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Retiring is a voluntary quit and sometimes this affects claims for subsequent work

by Bill
(Pittsburgh, PA)

I retired from my state job in April 2012. I now am employed part time at a school bus company.

I applied for unemployment as requested by my current employer. I was told to apply at Thanksgiving in order to get my waiting week out of the way in preparation for our Christmas layoff.

The unemployment people got the whole thing confused and submitted my claim against my former employer and I was denied based on retiring which they told me was voluntary.

I tried unsuccessfully to tell them that I am applying based on my current employment but to no avail. I appealed the decision and provided them with proof of my current wage status. They still did not respond and currently are under the impression that I am self employed. The appeal is set for January 28th but it is located in Harrisburg, PA, and I live in Pittsburgh. I am bewildered and confused. My previous employer the PA Department of Health is fighting my unemployment but sincerely I did not file a claim against them. I think my only course of action is to cancel the appeal and reapply a new claim hoping they are better able to analyze the info.

You might be correct. But for me the information I would want to know is still missing that would make me certain.

On what date did you retire from the state? (And yes, retiring of your own accord is
a voluntary quit for personal reasons generally, making the good cause needed for benefits, impossible. The exception might be a compulsory retirement .. but this depends on the state laws.)

And, on what date did you begin work for the bus company?

Here's the thing I think is the problems .. It's the base period that became part of your claim when you filed around Thanksgiving.

A claimant only gets to choose when to file or reopen a claim. But, it's a different period of time called the base period that draws former employers found there, into the mix .. mostly, to see if those separations made you eligible to collect on the wages paid by an older employer .. in addition to those coming from the most recent work.

There's also the matter of whether a separation isn't eligible to receive benefits .. did the claimant earn x times the weekly benefit amount in subsequent employment to purge or remove any disqualification of benefits based upon those older wages.

Why the appeal is scheduled in Harrisburg .. i don't know. PA is supposed to set the hearing venue closest to where the employment took place .. I assume for you that was in or around Pittsburgh.

As for how they got the impression you're self employed .. I don't know either. Do you have any type of side business? PA is a stinker about this sort of stuff .. kind of like NY is.

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