BOARD OF APPEALS
|DECISION NO: 1082-BH-83
DATE: September 16, 1983
|CLAIMANT: Geraldine M. Wright
|| APPEAL NO.: 02959
||L.O. NO: 11
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
|For the Claimant:
Claimant not present
|For the Employer:
Allan Berman - Assistant U. I. Director
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.
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).
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
DATE OF HEARING: MAY 24, 1983
COPIES MAILED TO:
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - CHESTERTOWN