Tuesday, April 11, 2017

UC - late appeal - misleading information

Greene v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – March 10, 2017

Claimant denied nunc pro tunc late appeal in spite of the fact that he was incorrectly advised that he could not collect UC benefits while receiving severance pay, since there were “no statements attributable to compensation authorities that address the availability, timing or need for an appeal.”  The Court held that “not every misstatement by an apparently authoritative person will justify a nunc pro tunc appeal; rather, the misinformation must relate to the availability, timing or need for an appeal. “

The question of whether permission to appeal nunc pro tunc should be granted is one which lies in equity. See Bass v. Bureau of Corrections, 401 A.2d 1133 (Pa. 1979); see also, Schofield v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 828 A.2d 510, 512 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003).

This case involved a simple matter of fairness. There is no question that misleading information by a governmental entity was provided to Claimant. This information, at the very least, influenced (if not outright controlled) Claimant's decision-making process about whether and when to appeal, and created an impediment to the timely filing of the appeal. Submitting the equitable question to the standard employed by the Majority places such a noose around it as to choke it of all sense of fairness.