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Here's What to Do if Your Employer Contests Your UC Application

A concern for many people applying for unemployment benefits is the possibility of their former employer contesting their ability to collect compensation while they are out of work.

Indeed, it is possible for employers to object to unemployment claims.

When an individual claimant applies for unemployment benefits, a survey is sent to their former employer by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Department. This survey includes a request by the department that the employer forward relevant documents which may help the Unemployment Service Center make a determination in the individual’s case. The document will allow the employer to contest the claim, which also will be forwarded to the Service Center to be considered in the evaluation process.

There are several reasons why a claimant may be initially found ineligible to receive benefits. The Unemployment Service Center will consider two main factors that will be considered when evaluating an application: the amount of money that an employee made during his or her employment and the nature of the individual’s termination from his or her position.

The UC board will consider the wages an employee earned to both decide whether he or she qualifies and, if he or she does, to determine the rate of benefits that will be received.

The second basis of eligibility is determined based on the nature of the employment separation. Disqualifying factors include discharge for willful misconduct, violating a rule, poor work performance, failing a drug or alcohol test, missing work or coming in late without an excuse, damaging property, or having an unappealing attitude. A claimant also may be disqualified for voluntarily leaving the position. Additionally, independent contractors and those who are self-employed are generally barred from receiving unemployment benefits.

After the Unemployment Service Center issues its determination, the party against whom the decision was made has the ability to appeal the decision. This means that if a claimant is found eligible for benefits, the employer may file an appeal. Similarly, if the claimant is found ineligible, he or she is also free to file an appeal. Any appeal filed in the case will be forwarded to an Unemployment Referee.

Of course, appeals are not required. They are only made when the dissatisfied party petitions the department to re-examine its decision.

Throughout the entire process, the claimant will be notified of his or her eligibility, as well as the options surrounding the appeals process.


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