Trying to collect unemployment compensation benefits can prove to be a grueling and time-consuming task. By now, you are realizing that there are various stages to an unemployment appeal.
First, the Notice of Determination is issued and it denies unemployment benefits. Second, a hearing is held before a Referee and, once again, unemployment benefits are denied. Can the Referee decision be appealed? Yes.
At this stage, you have been before a Referee and he/she has rendered a decision as to whether you are eligible for benefits. If you were found ineligible for benefits, you have the right to appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (“UCBR”).
The UCBR is an independent three-party panel that will decide whether to grant your appeal and award you benefits.
How do I appeal to the UCBR?
Appealing the Referee’s decision is very similar to appealing a Notice of Determination. You must appeal the Referee’s decision within 15 days of the mailing date of the decision. The Referee Decision will always state when the last day to file your appeal is. You must file it by that day.
When appealing, your appeal should include the following information: (1) name, (2) social security number, (3) date of Referee decision that is being appealed, (4) the reason for the appeal, (5) the appeal number and (6) your address. This information is required to process your appeal.
When filing an appeal to the UCBR, you should also ask for a copy of the transcripts from your Referee hearing. The transcripts will be extremely useful for when you have to write a brief to the UCBR.
All of the above appeal information should be sent to the UCBR via fax, mail or e-mail. Whichever method you choose make sure to keep a receipt that proves the appeal was mailed on or before the 15-day deadline.
What happens after I file my appeal?
Once you submit the appeal, you will receive a copy of the transcripts from your Referee hearing (i.e., the one’s you already requested in your appeal). First, you should read the transcripts carefully in order to understand exactly what was said and argued at your Referee Hearing. Second, you need to write a brief detailing what happened that resulted in your separation and why you believe the Referee was wrong in his/her decision. It is important to remember that you may only refer to the transcripts from your Referee Hearing when writing your brief. You may not use any information, testimony or evidence that was not presented at your Referee Hearing. A brief is comprised of many different parts and can be rather lengthy and difficult to write, which is why it is essential to consult an attorney.
Once the UCBR reads your brief and considers all the evidence, it will issue a decision as to whether you are eligible for benefits. If the UCBR issues an adverse decision, an appeal can be filed to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.