Wednesday, October 28, 2015

UC - notice of ineligibility/overpayment - late notice

Grimm v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – October 28, 2015 – unreported memorandum decision



Claimant argues that he was prejudiced by the Department’s delay of five months in issuing the notices of determination to inform Claimant that he was ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits and was subject to a fault overpayment and penalty weeks while he continued to receive benefits. However, Claimant did not raise this issue of timeliness of the notices before the referee, and therefore the issue is waived. Grever, 989 A.2d at 402 (“Issues not raised at the earliest possible time during a proceeding are waived.”).


Furthermore, the Law does not impose a deadline on the Department to issue notices of determination; instead, Section 501 of the Law requires that the Department “promptly examine” each claim for benefits and notify the claimant in writing if a claim is determined to be invalid.6 43 P.S. § 821(c)(1), (2). Here, that is exactly what happened: the Service Center collected questionnaires from Employer and Claimant regarding Claimant’s separation and also conducted telephonic interviews with Employer and Claimant prior to issuing the notices of determination.


6 Timely notice is one of the essential elements of due process; however, “timely notice” for the purpose of procedural due process requires that notice “sufficiently precedes a hearing so as to give the accused enough time to prepare a defense.” Howell v. Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, State Board of Psychology, 38 A.3d 1001, 1008 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011).  



An unreported case may not be cited “binding precedent” but can be cited “for its persuasive value. . . .”  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414 (a) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716 [45 Pa.B. 3975; Saturday, July 25, 2015]

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