If my former employer filed an appeal about my UC benefits on the last possible day, do I need a lawyer for the hearing?

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If my former employer filed an appeal about my UC benefits on the last possible day, do I need a lawyer for the hearing?

I’m nervous and broke because I wasn’t expecting them to appeal after not hearing anything for a long time and having no income. They filed on the last possible day. I was fired with them claiming poor cash control and missing lottery tickets when I didn’t do either, and the only proof they have is paperwork without any concrete evidence such as videotape or witnesses. What should I prepare for, do I need a lawyer, and what are my chances on winning the appeal?

Asked on August 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) How you should prepare: marshall your own evidence. If you have any documentary evidence, organize it and bring it with you; if you have other witnesses who will testify in your behalf, make sure they'll be available; and review your own testimony, to make sure you won't miss anything.

2) Should you have a lawyer? Yes--having an attorney with experience in unemployment cases will dramatically increase your chance of winning.

3) Your chance of winning? It depends on the strength of both sides' evidence and how persuasive any witnesses are, so it's impossible to say in the abstract. Do not underestimate, though, the power of "paperwork" as evidence--often, that's better than witnesses, especially witnesses with an obvious bias (like yourself).


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