Friday, September 23, 2011

Admin. law - finding of fact "wholly inapplicable" to claimant - remand

Spence v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court - September 23, 2011

Claimant quit her job and applied for UC. The UCBR denied her claim, adopting the referee's findings, and making its own additional finding that the "[Board] after considering the entire record in this matter, concludes that the determination made by the Referee is proper under the [Law]. The Board specifically finds the claimant incredible that the father of her two young children could not watch the children while the claimant worked. Therefore, the Board adopts and incorporates the Referee’s findings and conclusions …."

It is undisputed that Claimant is a single mother of one child and that the finding "directly conflicts with the facts of record." Her appeal is not predicated upon a single erroneous finding that is unnecessary to the ultimate disposition. Claimant appeals because the Order appears wholly inapplicable to her case.

Although the finding set forth by the Board is not necessary to the conclusion regarding eligibility for benefits under Section 402(b) [the case involved a voluntary retirement package], its inclusion calls into question whether the Board was reviewing the record pertaining to Claimant. Where nothing in the body of the Order references Claimant, and the single specific finding does not pertain to Claimant, we must remand to ensure due process. Beddis v. UCBR, 6 A.3d 1053 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010) (claimant is entitled to due process in UC proceedings); see, e.g., Aluminum Co. of Amer. (Alcoa) v. UCBR, 324 A.2d 854 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1974).