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Starcks v. Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

July 30, 2013

DELILAH STARCKS, Appellant,
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellee

Submitted: May 6, 2013

On Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board Decision.

Delilah Starcks, Bear, Delaware pro se Appellant.

Thomas H. Ellis, Esquire, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Appellee.

Eric M. Davis Judge

Introduction

This is an appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (the "Board"). The Board's decision affirmed findings by an appeals referee (the "Referee") from the Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance Appeals (the "Division") that Claimant-Appellant Delilah Starcks received and was liable for an overpayment of unemployment benefits. The Board based its determination on the record, including a prior determination by a claims deputy (the "Deputy") disqualifying Ms. Starcks from payment of unemployment benefits, the appeal of the Deputy's disqualification determination to the Referee and subsequent decision upholding the Deputy's determination (the "Disqualification Decision"), Ms. Starcks' failure to appeal the Disqualification Decision, the transcript of a hearing before the Referee relating to the overpayment of benefits, and the Referee's decision regarding the overpayment of benefits (the "Overpayment Decision").[1]

On appeal to this Court, Ms. Starcks contends that she never received notice of the Disqualification Decision disqualifying her from receiving unemployment benefits, and that she would have appealed that disqualification had she received notice. Ms. Starcks also contends that the calculation of overpayment that she owes is incorrect.

For the reasons set forth below, the Board's decision is AFFIRMED, as the record on appeal contains substantial evidence to support the Board's determination and is otherwise free from legal error.

Procedural Posture and Relevant Factual Background

Ms. Starcks filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the Delaware Department of Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance on July 10, 2011. The Department of Labor initially decided that Ms. Starcks was eligible to receive benefits in the amount of $330.00 per week.[2] Ms. Starcks collected benefits from November 2011 through May 2012.

On June 28, 2012, the Deputy determined that Ms. Starcks committed fraud and disqualified her from the receipt of benefits for a period of one year beginning the week ending February 4, 2012 through the week ending February 2, 2013.[3] The Deputy disqualified Ms. Starcks after conducting an investigation which revealed that Ms. Starcks began working for Baron HR Healthcare as a substitute teacher at Family Foundation Academy on November 17, 2011 and subsequently failed to report income that would have, if reported, reduced her weekly benefit amounts.[4]

Ms. Starcks appealed the Deputy's determination to the Referee. The Referee held a hearing on August 10, 2012. At that hearing, Ms. Starcks contended she did not intend to commit fraud. Instead, Ms. Starcks claimed to have spoken with a clerk at her local unemployment office who told Ms. Starcks that only wages on employment over 32 hours a week had to be reported.[5] After, the hearing, the Referee issued the Disqualification Decision. In the Disqualification Decision, the Referee affirmed the Deputy's disqualification determination, concluding Ms. Starcks failed to disclose ...


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