorneys hired his niece to take over the position of paralegal. The writer of the unemployment appeal letter sample applied for unemployment benefits but was denied and is now appealing the decision.

Dear Mr. Cash,

My name is Alison K. Martin and I am appealing the decision of the Employment Development Department’s hearing officer, Edward Giles, on July 31, 2013. I believe that the EDD unfairly denied my unemployment benefits and I wish to appeal the decision.

I was relieved of my duties as a paralegal with the XYZ Law Firm on June 15, 2013. The office administrator, Ms. Angela Zimmerman, stated that due to the firm losing a large client, there was no longer sufficient work for me and that my position was being eliminated, effective immediately. I packed my personal affects and left the firm that day. I was given a check for the 2 weeks’ vacation that I had not yet taken as I was leaving the building.

The following week a former co-worker, Mary Grace, also a paralegal, called me and informed me that Ms. Zimmerman had just hired one of the law partner’s nieces to work as a paralegal. The newly hired individual sat at my former desk and began taking over the duties that I had been performing only a week before. Clearly there was enough work for me, but my dismissal was due to a case of nepotism. Ms. Grace is willing to testify in a hearing regarding these events. I would appreciate it if you would reconsider the denial of my unemployment benefits as soon as possible. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Alison Martin

Alison K. Martin