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DLLR's Unemployment Insurance Appeals

 

Decision Number 1082-BH-83 - Recovery of Benefits - Sections 8-809 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest

 

BOARD OF APPEALS

DECISION

DECISION NO: 1082-BH-83
DATE: September 16, 1983
 
CLAIMANT: Geraldine M. Wright APPEAL NO.: 02959
 
EMPLOYER:Uptown Club L.O. NO: 11
 
APPELLANT: Claimant

Issue: Whether a previous overpayment of unemployment insurance benefits is recoverable from current compensable claims under the provisions of §17(d) of the Law, and whether the claimant failed, without good cause, to file a timely and valid appeal within the meaning of §7(c) (ii) of the Law.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF APPEAL TO COURT -

YOU MAY FILE AN APPEAL FROM THIS DECISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF MARYLAND. THE APPEAL MAY BE TAKEN IN PERSON OR THROUGH AN ATTORNEY IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF BALTIMORE CITY, OR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE COUNTY IN MARYLAND IN WHICH YOU RESIDE.

THE PERIOD FOR FILING AS APPEAL EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT October 16, 1983.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant:
Claimant not present
For the Employer:
 
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Allan Berman - Assistant U. I. Director

EVIDENCE CONSIDERED

The Board of Appeals has considered all of the evidence presented, including the testimony offered at the hearings. The Board has also considered all of the documentary evidence introduced in this case, as well as Employment Security Administration's documents in the appeal file.

The claimant worked for the Uptown Club until approximately July 29, 1977. She applied for unemployment benefits, effective August 15, 1977.

In a determination dated October 5, 1977 the agency found that the claimant had voluntarily quit her job without good cause and disqualified her from receiving benefits from the week of July 29, 1977 and until she earned ten times her weekly benefit amount.

In that same determination, in a separate paragraph underneath the above cited ruling, the following was stated:

CLAIMANT NOTE: One of the results of the determination is an overpayment of benefits in the amount of $407.00 for 6 week(s): 8-6-77, 8-13-77, 8-20-77, 8-27-77, 9-2-77, 9-10-77

The claimant received a timely notice of this determination. The last date to appeal was October 20, 1977; however the claimant filed no appeal until March 11, 1983.

The claimant filed an appeal at that time because she had recently filed for benefits again, after being laid off temporarily from Campbell Soup Company, but could not receive any benefits because of the overpayment of 1977. The claimant also had mistakenly believed that the $407.00 overpayment had been wiped out when she repaid $1,365.00 to the Employment Security Administration in 1977, as a result of a separate determination, under §17(e) of the Law.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

There is no real dispute regarding the facts of this case. The issue is whether the agency made a timely decision to recoup the $407.00 overpayment, within the meaning of §17(d) & §17(f) of the Law. The Board of Appeals concludes that it did.

Under §17(f), a determination to recoup benefits, pursuant to §17(d) must be made no later than three years from the date that the benefits were paid to the claimant. Since the benefits were paid between August 6, 1977 & September 10, 1977, the decision to recoup the entire amount would have had to have been made by August 6, 1980. (Technically, a decision as late as September 10, 1980, would be sufficient to recoup only those benefits paid September 10, 1977.) Once such a decision has been made, with proper and timely notice to the claimant, there is no specific statutory time limit on its collection. (The five year provision of §17(f) for deeming judgments uncollectible is discretionary with the Executive Director).

In this case, the agency argues that the determination of October 5, 1977, finding the claimant disqualified under §6(a), also contains the "decision to recoup" and gives sufficient notice of this decision to the claimant in the language cited above in the Boards findings of fact, beginning "CLAIMANT NOTE". After careful consideration, the Board agrees with the agency. While this notice to the claimant could have been set out in bolder type, or in some other manner to make it stand out, the Board finds that it is unambiguous, legally sufficient, and is "presented in such a manner so as to 'enable a person of ordinary perception to understand the nature and purpose of the notice.'" Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. v. Employment Security Administration, 275 MD 514. 340 A2 701 704(1975)

Therefore, the Board concludes that the agency made a timely decision to recoup benefits, within the meaning of §17(d) and §17(f) of the Law.

Further, since the notice was sufficient, the Board does not find the claimant had good cause to file a late appeal to the determination of October 5, 1977. The Board notes that the claimant was not contesting the original decision under §6(a) but only the agency's right to recoup the overpayment under §17(d).

DECISION

The claimant failed without good cause to file a timely appeal to the decision of the Appeals Referee, within the meaning of §7(c) (ii) of the Law.

The agency made a timely decision to recoup the overpayment within the meaning of §17(d) & §17(f) of the Law.

The decision of the Appeals Referee is reversed.

Hazel A. Warnick, Associate Member
Maurice E. Dill, Associate Member
Thomas W. Keech, Chairman

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DATE OF HEARING: MAY 24, 1983
COPIES MAILED TO:

CLAIMANT
EMPLOYER

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - CHESTERTOWN