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Benefit Appeal FAQs

  1. How do I file an appeal?
  2. Is there a time limit to file an appeal?
  3. How do I prepare for a UC referee hearing?
  4. How do I request a telephone hearing?
  5. Do I need an attorney to appear with me at the hearing?
  6. How do I request a continuance (postponement) of my hearing?
  7. How do I request a subpoena?
  8. How do I request an interpreter or other accommodation?
  9. How do I withdraw my appeal?
  10. How do I submit additional information or request a reopening of the record after my hearing was held?
  11. When will I receive my Referee or Board decision?
  12. I won my appeal with the Referee. How long until I receive my benefit payments?
  13. I missed my hearing. How do I request another hearing before the Referee?
  14. Can I request an additional hearing if my case is appealed to the Board?
  15. How do I request a copy of the record of my hearing?
  16. How do I file a brief?
  17. What is the next step if I do not receive a favorable decision from the Board?
  18. Can I request a different Referee?
 
1. How do I file an appeal?
 
Any party who disagrees with a determination issued by the UC Service Center or a decision issued by an Appeals Referee has the right to file a further appeal. An appeal may be filed by mail (using either an appeal form or a letter) to the address appearing on the Service Center determination or Referee decision. The Service Center determination or Referee decision also lists a fax number for filing appeals. Additionally, appeals of a UC Service Center determination may be filed by email to UCAppeals@pa.gov. Appeals of a UC Referee decision may be filed by email to UCBoardAppeals@pa.gov. Warning: Information submitted by email is not secure.
 
2. Is there a time limit to file an appeal?
 
An appeal to a UC Service Center determination must be received (or postmarked) within 15 calendar days of the mailing date the determination. The last day to appeal is recorded on the determination.
 
An appeal to a Referee's decision must be received (or postmarked) within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the Referee's decision. The final date to appeal is recorded on the Referee’s decision.
 
An appeal to a decision of the Board must be filed within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board's decision.
 
3. How do I prepare for a UC Referee hearing?
 
Organize the facts and circumstances relating to your appeal. Gather any documents you have which concern the case, since these should be taken to the hearing.
 
If you need assistance because of a disability with hearing, speech, and/or vision, or for a language other than English, please contact the Referee's office responsible for the hearing.
 
Although the hearings are informal, they do involve testifying under oath, cross-examination, rebuttals and witnesses. The testimony will be recorded.
 
If there are any witnesses who have firsthand knowledge of the matter, and you wish to have them testify or bring documents to the hearing, you must notify them of the date, time, and place of the hearing and arrange for them to be present. If a witness can testify only as to what he/she was told by someone else, such testimony alone cannot be used in making the decision.
 
If your witness refuses to appear or provide documentary evidence, you may request that the Referee issue a subpoena to ensure the requested presence at the hearing. The Referee will issue a subpoena if determined necessary.
 
4. How do I request a telephone hearing?
 
Current regulations do permit telephone testimony under certain specific circumstances at the discretion of the Referee or the Board. If you wish to request a telephone hearing, contact the Referee office listed on your Notice of Hearing by telephone, mail, email or fax.
 
 
5. Do I need an attorney to appear with me at the hearing?
 
Whether you are the claimant or the employer, you may represent yourself before the Referee or the Board, or you may have an attorney or any other advocate represent you. If you are a claimant and you qualify, free legal assistance may be available from the legal services organization serving your area, your local bar association or a law school clinic.
 
Although hearings are informal, they involve witnesses, sworn testimony, cross-examination and rebuttals and also are recorded. Whether you are represented or not, the Referee will endeavor to develop testimony regarding the pertinent facts and will conduct a fair and impartial hearing.
 
6. How do I request a continuance (postponement) of my hearing?
 
If for any reason you cannot attend the hearing, a request for a continuance (postponement and rescheduling) of the hearing should be directed IMMEDIATELY to the Referee named on the front of the Notice of Hearing. This will be granted only for "proper cause" and upon terms deemed proper by the Referee. If a continuance of the hearing is granted, the hearing will be rescheduled.
 
7. How do I request a subpoena?
 
Requests for a subpoena should be directed to the Referee office appearing on the Notice of Hearing. If the witness refuses to appear or provide documentary evidence, you may request that a subpoena be issued to assure the requested presence at the hearing. The Referee will issue a subpoena if appropriate.
 
8. How do I request an interpreter or other accommodation?
 
If you need assistance because of a disability with hearing, speech, and/or vision, or for a language other than English, please contact the Referee's office responsible for the hearing as soon as possible.
 
9. How do I withdraw my appeal?
 
A party who has filed an appeal may withdraw the appeal with the approval of the tribunal before whom the appeal is pending. If the appeal is pending before a Referee, the withdrawal request must be submitted in writing by mail, email or fax to the Referee Office. If the appeal is pending before the Board, the withdrawal request must be submitted in writing by mail, email or fax to the Board. Additionally, withdrawal forms are available from any Referee office.
 
