45+ Sample Appeal Letters

What Is an Appeal Letter?

We often think that once the human resource personnel makes decisions, there’s no more room for further discussion. When we turn to insurance companies to ask for coverage for medications that are not part of the plan, often, these requests get denied. As such, we rely on our own pockets to cover pharmaceutical bills. When we receive a misconduct warning letter, we believe that there is no longer a way to commute the sanction. Well, guess what? We couldn’t be more wrong. There is a way for you to turn that decision around and get it covered under your insurance. And no, we are not talking about launching a petition.

An appeal letter is a formal letter sent for the reconsideration of a decision. According to Dr. Mary Dowd of Chron, it’s an opportunity for you to challenge decisions that you believe legal bodies decided upon unjustly or discriminatorily. It’s a platform for you to present your facts to support your claim on why they should turn over their choice. It’s a formal way of telling your employers or other specific entities that they have made a wrong decision. It can also be a way for you to air your grievances, like a grievance letter, except it was for when the management made poor decisions against you. There is a multitude of ways that you can use an appeal letter. You can use it to counter a complaint filed against you, to protect yourself from dismissal, etc.

When Can I Use an Appeal Letter?

Nothing is etched in stone. For as long as there is a chance for you to revoke a decision, you can still try to appeal to their better nature. There are many ways that you can use an appeal letter to your advantage. In almost every circumstance, you can always try to commute the penalty or reverse the resolution. Let’s break down the ways that you can make an appeal letter work for you.

For Scholarship Removal or School Dismissal. Most of us know that maintaining immaculate scores is difficult. If you’re a scholar, it’s one of the requirements in maintaining that scholarship. However, there are times when we fall short of the school administration’s expectations, and the scholarship gets removed. There are also times when we unintentionally violate school rules, and the penalty of dismissal is issued. During these unfortunate instances, you can send an appeal letter to see if there is a way for you to get another shot at retaining the financial aid or staying at school.For Admission Denial. Not all schools offer the same courses or degrees, and some schools specialize in certain fields of study. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is well-known for its engineering programs, while Harvard boasts its competency in its law programs. However, the standards they set for admission may be too high for some hopeful applicants. If you find yourself reading a rejection letter from your school of choice, know that it’s not yet the end of the world. Send them a letter for reconsideration to see if they can still change their minds.For Employment Denial. There are times that we want to work for a company of our choosing, but we fail to secure a job there. Contrary to popular belief, you can still try to get them to reconsider their decision by sending an appeal letter. It can serve as proof of your dedication and willingness to work in that company.For Employment Termination. Wrongful termination is frowned upon by the law. If you feel that the management’s grudge or hidden agenda influenced the decision for termination, you can always send an appeal letter to explain your grievances (like a grievance letter), present your evidence, and support your claim for wrongful termination.For Insurance Coverage. Expensive medications, piles of hospital bills, financially-draining lab procedures—this is the bitter reality that most patients face daily. Even with an insurance provider, certain medications or procedures are no longer covered. There are also cases wherein a medical procedure may be too specialized or expensive that before it even gets covered, you have to get prior authorization from your insurance provider first. Most of the time, your insurance does not cover these expensive procedures and services, and you need to shell money out from your pocket. But the good news is, we can try to get them covered through an appeal letter.For Sponsorship Requests. Tuition fees are expensive. Sometimes, families facing dire financial situations find it hard to send their children to school. If you’re a student, don’t let situations like these kill your dreams. You can try finding someone to sponsor your education through an appeal letter.

For employment matters, you may need to check the company policy regarding addressing grievances before sending a letter for reconsideration. These are only a few examples of when an appeal letter is applicable. The possibilities of using it are endless. For as long as the decision is not yet final and irrevocable, you still have a shot of turning the whole situation around.

What are the No-Nos of an Appeal Letter?

