Zachary Zawarski is a Pennsylvania unemployment compensation attorney. If your unemployment benefits have been denied by the UC Service Center, you have 15 days from the date the decision was mailed to appeal the decision. Likewise, if you were granted unemployment benefits, your employer can also appeal the decision. In the event that an appeal is filed, a UC referee hearing will be scheduled. It takes approximately 8 weeks before a hearing is scheduled. If you have a referee hearing, you should certainly consider retaining legal counsel for the hearing.
About The UC Referee Hearing
The UC referee hearing is an administrative proceeding. The UC referee is an agent for the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review who is responsible for determining a Claimant’s eligibility for unemployment benefits. The referee will gather facts and evidence to admit into the record and will issue a decision after the record is closed at the hearing. Both the employee and the employer will be required to testify under oath.
Some of the rights you have during the referee hearing is to be represented by an attorney. You also have the right to present witnesses and evidence on your behalf. If you feel there is any documentation in your favor, you will want to bring that with you to the referee hearing. If you have a witness who can help your case, you will want to ensure that they testify. If you don’t believe that they’ll attend voluntarily, a subpoena can be sought to require them to testify.
The referee hearing is your only opportunity to enter evidence into the record. If you appeal a referee decision to the Board of Review, you cannot submit additional evidence unless the Board of Review decides, in their discretion, to order a remand hearing.
Retaining Counsel for the Referee Hearing
If your unemployment benefits were denied by the UC service center or appealed by your employer, please call me for a free case evaluation at (484) 362-9286. It’s advisable to have an attorney present during the referee hearing since this hearing could be the difference between receiving UC benefits or being denied UC benefits.
If you receive unemployment benefits, you’ll receive approximately half of your average weekly wages for a period of 26 weeks, which can be then be extended through various federal programs. With so much at stake, you want to ensure you’re represented adequately during this critical hearing.
What An Attorney Can Do For Your Case
The two most common bases for denying unemployment benefits are Section 402(e) “willful misconduct” and Section 402(b) “voluntary separation.” There are arguments to make to get around a denial of benefits based on these sections of the law.
If you are faced with a Section 402(e) “willful misconduct” denial, please see our article on how to challenge a denial based on willful misconduct for more information. Some of the arguments that can be made are that the employer has not met their burden of proof, that you had “good cause” for violating a rule, among others. An attorney would have to understand the facts and circumstances of your case to determine which defenses may apply to your specific case.
If you are faced with a Section 402(b) “voluntary separation” denial, it’s likely believed or alleged that you quit your employment. Although you may have quit your employment and that would disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits, you can establish that you had “necessitous and compelling reasons” for leaving your employment. Common examples of when this occurs is if you experience workplace harassment, you are asked to do something unethical, or other similar circumstances requiring you to leave your employment.
If your unemployment benefits were denied by the UC service center or appealed by your employer, please call me for a free case evaluation at (484) 362-9286.