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DLLR's Unemployment Insurance Appeals

 

Decision Number 1682-BR-93 - Filing Proper Claims - Section 901 - Maryland Unemployment Decisions Digest

 

BOARD OF APPEALS

DECISION

DECISION NO: 1682-BR-93
DATE: October 7, 1993
 
CLAIMANT: Peter Robinson APPEAL NO.: 9313882
 
EMPLOYER: L.O. NO: 8
 
APPELLANT: Claimant

Issue: Whether the claimant failed to file proper claims for benefits within the meaning of §8-901 of the Labor and Employment Article.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF APPEAL TO COURT -

YOU MAY FILE AN APPEAL FROM THIS DECISION IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE CITY OR ONE OF THE CIRCUIT COURTS IN A COUNTY IN MARYLAND. THE COURT RULES ABOUT HOW TO APPEAL CAN BE FOUND IN MANY PUBLIC LIBRARIES, IN THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, MARYLAND RULES, VOLUME 2, B RULES.

THE PERIOD FOR FILING AN APPEAL EXPIRES November 6, 1993.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant: For the Employer:

REVIEW ON THE RECORD

Upon review of the record in this case, the Board of Appeals reverses the decision of the Hearing Examiner.

The claimant mailed a claim card for the weeks ending May 29, 1993 and June 5, 1993, on June 18, 1993. The claimant had temporarily misplaced the card and when he found it, he called the local office and asked if he could file the card in person. The claimant was informed that the local office could not accept the card and that it would have to be mailed. Therefore, the claimant mailed the card to the Baltimore office. The last date to file the card was June 21, 1993. Had the claimant been allowed to file the card in person, there is no doubt that it would have been timely. However, he was given no choice by the agency but to take his chances with the mail.

There is no documentary evidence in the record regarding when the card was received by the agency. The agency witness testified that the card was not received until June 22, 1993 and that it was therefore late. The agency subsequently closed the claimant's claim and did not reopen it until he reported to his local office on July 9, 1993.

The Board finds that the claimant filed his claim card for the weeks ending May 29, 1993 and June 5, 1993 in a timely manner. First, there is no documentary evidence that the claim card was received late. However, the claimant credibly testified that he mailed it on June 18, 1993 and the Hearing Examiner found this as a fact. If a finding of fact is made that a claimant mailed his claim card on a certain date, there is a presumption that it was delivered and received promptly thereafter in the ordinary course of business. Davis, 707-BR91. It is reasonable to presume that a card mailed on June 18, 1993 from Annapolis was received in Baltimore on June 21, 1993.

Second, and equally important in this easer is the fact that the agency left the claimant no alternative but to mail his claim card to Baltimore. Granted, it was the claimant's misplacement of his claim card that originated this problem. However, on June 18, 1993, still clearly within the time period for filing the claim, he found the card and was willing to personally deliver it to the agency, in order to insure it's timely receipt. The agency, however, would not allow him to do this, insisting that he mail the card. At that point, the claimant did all that a reasonable person could be expected to do.

Therefore, the Board finds that the claimant s claim card for the weeks ending May 29, 1993 and June 5, 1993 was timely filed. Since that claim card was timely, sequential claims are therefore continued claims within the meaning of the regulations, and they may be filed by mail within the 16 day grace period. Dombroski, 177-BR-91. The claim cards for the weeks ending June 12, 1993 through the week ending July 3, 1993 were therefore also timely filed.

DECISION

The claimant filed timely claims, within the meaning of §8-901 of the Labor and Employment Article, for the weeks ending May 29, 1993 through July 3, 1993.

The decision of the Hearing Examiner is reversed.

Hazel A. Warnick, Associate Member
Thomas W. Keech, Chairman

HW:K
kbm
COPIES MAILED TO:

CLAIMANT
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - ANNAPOLIS

 

 

LOWER APPEALS DECISION

DECISION

DECISION DATE: August 6, 1993  
 
CLAIMANT: Peter A. Robinson APPEAL NO.: 9313882
 
EMPLOYER: L. O. NO.: 8
 
APPELLANT: Claimant

Issue: Whether the claimant has filed proper claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits within the meaning of MD Code Annotated, Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 901.

- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF FURTHER APPEAL -

Any party may request a further appeal either in person or by mail which may be filed in any local office of the Department of Economic and Employment Development, or with the Board of Appeals, Room 515, 1100 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Your appeal must be filed by August 23, 1993.

Note: Appeals filed by mail are considered timely on the date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark.

APPEARANCES

For the Claimant:
Present
For the Employer
 
For the Agency:
Present, Nikki Gladding

FINDINGS OF FACT

The claimant received a claim certification for the weeks ending May 29 and June 5, 1993 and mailed it on June 18, 1993. He had misplaced it in his home which caused him to mail it later than he ordinarily would have. The claimant called the agency on the fourteenth day after the week ending date of the claim certification to inquire whether he could hand carry it to the agency. He was told that the claim certification must be mailed.

The claimant received the claim certification for the week ending June 12 and 19 and returned it to the agency on June 28. He received the claim certification for the week ending June 26 and July 3 and returned it to the agent y on July 7. On July 1993, he reported to the local office to reopen his claim.

The claimant booklet "What You Should Know About Unemployment Insurance In Maryland" which explains proper filing procedure.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The Code of Maryland, Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 901, provides that a claimant must file timely claims in order to be eligible for benefits.

The Code of Maryland Regulations at Title 24.02.02. 04B(4) provides that "claims shall be filed and received within 14 days of the week for which benefits are claimed in order to be timely, provided that the claimant is currently filing continued claims. Claims filed more than 2 weeks late shall be considered timely only if the Department's error caused the claimant not to receive the claim forms."

Further, "a claimant who fails to file a timely continuing claim shall report, in person, to the local office to file an initial or reopened claim to reactivate the claim."

COMAR 24.02.02.04B also states that "A claimant shall file continued claims by mailing the prescribed form on the Sunday immediately following the close of the week or weeks for which benefits are claimed."

EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

In this case, the claimant received a claim certification for the week ending day May 29 and June 5 timely. He failed to mail it to the agency immediately after the week ending date because he had misplaced it in his home causing it to be received after the fourteen day period allowed by the agency. Failure to file a timely claim certification was not due to agency error which would constitute good cause for late filing. Further, the claimant did not reopen his claim until July 9, 1993. The claim certifications received subsequent to the late filing of a claim certification for the weeks ending May 29 and June 5 and prior to reopening his claim are also untimely filed.

DECISION

The claimant failed to file proper claims for benefits within the meaning of the Maryland Code Labor and Employment Article, Title 8, Section 901. Benefits are denied for the week beginning May 23, 1993 to the week ending July 3, 1993.

The determination of the Claims Examiner is modified.

S. Moreland, ESQ, Hearing Examiner

Date of hearing: July 26, 1993
kbe/Specialist ID: 08700
Seq. No.: 003
Copies mailed on August 6, 1993 to:

PETER A. ROBINSON
LOCAL OFFICE #08