What if I forgot to include a piece of evidence at my Referee Hearing? What can be done?
After you have filed your appeal to your Notice of Determination, you will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail within 2-6 weeks of having filed your appeal. The Notice of Hearing will state where and when you must appear in order to preset your case to a Referee. The purpose of a Referee Hearing is to explain why your appeal should be granted and why you should be found eligible for unemployment benefits (“UC Benefits”). This is your only chance to put evidence on record proving your eligibility. You can submit any type of evidence that may prove your eligibility, such as termination letters, disciplinary records, testimony, etc.
It is important to remember that the record created at the Referee Hearing will be the record that is used for subsequent appeals. In other words, if you appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (“UCBR”) or the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the record created at the Referee Hearing is what the UCBR and Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will consider when they process your appeal. That is why it is very important to create a full and complete record at the Referee Hearing.
What if you forgot to include evidence at the Referee Hearing? Can anything be done?
If you forgot to include evidence at your Referee Hearing and decide to appeal to the UCBR, you can request what is known as a Remand Hearing. A Remand Hearing is where the Referee and UCBR work together to gather more information so the UCBR can a decision as to whether your appeal should be granted and benefits approved. A Remand Hearing requires you to attend another hearing before a Referee. The purpose of a Remand Hearing is to allow parties to put new, additional evidence on the record that was not presented at the original Referee Hearing. A Remand Hearing is not held for the purpose of presenting the same evidence. A Remand Hearing is for new evidence that didn’t make it onto the record at the Referee Hearing. A Remand Hearing will allow you to get evidence onto the record that you may have forgotten (or wasn’t available) to include at your Referee Hearing.
When is a Remand Hearing granted?
If you notify the UCBR that a witness was not able to testify at the Referee Hearing, the UCBR may grant a Remand Hearing to allow the witness to testify on record. If you feel that the Referee did not adequately explain the procedure of the hearing, you may request a Remand Hearing and the UCBR may grant one. If you feel that the Referee did not allow you to get all of your testimony on the record, you may request a Remand Hearing and the UCBR may grant one.
What are the differences between a Remand Hearing and a Referee Hearing?
A Remand Hearing is different from a Referee Hearing in that a Remand Hearing is ordered by the UCBR. At a Referee Hearing, you have to testify directly to the Referee and state why you should be eligible for benefits. The Referee then makes a decision.
At a Remand Hearing, the Referee is simply present to gather more evidence. The Referee will not render a decision. The Referee will simply try to make the record more complete so the UCBR can render a decision about whether to grant your appeal.
What happens after the Remand Hearing?
After the Remand Hearing, the new evidence you introduced will be sent back to the UCBR. The UCBR will then consider all the evidence (both old and new) and render a decision as to whether to grant your appeal and award you benefits. The whole process can take several months so be prepared for a wait.