Monday, April 5, 2010

How Do I Answer a Claimant Questionnaire for Unemployment In Pennsylvania

Call 610-647-5027, e-mail me directly or send an inquiry via the "Fill Out My Form" box to the upper right of this page. We will respond promptly with an analysis of your situation, and discuss potential options going forward.

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If you are applying for unemployment benefits in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County or Philadelphia, you may have to complete a Claimant Questionnaire. Usually, these are sent out to you by the Unemployment Service Center when you have been terminated or have quit, and the employer is fighting your unemployment claim. To learn more about this process (and to see our answers to the most common questions concerning Pennsylvania Unemployment, Click Here.

With regard to the Claimant Questionnaire, here are some important things to know.

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One, you do not have to answer each question! The form suggests that you do, but you do not have to.

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For example, Question 4 asks if you quit your job or took a leave of absence. The way it is written, it seems to some that you must pick one of these. You do not! Answer this question only if you were not fired.

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It gets tricky if you were forced to quit. If you were forced to quit in lieu of being fired, then answer Question 4, and then explain your answer in response to Question 5. Just explain that the company gave you a choice to quit or be fired, so you quit. Then check "yes" for question 6.

Can I Appeal a Denial of My Unemployment Benefits?

Whether you are initially granted or denied unemployment benefits, the decision can be appealed by you or the employer. Then an Unemployment Appeal Hearing is held in Springfield, Malvern, Norristown, Bristol, Reading, Lancaster or Philadelphia. This Hearing is where you get to tell your full story!

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We routinely handle unemployment appeal hearings for people who live in Paoli, Malvern, Downingtown, West Chester, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Lansdale, Doylestown, Chalfont, Broomall, Media, Lower Providence, and all of the surrounding areas in Southeastern PA on a contingent fee basis.

The key is to make sure that you tell the truth to unemployment, and only answer questions that apply to you.

For example, only answer Question 6 if you quit your job. Answer 7 no matter what. If you cannot work due to a physical restriction, then you cannot get unemployment benefits. But, if you have only minor limitations, spell that out! You do not want to lose your claim because unemployment mistakenly believes that you are disabled from all jobs.

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For example, even if you cannot perform your old job in the factory operating a crane because of a bad arm, that does not mean that you cannot do a different job in a whole new vocational area, such as working at a desk. Question 7 is tricky, because most people assume it is asking whether you have work restrictions that affected your ability to do your old job. That is not the case. The question is intended to determine whether you have work restrictions that would prevent you from doing any job, or at least a broad range of jobs.

Only answer Question 8 if you quit your job! It is not applicable ("N/A") if you were fired. If you were terminated, do not answer Question 8.

Question 9 applies if you answered yes to 7. If you have a partial disability, then answer yes to number 9. If you answer no to number 9, you will not get unemployment - if that happens, you may want to talk to a Social Security Disability Attorney. Or, if your condition is temporary, and you will be able to work in a few weeks or so, then explain that here.

And reapply for benefits every two weeks until you can finally answer yes to this question!

Otherwise, Question 9 applies to whether you are unavailable because of personal reasons, such as you are incarcerated, you are caring for an ill loved one, you are temporarily out of state, etc. Just explain honestly, and reapply every two weeks until you once again become able for work.

Question 10 is a lot like Question 9. It really applies to non-medical situations, such as incarceration, being away from the area, caring for a loved one, etc.

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Be careful with the catch all offer to explain your situation that follows Question 10. The more you say, the more it can be used against you in an unemployment hearing. Remember, it is at the unemployment hearing that disputed claims are won or lost, no matter what happens initially!

1 comment:

Employment Questionnaire said...

I had the same question in my mind and thanks for sending me to the exact web site. It was really helpful!!