Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Appeal if My Pennsylvania Unemployment Claim Has Been Denied?

If You Receive a Notice of Determination Saying You Are Ineligible for Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania, You Must Appeal it Within 15 Days
Do Not Miss 15 Day Deadline

As I discuss in my Answers to FAQs re: Unemployment in Pennsylvania (left sidebar), if the Service Center sends you a Notice of Determination ("NoD") denying your claim, you must appeal in a timely fashion - within 15 days of the mailing of the NoD.

Send the Appeal via fax and e-mail - you may mail too, but get proof of mailing.

If You Appeal a Notice of Determination Saying You Are Ineligible for Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania, You Will Have a Referee Hearing 

You do not need to prove anything in your Appeal.  No matter what you state as the reason for your Appeal, you will be granted a Referee Hearing if you file your Appeal in a timely fashion.  100% of the time.

It is at this Hearing that the Referee hears/views/considers all evidence, and then makes a Decision.

There is no avoiding the Referee Hearing if you (or your former employer) file a timely appeal from the NoD.

What Should I Say is the Reason for Appeal to a Pennsylvania Notice of Determination Denying My Claim for Unemployment Benefits?

Since you do not need to prove anything to be entitled to a Referee Hearing, and a Referee Hearing is guaranteed, your reasons for appealing are really not important.

Unless, that is, you say something against your interest in your Appeal.  If in your Appeal you unwittingly say something "against your interest," it can be used against you at the Hearing and can bite you in the rear.

Insofar as you may later decide to hire an attorney who knows how to win Unemployment Hearings before a Referee,, or may later develop a strategy on your own, the best thing to say for the reason for your Appeal is:  "I disagree with the Determination."  

That is all you need to say.


You Need a Plan to Win
Why Hire an Attorney for Your  Pennsylvania Unemployment Referee Hearing?

Referee Hearings are tricky, and here are 5 things to keep in mind when considering whether to hire
an attorney for one:

1)  Your former has probably been to many Hearings - it knows how to win;

2) Your probably have not - and likely have little true idea;

3) The Referee has handled hundreds of Hearings;

4) The Rules of Evidence apply at Hearings, and law on when a Claimant is eligible are pretty well defined by many cases decided over the past 50 years by Pennsylvania Courts;

5) A qualified lawyer who has handled many Referee Hearings knows all of the above - and how to win!

Finally, let me say that I know how very important these benefits are.  Losing your job stings enough - losing an Unemployment Referee Hearing because your former employer lied or hid evidence truly adds insult - emotional and financial - to injury.



John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.  

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave…

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues…

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