Consider an Appeal if You Were Found Ineligible for UC Benefits
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
If your unemployment application was denied, there could be several reasons why the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Service Center came to that conclusion – but your efforts don’t have to stop there.
Appeals made after a UC denial are common, and they can be successful with evidence that the department erred in its decision.
Before starting the appeal process, take time to assess why you were denied benefits. There are several reasons why an applicant may be found ineligible by the Unemployment Service Center, and they are often based on the cause of your separation from your employer. Disqualifying factors include a discharge for willful misconduct, rule violation, poor performance, failing a drug or alcohol test, missing work or coming in late without an excuse, damaging property, or having an unappealing attitude.
You also may be disqualified if you voluntarily left your position, unless you are able to show that you were constructively discharged as a result of unethical or illegal business practices. Additionally, independent contractors and those who are self-employed are generally barred from receiving unemployment benefits.
Both individual claimants and employers can appeal the decision made by the Unemployment Service Center. This takes the case to an Unemployment Referee. Appeals must be timely filed, meaning they must be made within fifteen days of receipt of your eligibility determination notification. Late appeals are only accepted by the Unemployment Compensation Department if the Referee determines there was good cause for the delay.
After an appeal is filed, a hearing will be held. The UC Referee will inform both parties of the time, date, and location of the hearing. Each party, whether the individual claimant or the employer, will be given the opportunity to present evidence related to the case, as well as testimony regarding the specific details of the issues at hand. Because of this, parties must take care in preparing for the hearing so that their full case can be presented to the UC Referee. After the hearing, any additional evidence must be submitted through a brief. In order to submit a brief, a party must first make a written request to the Referee.
The Referee’s decision will be sent to the parties after the hearing.
Again, both the individual claimant in the case or the employer may appeal the decision reached by the Referee. This, too, must be filed within fifteen days of the mailing date of the Referee’s decision. The appeal here goes to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. The Board may or may not request a second hearing. If it does not, it will only consider the testimony provided during the Referee hearing. If a second hearing is requested, the Board will consider both hearings in making its determination. Parties can file written statements to the Board in order to request an oral argument before the board.
The Board will issue its final decision to the parties via a mailed document.
Individuals can represent themselves, hire an attorney, or bring a third-party representative when going through the unemployment appeals process.