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Appealing a UC Service Center Determination to a UC Referee

Appealing a Determination

How to File an Appeal to a UC Service Center Determination

Claims Involved in an Appeal

Hearing Process

Preparing for a UC Referee Hearing

Withdrawing an Appeal to the UC Referee

Requesting a Continuance of a Hearing

Requesting a Reopening after Scheduled Hearing

 

Appealing a Determination

When the department has made an Unemployment Compensation (UC) eligibility determination, both parties (claimant and employer) will be sent a copy of the determination. Under Section 501(e) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, a determination becomes final unless an appeal is timely filed.

The claimant or the employer may file an appeal to a determination within 15 days of the mailing date to a UC Appeals Referee and a hearing will be scheduled. When the 15th day of the appeal period falls on a day on which the department is closed (i.e., Saturday, Sunday or holiday), the appeal period is extended to the next business day. If an appeal is not filed on time, the UC Appeals Referee will determine if there was good cause for filing a late appeal.

How to File an Appeal to a UC Service Center Determination

Appeals may be filed:

  • by completing Section 1 of the Petition for Appeal (included with your determination), and mailing or faxing the appeal to the department;
  • online by completing the Petition for Appeal form;
  • by mailing or faxing an appeal letter to the department; or,
  • by delivering a petition for appeal in person to a PA Careerlink® office.

Please be advised that the department cannot guarantee the security of personally identifiable information submitted electronically.

If you do not have the petition for appeal form, which was included with your determination, you can view, complete, download and print the form here: Petition for Appeal Form (UC-46B) (opens PDF version of the Petition for Appeal Form, UC-46B)

An appeal letter must include the name and address of the claimant, the Social Security number of the claimant (if known), the date of the determination being appealed, the reason for the appeal, and the name and address of the individual filing the appeal.

NOTE: Appeals that are sent by fax should only include the last four digits of the claimant’s Social Security number, for example, xxx-xx-1234.

Appeals should be sent to the UC service center that issued the notice of determination. You will find the service center address and fax number on the notice of determination. Sending an appeal to a service center other than the service center that issued the notice of determination may cause delays in processing the appeal. You may not file an appeal in person at a UC service center.

To file an appeal online you will need:

  • Information from the notice of determination issued by the UC service center
  • Your own email address (for your appeal information to remain secure, you should not use another person's email address)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

To file an appeal online:

NOTE: Online appeal filing is not compatible with non-Adobe PDF readers/viewers. Adobe Reader software can be downloaded for free by clicking on the 'Adobe Acrobat Reader' link above.

*Users of MAC and Apple products MUST download ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to submit an online appeal. Appeal forms submitted without using the Adobe Reader software reach the department as blank documents.

  1. Select the appropriate UC service center below to access Form UC-46B(W), Petition for Appeal. You will find the service center on the notice of determination.
    Altoona UC Service Center (0994)
    1101 Green Avenue
    Altoona, PA 16601-3483
    FAX: 814-941-6801
    Indiana UC Service Center (0997)
    630 Kolter Drive
    Indiana, PA 15701-3570
    FAX: 724-599-1068
    Duquesne UC Service Center (0998)
    14 North Linden Street
    Duquesne, PA 15110-1067
    FAX: 412-267-1475
    Scranton UC Service Center (0991)
    30 Stauffer Industrial Park
    Taylor, PA 18517-9601
    FAX: 570-562-4385
    Erie UC Service Center
    (0993)

    1316 State Street
    Erie, PA 16501-1916
    FAX: 814-871-4863
    Harrisburg Overflow Center
    651 Boas St, 15th Floor
    Harrisburg, PA 17121-0751
    FAX: 717-214-5463

    NOTE: APPEALS TO DETERMINATIONS ISSUED BY THE LANCASTER UC SERVICE CENTER SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE HARRISBURG OVERFLOW CENTER.

  2. Complete only Section I of Form UC-46B(W). 

  3. Once you have completed Section I, please scroll to the bottom of the page to save/print the form, and then click the SUBMIT button to open your email browser.

  4. Once your email opens, your appeal will appear as a PDF attachment. Depending on your email settings, it may appear in your draft emails. Click Send to file your appeal. If you have difficulty accessing your email using the steps above, you should file an appeal by mail, fax or file your appeal at a PA CareerLink®.

After filing your appeal online:

  • You will receive a confirmation email indicating your appeal was received. You should save or print a copy of this email for your records.
  • You will be notified directly by the UC referee’s office about your hearing.       

If you appeal online:

  • The filing date is the date recorded by the department’s electronic transmission system.
  • You are responsible for any delay, disruption, or interruption of electronic signals, and you accept the risk that the appeal may not be properly or timely filed. 

If you appeal by mail:

  • US Postal Service: The filing date is the US Postal Service postmark date, the date of a Postal Service certificate of mailing or the date of a Postal Service certified mail receipt. In the absence of these dates, the filling date is the date of a postage meter mark. In the absence of all of the above dates, the filing date is the date the department receives the appeal.
  • Common Carrier: The filing date is the date the envelope containing the appeal is delivered to a common carrier. If that date cannot be determined, the filing date is the date the department receives the appeal.
  • If the sources above are not available, the date the appeal is filed will be the date it is received by the department. 

