Unemployment Appeals Process

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AppealIf you receive your Notice of Determination and are determined ineligible for unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal that decision.  While the appeal process can be difficult, an unemployment lawyer will take you through the process step-by-step, thus eliminating any difficulties that you may face.

It is important to know that an appeal from an adverse determination must be filed within 15 days from the date the Notice of Determination was mailed.  The UC Referee will first rule on the timeliness of the appeal before considering any other issue. This means that if you intend to appeal an unemployment decision, you must do so within the appropriate time frame.

After you have filed your timely appeal, you will receive a Notice of Hearing stating the time and location of your unemployment compensation appeal hearing, and the Referee who will preside over the hearing and determine your eligibility.  At the appeal hearing, the Referee will consider evidence presented by both you and your employer.

The Referee will usually start by hearing testimony from both parties.  The employer will testify to the events leading to your unemployment and will often have a lawyer present with them to walk them through their testimony.  The Referee will also hear your testimony.  You will be responsible for walking the Referee through the events that led to your unemployment.  Your employer will undoubtedly have a lawyer to aid them in testifying and so should you.

In addition to testimony, a Referee will also consider documentation and records kept by either party.

After the Referee hears all the testimony and considers all the documentation and records, the Referee will render a decision on your unemployment eligibility.  The Referee will not make a determination at the unemployment appeal hearing.  You will usually receive the Referee’s decision in the mail within a week after your appeal hearing.

If you receive an adverse Referee Decision, you have the right to appeal to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (UCBR).  The appeal must be filed within 15 days from the date the Referee Decision was mailed.

An appeal to the UCBR is very different from an appeal hearing.  It is important to understand that the UCBR will only consider evidence that became part of the “record” at your unemployment compensation appeal hearing.  Therefore, after you file an appeal to the Referee’s decision, you should request a copy of the hearing transcript and a copy of the “record.”  Then you should submit a written request to the UCBR asking for the opportunity to submit a written brief.  The brief you submit will recite the facts of your case and why you believe the Referee’s decision was wrong.   A brief can be very difficult to write on your own.  It is important to understand that this brief is how the UCBR will determine your eligibility.  A brief needs to be very specific and prove that the Referee was wrong. A skilled unemployment lawyer knows how to prepare a brief that will provide you with the best chance of overturning the Referee’s decision.

If you receive an adverse decision from the UCBR, you have two options.  The first option is to request that the UCBR reconsider its decision.  This request must be made within 15 days after the issuance of a decision from the UCBR.  The UCBR will review your case again and render its new decision. The second option would be to file a Petition for Review with the Commonwealth Court.  The Petition for Review must be filed within 30 days after the UCBR decision was mailed.

These are your unemployment benefits and you have the right to fight for them.  It is important to understand that if you decide to appeal you initial UC determination, it can be a long and stressful process.  A skilled unemployment lawyer would assist you and make sure you are presented with the best case at all appeal levels.