Unemployment Compensation

All you have to do is tell your story truthfully and accurately. We will do everything else.

When you suddenly find yourself without a job you’re probably a bit shocked, feeling betrayed, and angry. These are all very normal feelings to have. But it’s important not to allow your emotions to take over.

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Trinity Law have helped residents receive unemployment compensation in Lancaster and York counties. We’re here to walk you through this difficult time.

What went wrong? What do I do now? What options are available to me?

These questions might be swirling in your mind right now. You can turn to us for answers and accurate legal guidance.

We’ll listen to your story, help you file your claim, navigate the appeals process, and appear on your behalf at any hearings. Our lawyers will provide you with direction, steadiness, and stability, so you can get settled and back on your feet.

“I paid what I consider a very fair price to hire Shawn McLaughlin as my employment attorney for an unemployment hearing. My ex-employer was attempting to screw me out of my hard-earned unemployment money on a technicality.

Mr. McLaughlin helped me out, let me know my odds, came extremely prepared and even cited various precedent cases pertaining to my case on the record. At the hearing, my ex-employer actually left midway through the hearing after finding out that I had an attorney and how prepared we both were for the hearing.

At the end of the day, I won! And I got my fair share of unemployment money. Hiring Shawn was money well spent.

Definitely recommend. Shawn is highly professional and hard working and yet not unaffordable. He really does a great job for working class people like me.” – Jeffrey Adams (Google review)


Common Unemployment Scenarios

I Just Lost My Job. What Should I Do Now?

If you have recently been fired or let go from your place of employment, first let us say we are sorry you are in the middle of this challenging situation. We know you may not have planned for or been prepared for this event, but we can do our best to help you get the compensation you are entitled by law.

When you schedule an initial consultation with us, our goal is to meet or speak with you within 2 business days of contacting us. This meeting will be short, in which we will answer all your questions, learn the facts of your case, and prepare you for the next steps of the process.

During the meeting, we will take the first few minutes to explain the law and how it pertains to your situation. We’ll help you see how the Pennsylvania unemployment compensation claims process works, and how we can assist you every step of the way.

As the meeting unfolds, we will ask you to share your story with us. If there was a final meeting with your employer, we will want you to share every fact you can remember: what was said, who said it, and what reason was given for your termination/layoff. We will continue to work backward from that meeting, learning more about you, your company, and possible reasons for your termination. This gives us a better understanding of your case, so we can focus on the most important facts.

If you want to use our services, we will help you prepare and file your claim. We will make sure you are ready for any interview pertaining to your claim – either written or oral. And if your claim is denied, we will guide you through the appeals process.

I Filed My Claim and Was Denied. What Should I Do Now?

If you have received a Notice of Determination indicating your claim has been denied, do not panic. The system is designed to give you several (or at least three) opportunities to appeal this initial decision. With our help, you can confidently appeal this decision and present your story in a hearing.

Schedule an introductory consultation with us, and we will meet or speak with you within 2 business days. At this meeting, be sure to bring your Notice of Determination, along with any other paperwork relevant to your claim. We will walk you through the law and the appeal options available to you. We can also begin preparing you for the hearing before the Referee.

If you choose to hire our attorney to represent you at a hearing, we charge a flat rate for the entire hearing. This covers all preparation, research, paperwork, and the time involved in the hearing itself. This gives you the confidence that attorneys are using their time efficiently to give you the best opportunity to succeed at the hearing.

I Quit My Job. Can I Collect Unemployment?

Collecting unemployment compensation benefits when you quit your job depends on the reasons why you left. Even if you think you had a valid reason for quitting, that doesn’t mean you have a “compelling reason” in the eyes of the law.

For most of these causes, you must show that you informed your employer of your circumstances. You must also show that you took any reasonable steps to remedy the situation, and that none of these actions fully relieved the situation. Documentation, such as emails and text messages, can help demonstrate you made an effort to find a solution before you quit.

Here are a few reasons that might entitle you to UC benefits when you quit a job:

  • Medical reasons. This applies if you cannot work full time or your normal job duties because of a medical condition, or if working would make a medical condition worse.
  • To care for a family member. This might happen if you lose childcare, or if you need to care for a family member who is ill.
  • Jobsite relocation. If your employer moves to a new town or location, and you choose not to relocate, you may be eligible for compensation. Likewise, if you quit your job because your spouse is transferred to a new city, you may be eligible for compensation.
  • Transportation difficulties. You must lose access to your method of transportation, and unable to arrange for an alternative means of transportation.
  • Harassment. This involves quitting because of constant sexual or verbal harassment.
  • Unsafe work conditions. You will need to demonstrate that the working conditions were unsafe, unhealthy, or you were asked to perform illegal activities.
  • Financial reasons. If you quit due to a drastic cut in your wages or hours, you may be eligible for compensation.

The best way to find out if you have good cause to receive unemployment compensation is to speak to one of our attorneys. Schedule an introductory consultation, where we will review the facts and determine the strength of your case.

Read our Complete PA Unemployment FAQ »


“I am so happy with the service Shawn McLaughlin and the rest of the staff at Trinity Law provided. He helped me navigate my way through a difficult and intimidating unemployment compensation fault overpayment hearing and worked hard to ensure that the matter was resolved in my favor. His calm demeanor went a long way toward reducing my anxiety over the situation, and his friendly staff was always quick to answer my inquiries in the weeks leading up to the hearing. I would recommend this firm to anyone.” – Keith Schweigert (Google review)


unemployment law consultation

Case Duration and Appeals Hearing

How Long Will This Take?

Each case and claim is different in terms of complexity and length of time. Generally, the time between an initial filing to a hearing before a referee is usually 2-4 months. Additional appeals can add several months to the process. At Trinity Law, we make sure you understand the claim and appeal process, so you are not surprised by what lies ahead.

At Your Hearing

When you appeal a Notice of Determination, your case is brought before a judge–called a “Referee.” This hearing is very much like a normal legal hearing, with sworn testimony, cross examination, and evidence. The hearing is likely the most important part of the entire process. At this hearing, you will have a chance to tell your story, offer witnesses to testify about events, and add any additional, relevant documents into the official record of your case.

Adding evidence into the official record is why the hearing is so important; aside from filing your initial claim, this is the only other time during your appeals process you have the opportunity to present evidence. It is vital that all facts and information pertinent to your case are submitted at this time.

Sometimes, the other party comes to the hearing unprepared, or does not show up at all. This does not mean you win automatically. While it helps in presenting your story before the Referee, you still must present a compelling case. A lawyer can help you focus on presenting the core truths of your claim in a straightforward and effective manner, while making sure you do not say anything to hurt your case.

Like other legal proceedings, this type of hearing allows for objections, calling witnesses, and cross examination. Our experienced lawyers know the procedures of these hearings, can make objections on your behalf, and can focus on the matters of the case, freeing you up to focus on sharing your testimony.

The Initial Consultation: What To Expect

At an initial consultation, our attorney will answer any questions you might have, listen to your story, and explain the process ahead of you.

First, he will walk you through your rights under PA UC law, as they apply in your current situation. He will then ask you to retell the facts of your story, starting with the final meeting with your employer. You will want to share all important information, including who spoke, what was said, and what reasons were given for your termination. Our lawyer will ask details about past events, to see how they pertain to your case.

At the end of the consultation, the attorney will help you focus on the truths relevant to your claim and case. He will also walk you through the next steps in the claims process, while showing how our expertise can best support you at each step.

Tell Us About Your Case

Call our office at 717-843-8046 and we’ll schedule our introductory consultation within 2 business days (that is our goal, as much as possible).