How to Preserve Evidence for UC Hearings

This page tells you what documentation you should gather before applying for unemployment compensation. This evidence will be very helpful if you are denied benefits and need to appeal, or if your employer contests your benefits.

Every case is decided based on its own facts and each case will require different proof, but there are certain types of records and documents that can help you in your unemployment claim. 

Here are our tips about preserving and collecting evidence that may be important if you need to apply for unemployment compensation:

  1. Collect written proof of your communication with your employer is very helpful in unemployment compensation cases. Consider the following when keeping a record of your communications: 
    • If you are communicating using an email account provided by the employer, you may lose access to all of those emails when you stop working for that employer. 
      • You can avoid this problem by using a personal email account to communicate, or you can forward emails to a personal email account.
    • If you think you may soon lose access to your work account, go through your old emails and send yourself any older emails that you think might be important.
    • If you often communicate by phone, it can be helpful to get copies of your phone records or a call log. You can also just take screenshots of your phone’s call history if the relevant call still shows up there.
      • Even though there won't be a record of what was said on the call, phone records can make the government more likely to believe your story if your employer denies the communication. 
      • There are often situations where it matters whether or when a call was made.
    • If you communicate by text message, take screenshots of those text messages and email them to yourself.  Phones often break or are lost, this makes sure you don’t lose this proof. This guide goes over how to save your text messages for evidence.
  2. Keep or acquire a copy of your employer’s policies and procedures, sometimes called an Employee Handbook.
    • It is always a good idea to be familiar with the employer’s rules, policies, and procedures.
    • Your employer’s rules, policies, and procedures are especially important when applying for unemployment compensation because sometimes they can determine your eligibility. 
  3. Collect your medical documents. If your separation is health-related, it may be helpful to have documentation establishing the medical issue. You should keep copies of any documentation, for example:
    • Notes from your doctor
    • Hospital paperwork, including discharge paperwork
    • Medical records or test results
    • Communications from your doctor to your employer requesting accommodations or a leave of absence