Hearing Process

Who is CUIAB?

Created by the Legislature in 1943, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) is an independent administrative court system for workers and employers seeking to challenge decisions made by the Employment Development Department (EDD). Appeals are the first opportunity for all parties to present evidence and tell their side of the story before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and have that ALJ decide the case. The ALJ's decision may be appealed to a five-member Board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. The Board's decision is final, unless overturned by the California Superior Court.

If a party appeals, EDD's original decision is reviewed by an ALJ. The ALJ can overturn, agree with, or modify EDD's decision. The losing party can appeal the ALJ's decision to CUIAB's five-member Board, appointed by the Governor and Legislature. California is one of 47 states to offer this second level of review. The Board's decision is CUIAB's final decision. Workers and employers who disagree with CUIAB's final decision may appeal to the California Superior Court system, which is outside of CUIAB.

CUIAB's services are free to the participants, and do not require an attorney. The proceedings are funded almost completely by federal dollars (93%), with state special funds paying for costs related to disability and paid family leave cases (6.6%), and the state General Fund paying for less than one-half of one percent (0.4%) of the costs.

In addition to reviewing ALJs' decisions, the Board issues precedent decisions and oversees CUIAB operations and its hearing facilities in eleven field offices and 26 satellite facilities around the state.

In 2011 alone, CUIAB ALJs rendered decisions in about 467,000 cases for over 250,000 employees and employers. Second level reviews were decided by the Board in over 36,000 cases in 2011.