Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 300-2-5-.02 - Benefit Appeals to an Administrative Hearing Officer

Current through Rules and Regulations filed through April 4, 2022

(1) The appeal.
(a) Any party of interest dissatisfied with an administrative determination may file in writing a notice of appeal with the department, setting forth the name of the claimant and the social security number contained on the determination and the date of such determination. An appeal may be filed online via internet, by mail, by overnight statutory mail, or by hand delivery to the department.
(b) A determination establishing or denying a right to draw benefits shall be deemed final, unless a written appeal is filed within fifteen (15) days after the determination is handed to or mailed to an interested party. An appeal will be considered timely filed if it is properly filed via the internet (in accordance with instructions provided by the department for such filing), postmarked, or hand delivered within fifteen (15) days of the mailing date of the determination. For purposes of these rules, a postal meter mark will not be considered to be a postmark. Determinations which are appealed via alternative means of delivery such as private courier, facsimile transmittal, or otherwise in parcels lacking physical evidence of delivery by the U.S. Postal Service shall be deemed filed on the date the appeal is received by the department pursuant to Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 50-13-23.
(c) An employer who is liable for the payment of unemployment insurance tax, is reimbursable or is a governmental agency; who has paid that individual insured wages for services; and who is entitled to notice of claim filed by that individual as the most recent employer, as defined by O.C.G.A. Section 34-8-43, shall be deemed to be an interested party to the administrative determination of such claim.
(2) The notice of hearing.
(a) Claimant benefit hearings shall be scheduled promptly to be conducted by telephone. The Chief Administrative Hearing Officer shall determine the time, place, and manner in which telephone appeals hearings shall be conducted. Once a hearing has been scheduled, postponement or continuation of the hearing is within the discretion of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer or their designee or, if the hearing has commenced, the administrative hearing officer presiding over the hearing. In person hearings will only be scheduled when physical impairments of the interested parties and/or witnesses, the complexity or nature of the case and other pertinent factors are shown to the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer or their designee, who shall determine whether the need for an in person hearing has been established, and the time, place, and manner in which any such in person hearing shall be conducted.
(b) Hearings conducted telephonically, except where waiver is given, shall be heard by an administrative hearing officer no earlier than ten (10) days after written notice of the time and place is mailed to the interested parties. In-person appeals, when allowed and except where waiver is given, shall be heard by an administrative hearing officer at the earliest possible date, but no earlier than seven (7) days after written notice of the time and place is mailed to the interested parties.
(c) The notice of hearing shall cite the sections of law pertinent to the appeal and include a general statement of the issues involved.
(3) The hearing.
(a) The administrative hearing officer shall administer the oath to all witnesses prior to accepting testimony and shall conduct the hearing in an orderly manner, maintaining control and preventing any disruption of the hearing process. The administrative hearing officer shall develop the record by conducting appropriate inquiries and shall allow each party an opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses on all matters pertinent to the issues. No testimony shall be taken that does not permit the parties of interest an opportunity for cross-examination. Any individual who disrupts the procedures, after warning, may be ejected and denied any further participation in the hearing.
(b) Issuance of subpoenas. Subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of records pertinent to any hearing of an appeal shall be issued by the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer upon request therefor from a party of interest. The Department shall be a party of interest for the purposes of this rule.
1. The Department must receive the request for subpoenas at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing date.
2. The request shall state the reason why the subpoenas are needed.
3. The party requesting the subpoenas shall have the responsibility of serving the subpoenas.
4. Service shall be completed no less than three (3) business days prior to the hearing date for it to be considered timely.
5. The Department shall not be responsible for any fees associated with the production of documents or service of subpoenas.
(c) Witness Fees.
1. In-Person Hearings. A witness fee of $10.00 per day per docket shall be paid to a subpoenaed person in attendance at an in-person hearing; provided, however, that no witness fee shall be paid unless the subpoenaed person makes written request to the Department, on a form established by the Department, within seven (7) days of participation in the hearing. The total witness fees paid to an individual shall not exceed $30.00 per appeal. Witness fees shall not be paid to a party representative or an employee of an employer subpoenaed by that employer.
2. Telephonic Hearings. Witness fees shall only be paid for attendance at in-person hearings.
(d) Appeals involving multi-claimants or a labor dispute may be heard by a three-person tribunal consisting of an administrative hearing officer, as chairman, and two other members appointed by the Commissioner for that purpose, except when the administrative hearing officer is designated to hear the matter alone. When heard by a three-person tribunal, the decision of two-members of the tribunal shall constitute the decision of the tribunal. The other member may file a dissenting report giving reasons for not agreeing with the decision.
(e) Appeals involving multi-claimants or involving a labor dispute may be heard at any place designated by the chairman of the three-person tribunal or the designated administrative hearing officer hearing these appeals.
(4) Form and contents of decision. The administrative hearing officer shall observe the suggestions of the Employment and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor in regard to the form and contents of benefit decisions.
(5) A postponement of the hearing may be granted upon request showing providential cause will prevent the attendance of a party or essential witnesses. A request for postponement must be made at the earliest practical time and must be made in writing or by facsimile transmission. In the absence of very unusual circumstances, a business engagement will not constitute good cause for postponement. Such requests may be granted or denied at the discretion of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer.
(6) Requests to reopen a hearing. Any interested party, including the department, who fails to appear may request to reopen a hearing within fifteen (15) days after the administrative hearing officer's decision is issued. The petition shall state fully the ground upon which the request to reopen a hearing is sought, giving complete details for the failure to appear as scheduled. A new hearing will then be scheduled to cover the issue of the party's failure to appear as scheduled and may also include the issues raised on the initial appeal. In the absence of very unusual circumstances a business engagement will not constitute good cause to reopen a hearing. The petition to reopen a hearing may be granted upon a showing of providential cause for failure to attend or failure to give timely notice of inability to attend the original hearing.
(7) Correction of error and augmentation of the record. Any interested party, including the department, may request correction of an administrative hearing officer or the board of review decision if the request is made in writing and filed or mailed within fifteen (15) calendar days of the release date of the decision. The administrative hearing officer or the board of review retains jurisdiction to reopen the hearing, amend or correct any decision which is not final, or exercise continuing jurisdiction as provided by the rules pertaining to OCGA Section 34-8-220 unless the board of review has accepted an appeal Whenever a request for correction is submitted to the administrative hearing officer or the board of review, a decision will be issued and new appeal rights will be established.
(8) Requests for removal of an administrative hearing officer from a case. A party may request that an administrative hearing officer remove himself or herself from a case on the basis of partiality, interest or prejudice. An administrative hearing officer's employment with the department shall not, by itself, be sufficient cause for removal of an administrative hearing officer from a case. The request for removal must be made in writing prior to the hearing, unless the reason for the request was not or could not have been known prior to the hearing. The request must state specific facts which are alleged to establish cause for removal. If the administrative hearing officer agrees that he or she should be reassigned, another administrative hearing officer will be assigned to the case. However, if the administrative hearing officer finds no reason to remove himself or herself, he or she will rule on the request verbally during the hearing and explain the basis for the ruling. Challenges to the partiality of the administrative hearing officer will not result in a delay of the hearing. Appeals pertaining to the partiality of the administrative hearing officer may be filed consistent with the time limitations for appealing the decision.

