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Relief from Charges

Requesting Relief from Charges

When an individual is paid unemployment compensation (UC), each employer that paid wages to the individual during the base year is charged for the benefits the individual receives, unless the employer is granted relief from benefit charges. 
 
Section 302.1(a) of the PA UC Law provides that employers may request relief from certain benefit charges. Upon receipt of a timely request, the Department of Labor & Industry can grant relief from charges for UC benefits that are paid to a claimant who:
  • Left work for the employer without good cause attributable to the employment,
  • Was discharged by the employer for willful misconduct,
  • Was separated from the employer for reasons that involve fault on the part of the claimant,
  • Was discharged by the employer for failure to submit and/or pass a drug or alcohol test conducted pursuant to an established substance abuse policy,
  • Is still working for the employer in a part-time job that is continuing without material change or,
  • Was separated from the employer due to a cessation of business of 18 months or less caused by a disaster.
To request disaster-related relief from charges, an employer should include the following information in a letter along with the completed Form UC-44FR:
  • The specific disaster situation,
  • The date that the disaster occurred,
  • Where the disaster occurred (to indicate whether or not it affected the employer's place of business),
  • A brief description of the disaster which forced the suspension of business activity, and
  • When the business is expected to reopen.
If an individual’s unemployment is directly caused by a major natural disaster declared by the President pursuant to section 102(1) of the Disaster Relief Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-606) and such individual would have been eligible for disaster unemployment assistance as provided in section 240 of that act with respect to such unemployment but for the receipt of unemployment compensation, the employer may request relief from charges and may receive such relief to a maximum of the eight weeks immediately following the President’s declaration of emergency.
 
Employers are required to prove they qualify for relief from charges in any of the above situations. 
 
A request for relief from charges is different from an appeal regarding a claimant's eligibility and must be filed separately. 

How and When to Request Relief from Charges

When an individual files an application for UC benefits, Form UC-44FR, Request for Relief from Charges, is sent along with Form UC-44F(3), Notice of Financial Determination, to each base-year employer that is eligible to request relief from charges. An employer that wishes to request relief from charges should complete and retun Form UC-44FR.
  
If an employer is requesting relief from charges on the basis of a separation that occurs on or before the date the claimant files an application for benefits or on the basis of continuing part-time work, a timely request for relief from charges must be filed within 15 days from the date the first eligible financial determination is issued. The last date to file a timely request for relief from charges is shown on the face of Form UC-44FR. If the claimant returns to work for a base-year employer after filing an application for UC and is separated during the benefit year, a timely request for relief from charges must be filed within 15 days after the Department notifies the employer that the claimant is claiming benefits.
 
View/Print/Download an example of Form UC-44FR, Request for Relief from Charges. This document provides an explanation for each line item.