Brief Adjudicative Proceeding Process for ESD Unemployment Insurance Caseload

1.  What is a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding?

You disagreed with a decision made by the Employment Security Department (ESD).  You filed an appeal.  A Brief Adjudicative Proceeding allows a judge to decide your appeal without holding a hearing.  The judge is from the Office of Administrative Hearings, and is not part of ESD.  

In a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding, the judge will decide your appeal based only on the following:

  • ESD’s Determination Letter;
  • Your appeal of the Determination Letter;
  • All documents used by ESD to support its decision (exhibit packet);
  • Any additional evidence submitted by ESD;
  • Your completed Declaration Form and any additional evidence or sworn statements you submit; 
  • Any additional evidence submitted at the written request of the judge; and
  • Verbal testimony on the record if the judge decides it is needed

2.  How do I Prepare for a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding?

The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will mail you a Notice of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding and an exhibit packet.  Read these documents carefully.  They contain important information, including the deadline for you to submit evidence for the judge to consider.  

OAH will mail you a Declaration Form with your Notice of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding.  The Declaration Form is where you explain what happened to the judge.  

Below are links for you to complete and submit the Declaration Form online, or to download a new copy.  Make sure that you submit the Declaration Form necessary for your type of case.

Reason for Denial Issue listed in Notice of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding Links
Work Search Whether the claimant has failed to demonstrate full compliance with weekly job search requirements pursuant to RCW 50.20.240, and therefore is ineligible for unemployment benefits for the weeks at issue pursuant to RCW 50.20.010(1)(c).

Submit Online


(if only issue listed)
Whether the claimant was able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work under RCW 50.20.010(1)(c), RCW 50.20.130, WAC 192-170-010, WAC 192-170-050, WAC 192-180-010, WAC 192-140-200 and WAC 192-170-020.

Submit Online


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Whether claimant is eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Submit Online


Whether the Claimant failed to return an identity verification form or failed to provide sufficient information to verify his or her identity pursuant to RCW 50.20.010, WAC 192-110-005, and WAC 192-110-020.
Online form not available

Overpayment Whether the Claimant must repay an overpayment of regular benefits pursuant to RCW 50.20.190 and WAC Chapter 192-220. Submit Online



You must return your completed Declaration Form and any relevant documents by the due date to submit evidence if you want the judge to consider them.  If you fail to provide additional evidence by the due date, then the judge will decide your appeal based on the documents in the exhibit packet. 

If you believe that the judge should not consider some of the documents in the exhibit packet, then you must explain why in your Declaration Form. 


3.  How do I submit documents?

You can submit documents through the OAH Participant Portal at or by mail or fax.

Mail: 16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 5600, Spokane Valley, WA  99216
Fax:  (509) 456-3980

For documents sent by mail or fax, label each document with the docket number listed on the first page of your Notice of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding.  Please remove any confidential information (such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and driver’s license numbers) before submitting documents.

Please call OAH at (833) 901-4250 or visit our Manage My Case page if you need help with the Participant Portal.


4.  Can I Have a Telephone Hearing Instead of a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding?

You or ESD may request a telephone hearing.  OAH will grant any request received before the deadline given in the Notice of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding.  You can fill out the request online, or you can download and print the form and then send it to OAH.

Submit an online request for a phone hearing
Download and print a request for a phone hearing

A Brief Adjudicative Proceeding is designed to be speedy.  Requesting a telephone hearing may delay when a judge decides your appeal.

Even if you and ESD do not request a telephone hearing, the judge may decide that your appeal requires one.  In that case, OAH will schedule a telephone hearing and notify you.


5.  What if I Need More Time to Prepare?

OAH will not extend the deadline to submit your Declaration Form and any additional evidence unless there is an important reason to do so.  Call OAH as soon as possible if you need additional time.  You will speak with a judge to explain why you need additional time.  The judge may grant or deny your request.  You must make your request for additional time before the due date to submit evidence.  Requests received after the due date will not be considered.


6.  What Happens in a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding?

After the due date to submit your completed Declaration Form, the judge will review all of the information for your case and issue a written decision.  OAH will upload the decision to the OAH Participant Portal and mail a copy to you. 

If you disagree with the judge’s decision, then you have a right to appeal it.  OAH will provide instructions for how to appeal with the decision.  The instructions will include the deadline to file an appeal. Your appeal will be considered by ESD’s Commissioner’s Review Office.