If you appeal by fax:

  • The filing date is the date imprinted by the receiving fax machine. If the receiving fax machine does not imprint a legible date, the appeal is filed on the date of transmission imprinted by the sending fax machine. If the faxed appeal does not contain a legible date of transmission, it is filed on the date recorded by the department when it receives the appeal.
  • You are responsible for any delay, disruption, or interruption of electronic signals and the readability of the appeal, and you accept the risk that the appeal may not be properly or timely filed.  

If you appeal in person at a PA CareerLink®:

  • The filing date is the date you deliver the appeal to the PA CareerLink® during normal business hours.
  • The PA CareerLink® representative will forward your Petition for Appeal or letter of appeal to the UC service center.

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Claims Involved in an Appeal

Claimant Appeals

If you are a claimant appealing an ineligible determination, the benefit weeks involved will be paid only if the decision is reversed. If you are eligible for benefits but appealing for a higher weekly benefit rate, the benefit weeks will be paid at the current rate. If the appeal is decided in your favor, you will be issued supplemental benefits for the difference between the two rates.

Continued Filing of Claims – IMPORTANT

If you are a claimant who is still partially or fully unemployed while an appeal concerning your eligibility is pending, continue to file your bi-weekly claims for benefits. If the appeal is decided in your favor, only benefits for the weeks you claimed will be released for payment.

Employer Appeals

If you are an employer appealing an eligible determination, the claimant will continue to be paid benefits during the appeal. If the eligible determination is reversed, the claimant will be expected to repay the money received if he/she is determined to have a fault overpayment.

Note: An appeal on an employee's eligibility is not the same as an employer's request for relief from charges. The request for relief from charges must be filed separately from the eligibility appeal. An employer who does not appeal an eligibility determination may not later dispute that determination in a relief from charge proceeding.

Hearing Process

The appeal will be assigned a number and forwarded to a UC Referee. The Referee will send all interested parties a Notice of Hearing (Notice). This Notice will give you, and the other interested parties involved, the time and place of the hearing and the issues and parties involved.

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 reasons and requesting that another Referee be assigned.

If a party wishes to review the case file upon arrival at the hearing, a form of identification must be provided such as the hearing notice.

The purpose of the hearing, and the duty of the Referee, is to obtain all evidence related to the issues being appealed. After getting all the facts on the record, the Referee will then apply the appropriate laws, rules, procedures, and precedent court decisions in order to make a proper decision. The Referee is unbiased and has no special or personal interest in the ultimate outcome of the hearing. The outcome will be based on the evidence and testimony provided at the hearing.

The hearing is not a "round table" discussion. Testimony and evidence must be limited to the issue(s) before the Referee. Each party in attendance has the right to present testimony and evidence.

Following the hearing, the Referee will consider the facts presented at the hearing and issue a decision based on these facts. Copies of the decision will be mailed to the interested parties.

Preparing for a UC Referee Hearing

Each party should organize the facts and circumstances relating to the appeal. Any documents having to do with the case should be gathered and taken to the hearing.

Although the hearings are informal, they do involve testifying under oath, cross-examination, rebuttals and witnesses. All hearings are recorded.

Assistance

If a party needs assistance because of a disability with hearing, speech, and/or vision, or for a language other than English, please contact the Referee's office listed on the hearing notice as soon as you receive it.

Witnesses

It is important for the parties and any other witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the facts or issues on appeal to appear and testify at the hearing. Firsthand knowledge means that witnesses directly observed, heard, or participated in the matters about which they are to testify.

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.

Subpoenas

If a party's witness refuses to appear or provide documentary evidence, the party may submit a request to the Referee to issue a subpoena to compel the witness to attend the hearing. If the subpoena is issued by the Referee, it is the responsibility of the person requesting the subpoena to serve it upon the witness. Requests for subpoenas may be submitted by telephone, mail, email or fax to the Referee office.

Withdrawing an Appeal to the UC Referee

An appellant may request to withdraw an appeal at any time prior to a decision being issued by the Referee. The appellant must contact the Referee's office responsible for the hearing to withdraw the appeal. Withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing by mail, email or fax to the Referee office.

Requesting a Continuance of a Hearing

If either party cannot attend a hearing, a request for a continuance (postponement) of the hearing should be made IMMEDIATELY to the Referee named on the front of the hearing notice. A continuance 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.

Requesting a Reopening after Scheduled Hearing

If you are prevented from attending the scheduled hearing because of a compelling reason, you may request to have the hearing reopened. You must set forth the specific reasons and circumstances that are alleged to constitute "proper cause" for non-appearance at the scheduled hearing.

It is important that you submit the request in writing as promptly as possible. If the Referee receives it after the decision is mailed to the parties, it is considered a request for further appeal to the Board. The Board then rules upon the request for further hearing. The written request may be mailed, emailed, faxed or delivered to the Referee office.

The information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation.

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