Unemployment Benefits Articles

How Do Separation Agreements Affect Unemployment Benefits?

In many circumstances, employees are often asked to resign and sign a Separation Agreement with their employer. Several clients have asked me how this will affect their ability to collect unemployment benefits.

In Pennsylvania, employees who voluntarily quit or are terminated for willful misconduct are not entitled to receive unemployment compensation. However, when a company forces an employee to resign (“resign or you’re fired”), although it seems like a termination, a resignation could be construed by the PA UC office to mean voluntarily quitting and unemployment benefits would be denied. Since you believe that you are being forced out by the company, you will want to protect yourself before signing a Separation Agreement.

When the employer is contacted by the PA UC office to obtain evidence and documentation concerning the termination, the employer would be able to state that the employee resigned, which would lead to the employee being denied …

Continue Reading »

Do PA UC benefits have to be returned if you lose an appeal?

In Pennsylvania, if you began receiving unemployment benefits and the employer appeals, you may be wondering if you have to repay your UC benefits if you lose the appeal.

In PA, if the eligibility determination granting you UC benefits is reversed, you will have to repay the benefits you received only if you were paid benefits through your own fault. If UC payments were made and you are not at fault for that, you do not have to repay your UC benefits, but your the amount you were overpaid will be deducted from future benefits that you may receive.

When completing the questionnaire when applying for unemployment benefits, answer each question truthfully and honestly to the best of your knowledge. One of the few circumstances where the Department of Labor will ask for you to return your unemployment benefits is if the employee knowingly submitted false information in order to …

Continue Reading »

How To Challenge Notice of Determination Denying Unemployment Benefits For Willful Misconduct

If you were terminated from your employment in Pennsylvania and applied for unemployment benefits, your employer is then contacted by the Unemployment Compensation Board and asked to submit supporting evidence regarding the reason for your termination.

Employers will frequently establish the reasons for the termination and the Board of Review will determine if the employee is eligible for UC benefits. After you apply for benefits, you will receive a Notice of Determination stating whether or not your eligible for unemployment.

If your unemployment benefits are denied in PA, it’s most likely due to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law. Section 402(e) deals with work-related misconduct. What usually occurs is an employee violates an employer’s rule or conduct that an employer expects from their employees. This can range from absenteeism, to insubordination, to not following the employer’s policies or guidelines when performing job duties.

Section 402(e) is the section related …

Continue Reading »

What To Do If Your Unemployment Benefits Claim Has Been Denied

If you applied for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania and your claim was denied, you may be wondering if you can appeal, how the appeal process works, and whether you need an attorney.

The first thing to be aware of is that the time to appeal a PA UC denial is just 15 days. After you apply for PA UC benefits, you’ll receive a Notice of Determination which lists the office’s findings and whether or not the Claimant is entitled to unemployment benefits. If the Board of Review determines you are eligible for benefits, your employer can appeal the decision. If the Board of Review determines that the Claimant is ineligible for benefits, the Claimant can appeal the decision for a UC referee hearing.

There are three reasons a claim can be denied: (1) the employee didn’t work for the employer long enough; (2) the employee voluntarily quit; or (3) the …

Continue Reading »

What Happens If You File Your UC Appeal Late?

If your Pennsylvania unemployment compensation (UC) benefits claim was denied and you missed the deadline to file your appeal, you’re probably wondering if you still have a chance to receive PA UC benefits. In some cases, you can still successfully appeal your PA UC determination even if you are late in filing the appeal.

In Pennsylvania, employees are given just 15 days from the Notice of Determination to file an appeal in order to obtain a referee hearing, who will hear testimony form the employer and employee and determine whether the employee is eligible for PA UC benefits. 15 days is not a whole lot of time and often times employees miss the appeal deadline.

Section 501(e) is the section that applies to the time limit for PA UC appeals. This section states that the time limit is mandatory and can only be extended beyond the time limit when “through …

Continue Reading »

PA UC Eligibility After Quitting Due To Harassment

Generally, employees who voluntarily quit their job are not entitled to PA UC benefits. However, when there are necessary and compelling reasons for quitting your job, you may be eligible to receive UC benefits. In some cases, the argument can be made that the employee was essentially forced to quit their job due to workplace harassment. Therefore, the employee technically didn’t quit, but was forced to resign. This is commonly referred to as a “constructive discharge.”

A constructive discharge occurs when the employer’s behavior is so intolerable that it would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities distress. In other words, the employee must not only prove that they were offended by the employer’s behavior, but that a reasonable person with ordinary sensibilities would be offended. The determination will come down to the level of outrageousness of the conduct, which must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If the offensive behavior …

Continue Reading »