10. How do I submit additional information or request a reopening of the record after my hearing was held?
 
If the Referee has not yet issued a decision, to get additional information introduced into the record you may request a reopening of the record by contacting the Referee’s office. A request received before the Referee's decision has been issued will be reviewed by the Referee. A reopening may be granted for good cause. Request for reopening must be made in writing and directed to the Referee's office responsible for the hearing.
 
If the Referee has issued a decision and you are appealing to the Board, you should include these points in your further appeal documents. You may wish to ask the Board to grant a remand hearing. The Board will rule on that request.
 
11. When will I receive my Referee or Board decision?
 
Upon closing the record, the Referee (in a lower authority appeal) or the Board (in a higher authority appeal) reviews the record and applies the appropriate laws and regulations to the specific facts of the case. Depending upon the type of case, the facts involved, and the research required, Referee decisions are usually issued within 30 – 45 days after the appeal was filed. Board decisions are usually issued within 45 – 75 days after the further appeal was filed. The Referees and the Board all strive to issue their decisions as soon as possible.
 
 
12. I won my appeal with the Referee. How long until I receive my benefit payments?
 
If you won your appeal with the Referee, it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to receive your benefit payments from the UC Service Center. Continue to file for benefits during the waiting period.
 
13. I missed my hearing. How do I request another hearing before the Referee?
 
A party who did not attend a scheduled hearing does have the right to request reopening of the record. This request must be submitted in writing by mail, email or fax to the Referee and must list the reason(s) for the non-appearance. The Referee will decide whether such reasons constitute "proper cause" for the non-appearance. If the Referee's decision has not yet been issued, the Referee may allow the record to be reopened.
 
A request for reopening that is received after the Referee's decision is issued will be treated as a further appeal to the Board of Review. The Board will then rule on that request.
 
14. Can I request an additional hearing if my case is appealed to the Board?
 
The Board's review of a further appeal does not ordinarily include a hearing. However, if the Board feels that the record is not adequate, then it will remand (return) the case to a Referee for another hearing.
 
If you feel that existing testimony is insufficient and that new evidence should be introduced, you should submit a written request for a remand to the Appeals System Administrator, stating why you think the testimony is incomplete.
 
15. How do I request a copy of the record of my hearing?
 
The record of the Referee's hearing is transcribed only when a Referee decision is appealed to the UC Board of Review. Copies of such testimony are available to you (to be used for UC purposes only) at no charge. You must submit a written request by mail, email or fax to:
 
Appeals System Administrator, UC Board of Review
Room 1116 Labor & Industry Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750
Fax: 717-787-6125
Email: ra-li-ucbr-CentralOf@pa.gov.
 
NOTE: If you elect to submit a request by email please be careful to note the EXACT email address as it appears above. The Board cannot be responsible for misdirected emails.
 
The request must list the reason(s) for which the record will be used. The Board will only provide records for purposes relating to the Unemployment Compensation Law.
 
16. How do I file a brief?
 
If there is an appeal to the Board, and a party wishes to file a brief, the party must submit a written request to the Board for permission to file a brief. The request may be sent by mail, fax or email to:
 
Appeals System Administrator, UC Board of Review
Room 1116, Labor & Industry Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750
Fax: 717-787-6125
Email: ra-li-ucbr-CentralOf@pa.gov
 
NOTE: If you elect to submit a request by email please be careful to note the EXACT email address as it appears above. The UC Board of Review cannot be responsible for misdirected emails.
 
If the Board permits the filing of a brief, the Board will provide the party with a copy of the transcript of testimony along with a letter specifying the date by which the brief is due.
 
You must submit an original and four copies of the brief. The Board does not require a standardized format for preparation of the brief.
 
17. What is the next step if I do not receive a favorable decision from the Board?
 
Any party who disagrees with the decision of the Board has the right to file a petition for review to the Commonwealth Court. Such an appeal must be addressed to:
 
Prothonotary of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
601 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 2100
P.O. Box 69185, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9185
 
Your appeal must be received by the Court or postmarked within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board's decision. If you have any questions regarding the filing of an appeal to the Commonwealth Court, you may call 717-255-1650.
 
You may also submit a written request to the UC Board of Review by mail, email or fax to reconsider the case. This request may be submitted to:
 
Appeals System Administrator, UC Board of Review
Room 1116
Labor & Industry Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750
Fax: 717-787-6125
Email address: ra-li-ucbr-CentralOf@pa.gov
 
NOTE: If you elect to submit a request by email please be careful to note the EXACT email address as it appears above. The Board cannot be responsible for misdirected emails.
 
The request must be submitted no later than 15 days after the decision mailing date. Reconsideration will be granted only under very limited circumstances, for "good cause." The Board, in most cases, cannot revisit its previous credibility determinations. Also, the Board will not accept additional evidence, unless the party could not have presented the evidence at an earlier stage.
 
Reminder: The submission of a request for reconsideration to the Board does not extend the time limit for filing a petition for review with Commonwealth Court.
 
18. Can I request a different Referee?
 
If you feel that a conflict of interest would be created if the hearing were to be conducted by the assigned Referee, you may advise the Appeals System Administrator, UC Board of Review, 651 Boas St., Room 1116, Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750, in writing, giving your reason(s) and requesting that another Referee be assigned.
 
 
The information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation.