Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation: Fun With Claim Forms

I have been attending unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania for over 20 years and I am still quite surprised to see people who complete their initial questionnaires for unemployment claims in a way that ends up costing them dearly at the Referee’s hearing later on. Furthermore, it is not only the employees who make these errors, but employers as well.

Issues with Unemployment Compensation Forms


On more than one occasion, when I am hired to attend an unemployment compensation hearing with a claimant, I obtain the unemployment office’s file prior to the hearing whenever possible. I frequently see employees, for example, who plainly admit that they were fired and that they violated the work rules and that they knew that the rules were uniformly enforced by the employer. However, when I talk to them prior to their unemployment compensation hearing, it is clear to me that, although they were fired, they never really knew what the rule was for which they were fired, and never had any idea if they violated the rule, or if anyone else was ever fired for the same thing(s). In short, the employee answers questions on their questionnaire that they really didn’t know how to properly answer. As a result, we have to engage in “damage control” at the hearing by trying to explain why they answered a question they way they did.


Similarly, the employer will often answer Pennsylvania unemployment compensation forms in a way that hurts their claim as well. For example, employers will, at times, say that an employee quit his job, but that he had a good reason for doing so. When I later speak with the employer, it is clear that the employee was actually fired for willful misconduct and, even if he had quit, there was no good reason to do so. This confusion can have serious consequences at the hearing. Whether an employee was quit or was fired, for example, can determine who has the upper hand in a given claim for benefits and who has the burden of proof at the hearing.

Receive Help from an Unemployment Compensation Lawyer

If you have a claim pending before the unemployment compensation office of Pennsylvania, or if you are an employer who has to respond to the questionnaire the unemployment office sends to you, if you do not know how to answer a question, or if you do not know what a question is asking, contact an attorney. You may contact the unemployment compensation attorneys in York, Lancaster, and surrounding counties at Trinity Law for a consultation.