Notes

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 300-2-5-.02
O.C.G.A. ยงยง 34-2-6(a)(4), 34-8-70, 34-8-222.
Original Rule entitled "Inspection in Certain Plants Governed by American Standards Association and the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc." adopted. F. and eff. May 18, 1965. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Regulations Pertaining to Appeals" adopted. F. May 20, 1966; eff. June 8, 1966. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Board of Review Rules Pertaining to Appeals" adopted. F. Oct. 16, 1974; eff. Nov. 5, 1974. Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Nov. 4, 1976; eff. Nov. 24, 1976. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Board of Review Regulations Relating to Appeals" adopted. F. June 29, 1979; eff. July 19, 1979. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Appeals to Appeals Tribunal" adopted. F. Oct. 24, 1983; eff. Nov. 13, 1983. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Benefit Appeals to an Administrative Hearing Officer" adopted. F. Jan. 9, 1989; eff. Jan. 29, 1989. Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Aug. 28, 1992; eff. Sept. 17, 1992. Amended: F. June 25, 1998; eff. July 15, 1998. Amended: F. Dec. 9, 2005; eff. Jan. 1, 2006, as specified by the Agency. Amended: Title changed to "Benefit Appeals to an Administrative Hearing Officer. Amended." F. Sep. 29, 2014; eff. Oct. 19, 2014. Amended: F. Jan. 24, 2020; eff. Jan. 19, 2020, as specified by the Agency.

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