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No deadline extension to file for unemployment benefits

Where the Virginia Employment Commission gave incorrect advice to an unemployment benefits claimant, resulting in a denied claim, petitioner waited too long to appeal the denial after the commission provided her with correct information, including how to perfect her appeal.


Petitioner filed an unemployment benefits claim with the commission in January 2020. The claim’s benefit year ended on Jan. 9, 2021.

When petitioner realized in mid-January that she could no longer file weekly claims, she unsuccessfully tried to contact with the commission. After intervention by her House of Delegates representative, the commission responded to petitioner in April 2021.

Petitioner sought “to backdate the effective date of her claim to January 10, 2021, the day after her previous benefit year ended.” A hearing on this matter was scheduled for Dec. 15, 2021. In mid-October, petitioner received notice of the hearing, which would be conducted by telephone conference, and was advised that if she did not call and provide a telephone number, she would not be called.

“The Notice also informed Petitioner that the hearing may be the only opportunity to present evidence with respect to the claim.”

Petitioner did not register for the hearing. “The Appeals Examiner conducted a brief non-appearance hearing to enter exhibits into the record and concluded the proceeding, denying Petitioner’s request to backdate her claim … (the ‘First Decision’).

“This First Decision was mailed to Petitioner on January 18, 2022. The First Decision set out the means to file an appeal and advised that the deadline to do so was February 17, 2022. Petitioner filed her appeal on August 4, 2022.

“In her appeal letter of August 4, 2022, Petitioner attributes the delay in her appeal to faulty information she received from the Commission. Specifically, on February 3, 2022, a customer relations manager with the Commission told Petitioner that everything was being taken care of and Petitioner did not need to do anything further. On April 20, 2022, the customer relations manager told Petitioner that her appeal was pending.

“On May 3, 2022, the customer relations manager admitted to giving Petitioner incorrect information and stated that there was not a pending appeal of the First Decision. In an email to Petitioner dated May 4, 2022 (the ‘May 4 Email’), the customer relations manager explicitly explained that Petitioner needed to file an appeal now and request permission to present evidence showing good cause for the filing of the appeal beyond the deadline of February 17, 2022.

“Petitioner attributes the delay in filing her appeal of the First Decision (i.e., the period between the May 4 Email and August 4, 2022) to Petitioner working with the customer relations manager for several months to rectify issues of fraud on her account.

“On September 13, 2022, the Commission issued a decision … (the ‘Second Decision’) denying Petitioner’s appeal of the First Decision on the basis that the appeal was not timely filed and good cause was not shown to extend the statutory appeal period to August 4, 2022. Petitioner appealed.


“Pursuant to Va. Code § 60.2-620(B), the decision of a Commission Appeals Examiner is final unless an appeal is properly filed within thirty days of the date that the decision was mailed to the claimant. This appeal period may be extended for ‘good cause shown.’ …

“The thirty-day appeal period of the First Decision [denying benefits] expired on February 17, 2022. Petitioner filed her appeal on August 4, 2022.

“Petitioner was required to demonstrate good cause as to why the deadline should be extended to accommodate her late appeal. …

“Petitioner’s grievance is that her delay in filing the appeal was caused by faulty information she received from the Commission. The Commission acknowledges that Petitioner received inaccurate information on February 3, 2022, and April 20, 2022. However, Petitioner received correct information and instruction on how to perfect her appeal in the email on May 4, 2022.

“The Commission avows that good cause would have existed to extend the deadline if Petitioner had noted her appeal within a reasonable time after the May 4 Email. In its Second Decision, the Commission nonetheless denied Petitioner’s appeal on the basis that good cause was not shown for the additional extension past May 4, to the actual filing date of August 4, 2022.

“In particular, the Commission concluded that Petitioner’s efforts to resolve other issues on her claim did not prevent her from filing an immediate appeal once notified that she needed to do so by the May 4 Email.

“Given the standard of review, the Court is unable to conclude that the Commission lacked a sufficient basis in the record to reach this decision. The additional delay until August amounted to a requested extension of 169 days, compared to an extension of approximately 77 days had Petitioner noted her appeal shortly after the May 4 Email.

“Notwithstanding the Commission’s notable communication failures, the last 92 days of the delay are attributable to Petitioner rather than the Commission. Petitioner’s efforts to resolve other unrelated issues on her claim did not prevent her from filing an appeal once she learned that she needed to do so on May 4, 2022.”


“Reviewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding made by the Commission, the Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the Commission’s ruling. The decision of the Commission is affirmed.”

Eid v. Virginia Employment Commission, Case No. CL-2022-14032, Jan. 20, 2023. Fairfax County Circuit Court (Shannon). Natasha L. Eid, pro se. Elizabeth B. Peay for respondent. VLW 023-8-005, 5 pp.

VLW 023-8-005