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Maguire v. Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

January 29, 2015

GINGER E. MAGUIRE, Appellant,
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellee

Submitted: October 24, 2014

Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal of the Decision of the Division of Unemployment Insurance.

Ginger E. Maguire, Appellant, Newark, Delaware, pro se.

Lisa M. Morris, Deputy Attorney General, Wilmington, Delaware, for the Division of Unemployment Insurance.

OPINION

Vivian L. Medinilla, Judge

INTRODUCTION

Appellant Ginger Maguire ("Appellant") appeals the decision of the Division of Unemployment Insurance (the "Division") and the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (the "Board") which found that she was disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits for a period of one year. For the reasons that follow, the decision of the Board is AFFIRMED.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Appellant began receiving unemployment benefits on November 25, 2012. In January, 2013, Appellant began to attend school from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. During the nineteen weeks from January 19, 2013 through May 25, 2013, Appellant collected unemployment benefits.

In order to collect unemployment benefits, the Division of Unemployment Insurance (the "Division") requires claimants to place a weekly telephone call into "TeleBenefits, "[1] and respond via touchtone to questions concerning the claimant's job search, employment status, and other relevant issues. One such question is whether the recipient is enrolled in school. At no point during the nineteen-week period from January 19, 2013 through May 25, 2013 did Appellant inform the Division that she was attending school.

On June 13, 2013, a Claims Deputy for the Division determined that Appellant had collected unemployment benefits fraudulently during the nineteen weeks from January 19, 2013 through May 25, 2013 because she was enrolled in school during that time and had not so stated when asked if enrolled during her weekly TeleBenefits calls.[2] The Claims Deputy determined that Appellant was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for a period of one year pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3314(6).[3]

Appellant timely appealed the Claim Deputy's decision to an Appeals Referee. At a July 3, 2013 hearing, Appellant gave various reasons for not reporting to the Division that she was attending school. Appellant testified that she believed that her attending school did not matter to the Division. Appellant acknowledged receipt of the unemployment benefits guide, which instructed her to disclose her attendance at school, but admitted that she did not read it. An agent for the Division also testified at the hearing before the Appeals Referee. The agent submitted Appellant's weekly claim forms which showed that on nineteen separate occasions, she responded in the negative when asked if she was attending school. On July 5, 2013, the Appeals Referee affirmed the decision of the Claims Deputy, finding that Appellant was "disqualified for fraud . . . for knowingly making a false statement or representation in order to obtain unemployment benefits to which [she] was not lawfully entitled."[4]

Appellant timely appealed the Appeals Referee's decision, and a hearing before the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (the "Board") was held on July 17, 2013. The Board affirmed the decision of the Appeals Referee. On August 16, 2013, Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal to this Court.

By letter dated November 7, 2013, the Division requested that the Court remand the case to the Board because the Board had "prematurely" ruled on the issue of overpayment-said issue is not before this Court-"and had failed to address the issue properly before it-disqualification."[5] Accordingly, this Court remanded ...


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