The reason why we write appeal letters is to try to persuade them to reverse a certain penalty. Sometimes, the situation causes us to succumb to using derogatory remarks against the person or group of people we are writing about. It’s okay to be upset about it. But incorporating that in your letter would only do the opposite effect of getting them to your side. Thus, we need to be conscious of the things that we include in an appeal letter. Here are some of the things that you should remember in writing an appeal letter:

Don’t try to appear blameless. As much as we’d like to appear innocent in a situation, it would not help your case to deny all allegations thrown against you. If any of the alleged infractions made were true, then it would be good advice to admit the mistake and state how you have learned from the situation. Marking them as false only for the HR personnel to find the opposite to be true would put you in a bad situation.Don’t try to be subjective. It’s easy to become subjective in an appeal letter, especially if you are about to be handed down a penalty you feel has been made unfairly. However, using negative remarks and investing too many emotions in your letter would only make you appear unprofessional and would even strengthen the case against you. Stick to the facts as much as possible and try not to segue from being objective. A good way of practicing objectivity is to write the letter as if you were writing it for someone else rather than for yourself.Don’t submit a letter without evidence/proof. Since you are trying to appeal your case, it would be best to present supporting facts or documents that would help strengthen your claim. If it’s for an admission denial, you can try to present your academic achievements, certificates, or awards to prove that you are, indeed, worthy of being admitted to your school of choice.Don’t sound accusatory. Pointing fingers does not look good in your appeal letter. If anything, it would attract rejection. Try to have someone else read the letter for you to find out if it sounds too accusatory.Don’t include information about other parties. Your case and another person’s case are different. The situations that placed you in your current predicament vary from each other. That’s why citing another person’s sanctions, or penalties wouldn’t do anything to your case except worsening it. That aside, another person’s disciplinary actions and violations are considered confidential information. That would do more bad than good.

Just like any good business letter, you can best get your message across by writing it as factually, objectively, and formally as possible. Remember that you are trying to get on their good side while maintaining professionalism in your letter.

How to Write an Appeal Letter

Being objective is a difficult thing to do, especially if you are involved in the conflict. It’s hard not to get too emotional if you are trying to fight for your employment or scholarship. However, the only way to resolve any issue would be to deal with it in a calm and collected manner. A good work letter looks best if written in a brief, concise, and factual manner. If you find it difficult to draft an appeal letter, you can download our templates and samples. Similarly, you can follow this step-by-step guide in writing an appeal letter.

Step 1. State Your Reason for Writing the Letter

In writing your letter, the first thing you need to do is state why you are writing it. We reach out to the officers-in-charge so their decisions can be changed. Tell them directly what disciplinary action you are trying to commute. Don’t try to make it long as it would only give you a chance to fall into the trap of subjectivity. Be concise and direct to the point.

Step 2. State Why They Should Reconsider You

Here’s where your knowledge of the employee handbook comes in handy. In the case of wrongful termination, try to state any rules that the management violated. Try to specify, if any, instances where they have mistreated you that eventually led to the said disciplinary action. State pieces of evidence that you have that would help strengthen your case or witnesses that would help corroborate your story.

Step 3. Provide Evidence/Supporting Documents

Merely stating the facts would do little to help your case. It would be great if you can show proof or evidence that can support your claim. You can think of it like a court case. Any good lawyer does not rely on witness accounts only. They always back their claim with substantial evidence. In the same way, your case would get stronger if you can provide supporting documents such as timestamps, statistical data, performance metrics, etc. Just like writing a hardship letter, it would best help your case to attach supporting documents.

Step 4. State Your Desired Outcome

We write an appeal letter to achieve a goal. State in your message what you would like to accomplish by writing it. For example, you’d like to retain your scholarship at a college or retain your employment at a company. Finalize your letter by never forgetting to say thank you. It’s a simple human courtesy that goes a long way.

Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” It is understandable for us, humans, to make mistakes. That’s the reason why there is a proper escalation to corrective actions so employers can give a chance to the employees or students to redeem themselves. However, to repeatedly make mistakes of the same nature without learning is another thing. So we should learn to tread carefully around the rules and regulations to make sure we don’t get penalized for our actions. But the management is not so unforgiving as to hand down a decision without hearing your side of the story. So while you still have that golden opportunity, take advantage of it and defend yourself to the extent of your capabilities. Who knows? Maybe you can even turn things around.