I went to check the status of my PA UC claim and I received a message that states “there is an issue on the claim that is currently being reviewed.” What does this mean for me?
The PA UC Application Review Process
After you apply for unemployment compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, your case is assigned to a UC Representative who is responsible for investigating your claim and reaching a determination on whether or not you are eligible for UC benefits. This individual will review your initial application to obtain basic information regarding your claim. The representative will then contact the employer and request that the employer submit a questionnaire regarding the reason the employee’s employment ended. You may also be asked to submit a questionnaire as well.
If additional information is needed to clarify responses, the investigator has the ability to interview both the employee and the employer over the phone. However, the UC representative typically issues a determination based on the initial application as well as subsequent questionnaires submitted by both parties.
The review process typically takes 4-6 weeks. Simply stay patient during this process. If you wish to check the status of your claim, you can call the UC Service Center for an update.
2023 UPDATE: The UC Service Center has experienced a tremendous backlog of cases ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began. From what I have gathered, it’s common for a claim to take 2-3 months to be reviewed before a decision is made. I do not have the ability to check the status of the claim. The UC Service Center has to be contacted directly to obtain an update. I would get involved in the event a denial is issued and the claimant wants legal counsel for their appeal.
The PA UC Decision
The UC Representative will then reach a decision on whether an applicant is eligible for benefits. This decision is called the Notice of Determination. Both the employee and the employer will be mailed the Notice of Determination and either party has the right to file an appeal. An appeal must be filed within 15 days from the date the Notice of Determination is mailed.
The Notice of Determination will state if a particular section of law disqualifies a claimant from receiving unemployment benefits. The section of law that is most often used is Section 402(e) which relates to “willful misconduct.” This section will be used if the employer is alleging a rule violation or some sort of wrongdoing on the employee’s part. Other sections may also be used, such as Section 402(b) if you voluntarily quit your employment.
The PA UC Appeal Process
Upon filing an appeal to a Notice of Determination, the case will be scheduled for a UC Referee Hearing in approximately 4-6 weeks from the date of the appeal. Both the employer and the employee will be given the opportunity to provide testimony and offer evidence regarding the reason the employment ended. The referee hearing is the parties only opportunity to present evidence and testimony. After the referee hearing, an appeal can be filed with the Board of Review, who will review the referee’s decision to determine if it was correct.
Hiring a PC UC Attorney
If you are interested in retaining a Pennsylvania unemployment compensation attorney for your hearing, please contact me. My phone number is (610) 417-6345 and I am happy to provide a consultation for your case. My office is located in Bethlehem, PA, and I primarily practice in the Lehigh Valley area.