Appeals Guide - The hearing
Be prompt. Be sure you understand when and where your hearing is to be held, and try to arrive a little early for in-person hearings. If your hearing is by telephone, you must be at your contact telephone number for the call.
Tardiness. If you filed the appeal, and you do not appear at the time of hearing or are not available to take the call within 15 minutes after the hearing starting time, the appeals officer will allow the other parties and witnesses to leave. Even if you are available later, the hearing cannot be held if the other side is not present. If the appeal was filed by another party the hearing will proceed on schedule without you.
If you do not attend. If you are the person who appealed and you do not participate in the hearing, the appeals officer may dismiss the appeal or uphold the appealed decision. If you are not the person who appealed and you choose not to attend, the hearing will proceed, and you will not have a later chance to present your case.
Representation. Most parties appear without an attorney or other representative. The appeals officer will explain hearing procedures and safeguard the rights of all parties during the hearing. However, you may be represented, at your own expense, by an attorney or any other person of your choice. You must provide the Appeal Tribunal with the name and telephone number of your representative.
Postponement. If it is impossible for you to participate in the hearing, call 1-800-232-4762 immediately to request a postponement. Hearings will be postponed only for good cause.
Hearing procedure. At the time of the hearing, all the interested parties will be together, either by telephone or in person. The appeals officer will explain the hearing procedures and issues to be decided. Each person who gives testimony will be under oath, and all the testimony will be recorded. You will have an opportunity to testify, and to ask questions of witnesses who testify. The appeals officer will introduce documents or other material evidence. At the end of the hearing, the appeals officer will allow you to make a closing statement to explain your position.
Assistance at the hearing. The appeals officer has a duty to provide a full, fair, and courteous hearing to all parties. The appeals officer will control the hearing to prevent intimidation or discourtesy and will assist you when necessary in presenting your case. If you are taken by surprise or confused about what to do next, ask the appeals officer for help.
Please remember, however, that the appeals officer must exclude evidence that is repetitious or not relevant.
If you disagree with a ruling by the appeals officer, make a brief statement informing the appeals officer why you disagree. Even if the appeals officer does not change the ruling at the hearing, you have your objection or request on the record. If the appeals officer was wrong, the decision may be reversed on appeal.