Unemployment isn't going to give her a copy of her file and neither will her previous employer.
She needs to file an appeal with unemployment. She should have already received the paperwork to do so when her claim was denied.
Last year I took a job with a grocery store. They messed up my training dates and I had to wait almost a month before I could get trained after they hired me. And they said I couldn't work until I was trained. (Fortunately, I kept looking for other work while I was waiting to start.) I finally went to training and it didn't go well at all. The person who was training us was violating employee privacy left and right (tell us horror stories of her co-workers and our future co-workers at other stores). I didn't take to this well and, while I was never impolite, the trainer could tell by my attitude that I didn't think very highly of her. She in turn went to my future boss and told her I was failing training and not suitable for working in the store at all! He let me go, without explanation before I could even work one day. The whole thing was a complete mess. In hindsight, of course, I am thrilled that I never worked there. If training was any indication, I would have never been happy there.
Anyway, when they let me go, I decided to file for unemployment. The store denied the claim saying I was fired for cause. I appealed and the claim denial was over-turned by the unemployment office. The store filed an appeal to that decision (don't laugh - keep in mind they're fighting me on an unemployment claim that I'll never collect on because I hadn't worked enough in the previous 6 months AND I only worked for them for less than 20 hours). I objected to their appeal and the whole thing went before a judge in a 'telephone trial'. Keep in mind, I was already working at another store by this time so I sat in the parking lot in my car talking on my cellphone during this "trial". In the end, they couldn't prove that they had ever given me warnings - written or verbal, they couldn't prove that they followed their own policies to fire me, and they couldn't produce any witnesses that I had done anything wrong (of course, since I hadn't.) All I had to do during the appeal process was deny the lies. Since they had no proof, I won. (in your friend's case, she'll bring up that she notified her former employer of her impending surgery.)
Why did I go through all this even though I was never going to collect? Because at the same time, I had a discrimination claim filed against them. I believe they never let me work because when I completed my new-hire paperwork they found out I was over 50. While I was filling out the paperwork, there were other employees in the office talking about how older workers were really messing them up because they tended to file more disability claims. When the store's bookkeeper was entering my new hire information into the payroll computer she saw my birthdate and gasped. I had to prove that I wasn't fired for cause so the discrimination claim could go forward.