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August 10, 2017

Claimant ineligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits after failing to comply with certification and registration requirements


Claimant ineligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits after failing to comply with certification and registration requirements
2017 NY Slip Op 06040, Appellate Division, Third Department

Claimant, a teaching assistant, filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits after she was "laid off from her job" in April, 2015.

The Department of Labor initially found Claimant eligible to receive benefits, but this determination was overruled by an Administrative Law Judge [ALJ] in October 2015 following a hearing. Claimant appealed and, in March 2016, Claimant was notified that the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board had reversed the ALJ's decision and found that Claimant was eligible to receive such benefits.

While her appeal was pending, however, Claimant "failed to certify" for benefits between December 21, 2015 and March 6, 2016 in accordance with Labor Law §596 and the Department found her ineligible for benefits during this time period.

This Department's determination was sustained by an ALJ following a hearing. The Board affirmed the ALJ's ruling, explaining that the Claimant was ineligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits because she did not comply with Labor Law §596 certification and registration requirements.

Claimant had contended that she "failed to certify" during the time period in question because she did not feel comfortable doing so "given the ALJ's decision finding her ineligible for benefits." Claimant, however,  admitted that both the Unemployment Insurance Handbook and the ALJ's decision advised her that she should continue to certify for benefits while her case was on appeal and that "she made a mistake by not doing so."

The Appellate Division denied Claimant's challenge to the Board's ruling, explaining that "[i]t is well settled that registering and certifying for benefits in accordance with the Labor Law and applicable regulations is a necessary prerequisite to eligibility for benefits." Further, said the court, "[w]hether good cause exists to excuse a claimant's noncompliance with these requirements is a factual issue for the Board to resolve."

The Appellate Division held that, considering the relevant facts in this case, substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that good cause did not exist to excuse Claimant's "failure to certify" and its conclusion that she was ineligible to receive benefits. Thus, said the court, it "found no reason to disturb the Board's decision."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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