What is a UCBR Brief?

Lawyers looking over a tabletAt this point in your unemployment compensation appeal process, you have had your Referee Hearing and have gotten the Referee’s decision determining whether you are eligible or ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits (“UC Benefits”). If you have received the Referee’s decision and were found ineligible for UC Benefits, you can appeal that decision to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (“UCBR”).

The UCBR is an independent 3-member Board who will determine if the Referee’s decision was proper. The UCBR will then issue their decision either affirming (agreeing with) or overruling (disagreeing with) the Referee’s decision.

What is a UCBR Brief?

Once you submit the appeal to the UCBR, you will receive a copy of the transcripts from your Referee hearing (i.e., the one’s you already requested in your appeal). First, you should read the transcripts carefully in order to understand exactly what was said and argued at your Referee Hearing. Second, you need to write a brief detailing what happened that resulted in your separation and why you believe the Referee was wrong in his/her decision.

6 Required Sections for a UCBR Brief

A UCBR brief has many vital aspects, but you should include the following sections. These sections create the backbone of a well-written and thorough UCBR brief. Be sure to be detailed in each section.


Introduce a brief timeline of your unemployment appeal up to this point. You should include the following:

  • Original filing date
  • Date you were ruled ineligible
  • Referee Hearing date
  • Referee’s ruling
  • Date of appeal to the UCBR.

Summary of Position

Like a thesis statement, a summary of position states your goal for the brief. You should not provide a detailed argument of why the Referee was wrong in his/her decision because you will do that later in your argument section. Include a brief summary of your argument. Also, state something like, “I should be eligible for benefits because of A, B and C.”

Outline of Facts

Offer a brief recitation of the facts surrounding your case, citing the transcripts from your Referee hearing. It is important to remember that you can only use information from the transcripts of your Referee hearing. Therefore, when listing all of the facts of your case, you can only refer to the transcripts.

Issue Presented

The reason that you are not eligible for UC benefits is outlined in this part of the brief. You should list all of the issues of your unemployment appeal. For example, if the issue under appeal is whether you were terminated for willful misconduct under 402(e) of the Law, you should state that is the issue of your appeal.


Finally, you are permitted to present your arguments as to why you should be eligible for UC Benefits. You should absolutely refer to the transcripts in support of your argument. Case law can also be a vital aspect to supporting your argument. Build this section intentionally since it’s where you truly show why you should receive UC Benefits.


This is the part in the UCBR brief where you wrap up your brief and ask that the Board grant you UC Benefits.

Note: Remember that you may only refer to the transcripts from your Referee Hearing when writing your brief. You may not use any new information, testimony or evidence that was not presented at your Referee Hearing.

Once you have your UCBR brief put together, you must submit it by the deadline. When you received your transcripts, the UCBR would have given you a deadline to file your UCBR brief. The UCBR brief can be confusing so you may want to consult an attorney before beginning this endeavor.

The best way to succeed at creating the ideal UCBR brief is to consult with an attorney who knows how to draft a concrete brief. Chat with an employment attorney: (412) 626-5626 or lawyer@lawkm.com.