We have for many years represented individuals in Maryland who have been denied unemployment benefits (or where the employer filed an appeal). Many people do not understand the appeals process but call us to help them. An initial determination by a DLLR claims adjudicator can be appealed to the Lower Appeals Department where, traditionally, an in-person hearing would be scheduled. The hearing would function as a trial whereby both the employee and the employer (who typically has a monetary interest in contesting a claimant’s potential entitlement to unemployment benefits) give testimony under oath and produce documents for the consideration by the hearing examiner. At the beginning of the year, DLLR largely stopped scheduling in person hearings. Since then, the vast majority of hearings are scheduled by phone instead. For a number of reasons, phone hearings pose great challenges to claimants, especially if one has never attended an unemployment appeals hearing before. So, if you are denied benefits, or an employer appeals a determination by DLLR to grant you benefits, do not go into a hearing on your own. We have handled hundreds of hearings for many years and are happy to talk to you to figure out how we may be able to increase the chances of securing your benefits.