Thursday, July 26, 2012

UC - notice of hearing - presumption of receipt - opportunity to rebut

Volk v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court - July 26, 2012 (4-3)

A claimant who alleges that he did not get notice of the referee hearing must be afforded a hearing at which he has an opportunity to rebut the presumption of receipt of the notice.

The UCBR "may not rely solely upon the sufficiency of statements made in a petitioner’s appeal document or request to reopen the hearing, but must provide the petitioner against whom the presumption of receipt is being asserted the opportunity to submit evidence to rebut that presumption and to support the asserted reasons believed to be proper cause for not appearing at the hearing before the Board determines whether the petitioner had proper cause for not attending the hearing. Our holding is consistent with the Department’s regulation at 34 Pa. Code § 101.104, this Court’s decision in Coin Automatic Laundry, 447 A.2d 690, 691 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982), and the principles of due process. To hold otherwise would effectively transform the presumption of receipt of mail into an irrebutable presumption. Therefore, we vacate the Board’s Order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.