Sunday, August 27, 2017

How to Appeal a Denial of a Claim for Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits

Philadelphia-Area Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Lawyer Attorney

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How Do I Appeal an Unemployment Compensation Decision in Pennsylvania?

There are three types of decisions that may be appealed under Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Law.  This post will discuss by the first of those, an appeal from a decision made by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Service Center. The Service Center is the first administrative authority to decide on your claim. This decision is announced in a document called a Notice of Determination (this is not to be confused with a Notice of Financial Determination), which only indicates how much in benefits you will receive its each week if you are approved).

Click Here to learn about how to appeal a Referee Decision to the Board of Review.

Click Here to learn about howto appeal a decision by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review to the Commonwealth Court.

How to Appeal an Unemployment Notice of Determination in Pennsylvania?

If you received a Notice of Determination that is against your interests, and you file a timely appeal within 15 days, a Referee Hearing will be scheduled. It does not matter what you say while appealing from a Notice of Determination -- there is no way around a Referee Hearing.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Referee Hearings are Mandatory

It is for this reason that I tell people who are appealing from a Notice of Determination to simply explain that the reason for the appeal as follows: “I disagree with the Determination.” Saying anything more than that can cause a problem if you inadvertently make an admission of “guilt” while trying to file your appeal that will be used against you in a subsequent Referee Hearing.

I Have Appealed a Denial of my Pennsylvania Unemployment Claim, When Will I Receive Notice of a Referee Hearing and Where Will it be Held?

The Referee Hearing will be held in the county in which you were employed. Generally speaking, a Notice of Hearing advising when the Referee Hearing will be held will be mailed out approximately 2-4 weeks from the date of your appeal. By the time you receive the Notice of Hearing, you will likely have no more than 2 weeks before the actual Hearing date. This is when you want to seek counsel, if that is your intention.

Referee Hearings are Tricky

Will the Pennsylvania Unemployment Referee Issue a Decision on the Date of the Hearing?

Referees never issue a decision on the date of the Hearing. It usually will be mailed to you within 2 weeks of the Hearing, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. When you get the Referee Decision, you will then have 15 days to appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.

You Get Only One Bite at the Evidence Apple

NOTE:             The Referee Hearing is like a trial. When it is over, all future opportunities to introduce evidence or testimony will be forfeited. So, if you lose a Referee Hearing and appeal to the Board of Review, you will not get a chance to introduce new evidence, witnesses or testimony, nor will you get a chance to exclude evidence or testimony that was introduced at the Hearing, even if that evidence should have been excluded from “the Record.” In my experience, it is prejudicial evidence or testimony that should have been excluded that often results in a claimant losing a Referee Hearing. That is why it is a good idea to strongly consider retaining counsel for the Hearing.

Things to Remember Appealing a Notice of Determination in Pennsylvania

     1)  A Notice of Financial Determination is issued approximately a week after you file for benefits. Everyone gets one, and it does not mean you have been approved for benefits.

      2) When you receive the Notice of Determination, it will state whether you are eligible for benefits. If you do not appeal from this Determination within 15 days, your right to appeal will be lost. I suggest to people that they appeal via U.S. Mail, obtaining a proof of mailing. You can also appeal via telefax, but if your fax is “lost” in the course of delivery, you will be out of luck.

 3) If you appeal from a Notice of Determination, a Referee Hearing will be held in all cases. Explaining your position in the course of filing an appeal can be dangerous, as many folks will inadvertently make an admission that will be used against them at the Hearing. Therefore, the best thing to do is to simply say “I Disagree with the Determination.”

 4) You should expect that the Referee Hearing will be held approximately 4 weeks after you file your appeal. The Referee will not issue his\her Decision on the date of the Hearing, but rather will mail it to you within a week or two thereafter.

Representing Pennsylvania's Workforce Since 1991

Chester, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware County Unemployment Hearing Attorney representing Employees Unemployment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents claimants in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County, Berks County and Lancaster County.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations (15 Minutes in Duration)

If you are looking for an unemployment lawyer, and live in Paoli, Exton, Phoenixville, Downingtown, Coatesville, West Chester, Newtown Square, Nether Providence, Springfield, Aston, Broomall, Marple, Villanova, Lansdowne, Wayne, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Glenolden, Havertown, Haverford, Limerick, Oaks, Lower Merion or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Experienced Lawyer for an Unemployment Hearing Before a Referee In King of Prussia, Springfield, Bristol, Reading, Lancaster or Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly; Mr. Gallagher has handled hundreds of Referee Hearings throughout Pennsylvania.

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