Erie Unemployment Compensation Lawyers
Unemployment Compensation benefits are paid when a worker becomes separated from employment and otherwise meets eligibility requirements. These requirements for eligibility are explained below along with the steps to take to help you obtain benefits:
When you become separated from your employment either through a termination, layoff or voluntary quit, you need to go to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Website (Labor & Industry) to file an internet initial claim. A financial determination will be made to see if you have worked enough credits to qualify for benefits.
A worker needs to earn enough credits by earning wages through the appropriate quarters as determined by Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation law. The Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center will make an initial financial determination based upon the amount of wages that were reported by your employer to Pennsylvania. If you disagree with a financial eligibility determination you can appeal this determination. Generally, you have 15 days or less to appeal such a determination. The notice you received that determines your financial eligibility will have a date on it in the upper right corner called the “Last Date to Appeal”. This would be the deadline for appealing any financial eligibility determination.
Benefit Eligibility When the Employer Terminates You:
If you have earned enough credits as determined by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center, you then need to be determined to be eligible when the UC Service Center investigates the reason for your separation. If you were terminated from your employment, then the employer will bear the burden of proving that you committed willful misconduct or some other issue excusing your employer from paying benefits. This will require that the employer show you violated some rule or otherwise failed to take into account the employer’s interest. The proof necessary to establish willful misconduct requires your employer show more than just an honest effort in which you did not meet expectations but rather that you disregarded the employer’s interests in some way. These determinations would be made on a case-by-case basis.
Benefit Eligibility When You Quit your Job:
If you voluntarily quit your position, then you would have the burden of proof to establish that you had a necessitous and compelling reason to quit your employment. Necessitous and compelling reasons for quitting your employment can range from the obvious examples of quitting your job to avoid physical harm to less obvious reasons that would require a detailed analysis to determine eligibility.
Notice of Determination:
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center will make a determination on your eligibility. This will be a second decision to the financial eligibility and usually comes to you mailed in a separate letter. You will also have 15 days to appeal such a determination. The notice you receive that determines your benefit eligibility will have a date on it in the upper right corner called the “Last Date to Appeal”. This would be the deadline for appealing any denial of benefit eligibility.
Keep Making Your Claims:
Even if you are denied and appeal either or both determinations, it is very important that you continue to make your bi-weekly claims by calling in or going online. If you fail to make the claims and I am successful in assisting you with your appeal, you may lose the benefits for the weeks in which you failed to make claims. This is necessary to show you are actively looking for a job and are properly notifying unemployment that you are still seeking benefits.
If you receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail after you have begun to receive benefits, this likely means your employer has appealed. There will be a hearing in which your employer can bring an attorney, witnesses, and exhibits to try to convince the referee (the person who decides the case) that you should stop receiving benefits and that you may have to pay the benefits back you have already received.
This is essentially the “trial” of your case. This is where you and the witnesses brought by your employer will be sworn in to testify. The testimony will be recorded. Documents called exhibits will be presented to the Referee (the person who decides the case). Your employer may have an attorney present to cross-examine you and make legal arguments to the Referee.
The Referee will make a decision either approving you benefits or denying you benefits. This will be mailed to you in about a week from when the hearing takes place. This decision will have a “Last Date to Appeal” on it in the upper right corner. This will usually give you 15 days to appeal the decision to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. Either you or your employer can appeal this decision.
If you or your employer appeals a decision to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, both can ask for an opportunity to receive a copy of the transcript and submit a brief in support of your claim. This is where legal arguments are made to convince the Board you should receive benefits.
Commonwealth Court Appeals:
Either party can ask for a reconsideration of a Board decision. If the party is unsatisfied with that decision, then an appeal to the Commonwealth Court is made. This is a Pennsylvania Appellate Court that hears appeals on cases involving government entities.
Attorney Matthew J. Parini devotes his time, energy and uses over 20 years experience to guide individuals through the complex and confusing Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation system. He has fought for workers benefits at many hearings before Erie and Crawford County Referees. Let him fight a denial of your benefits on your behalf.
Representing individuals in Unemployment Compensation matters in Erie and Crawford counties in Pennsylvania. Attorney Parini handles all aspects of the claim. This includes appealing a decision denying you benefits or defending a claim when your employer appeals a decision in your favor. Attorney Parini has extensive experience representing individuals at the hearing before the referee to make sure your rights are protected.
Been Denied Unemployment Compensation?
First, you need to speak with an experienced unemployment compensation benefits attorney as soon as possible. There is a very short deadline to appeal your denial of benefits. There should be a date in the upper right corner of your notice of determination or referee decision that says “Last Date to Appeal”. If you fail to appeal your denial by this date you will have a harder time obtaining benefits. You will want to speak with an experienced Erie Unemployment Compensation attorney to make sure you properly appeal your case and do not hurt your case by the language you use to appeal.
Have a Hearing Scheduled?
Did the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center schedule a hearing for you in Erie, PA or Meadville, PA? This may mean your employer appealed a decision awarding you benefits. Our office can help by preparing you for the hearing, representing you at the hearing and questioning the employer’s witness(es) to bring out the evidence that helps you. Call our office anytime for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Matt was awesome!!!
He handled everything so I didn’t have to worry and could just focus on my recovery and get back to work. He was always available and quick to return my phone calls and emails with the answers I needed. My case was handled quickly and with no added stress to me or my family. I would recommend Matt to anyone.