philadelphia Unemployment Compensation law firm serving pennsylvania and new jersey
Employees who are separated from their employment may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. Each state sets its own rules for how employees qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. Generally, employees must earn a certain amount within a base year to qualify and the employee’s termination must be involuntary and not as a result of willful misconduct, although there are some exceptions.
If your employer is challenging your eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits and you need assistance, contact an employment attorney who can determine your rights and remedies.
Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits
An employee who is separated from employment should immediately file for unemployment compensation, even if the employee is unsure if he/she is entitled to unemployment compensation.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry makes the initial determination as to unemployment compensation eligibility. An employee will usually be awarded unemployment compensation if he/she is unemployed through no fault of the employee (for example, lay off or termination without cause; leaving a job for a necessitous and compelling reason); he/she has filed an initial application for UC benefits; he/she is unemployed for a waiting period of one week (waiting week) after filing a benefit claim; he/she has performed services covered (or elected for coverage) under the UC Law; he/she has earned enough wages to qualify; he/she has sufficient credit weeks to qualify; he/she is able to work and is available for suitable work; and he/she is registered for work with PA CareerLink Services.
After an initial determination is made, the employee will receive a “Notice of Determination” from the UC Service Center, which will state whether the employee is eligible or ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. If an employee is denied unemployment compensation benefits, he/she may appeal the decision. Employers may also appeal decisions granting benefits.
If there is an appeal, the employee will then go to a “Referee” (appeal) hearing. At the hearing, it is vital for the employee to introduce all necessary exhibits and testimony to support the unemployment compensation claim. While the hearing is fairly informal, the rules of evidence and certain burdens of proof apply. An employee is not required to hire an attorney for the appeal hearing, but is allowed to bring an attorney or non-attorney representative to the hearing.
Either party may appeal the Referee’s Decision/Order; however, the Board of Review, which decides the appeal, generally may only consider the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing, which is why it is essential to make sure all relevant evidence is properly presented to the Referee.
New Jersey Unemployment Benefits
New Jersey’s unemployment compensation benefit requirements are similar to Pennsylvania’s requirements. In order to qualify, employees must meet a base period earnings requirement; be unemployed through no fault of the employee; be able and available to work; and be actively looking for employment. Instead of specific job search requirements, New Jersey requires that employees conduct a reasonable search for work. Contacting three different employers a week is suggested.
I need to apply for unemployment compensation or my unemployment compensation application was denied. What do I do?
There are strict deadlines for filing submitting unemployment compensation appeals that vary by the state in which you reside.
If you have been denied unemployment compensation, contact employment lawyer Stephanie J. Mensing of Mensing Law LLC at (215) 586-3751. Ms. Mensing in an employment attorney with extensive experience handling unemployment compensation appeals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Schedule a consultation today to ensure that your rights are protected.