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Bensen v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep't of Workforce Dev.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 6, 2014

MELLONDIE BENSEN, Appellant,
v.
REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, Appellee

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE REVIEW BOARD OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. The Honorable Steven F. Bier, Chairperson. Cause No. 13-R-3354.

MELLONDIE BENSEN, APPELLANT, Pro se, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; KYLE HUNTER, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BROWN, Judge. ROBB, J., and BARNES, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

BROWN, Judge.

Mellondie Benson (" Employee" ), pro se, appeals a decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (the " Board" ) denying her claim for certain unemployment benefits. Employee raises two issues which we consolidate and restate as whether the Board erred in concluding that she was not entitled to additional employment benefit payments. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Employee filed a claim with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (" DWD" ) for regular unemployment insurance (" UI" ) benefits on or about October 9, 2011, which claim had a benefit period end date of October 6, 2012. On or about October 28, 2012, a claim was initiated for Employee to receive federal extended emergency unemployment compensation (" EUC" ), which claim had a benefit period end date of October 12, 2013.[1] On April 7, 2013, Employee filed another claim for unemployment benefits, which claim had a benefit period end date of April 5, 2014.[2]

On May 28, 2013, Employee filed a letter appeal from the deputy's determination with respect to the April 7, 2013 claim.[3] In her letter, Employee stated that she was appealing " to receive the funds that were not issued from [her] initial (regular) [October 9, 2011] claim, which left approximately $586.00" [4] and that " [w]hen [she] went into the WorkOne office to check get [sic] information about why [her] benefits were stopped when there was money left, [she] was told the claim had expired and to apply for EUC benefits [and] that the benefits that were not issued could not be issued." Appellant's Appendix at 6; Exhibits at 2. Employee also stated that " [d]uring mid May 2013 when [she] logged into file [her] weekly voucher for EUC, there was nothing there for [her] to fill out" and that the WorkOne " representative told [her] that [her] benefits stopped because the time limit for tier III EUC had been reached." Id. Employee stated that she " would like to be issued the benefits that were left from [her] initial (regular) claim." Id.

On August 21, 2013, the DWD sent a Notice of Hearing to Employee stating that a telephonic hearing was scheduled for September 3, 2013, and that, if she had documents she wished for the judge to consider, she must deliver them by mail, fax, or in person to the appeals office and the other party and that the documents must be received at least twenty-four hours before the scheduled hearing. On August 28, 2013, DWD, UI Appeals, received an acknowledgement sheet from Employee indicating that she would participate in the scheduled September 3, 2013 hearing.

On September 3, 2013, a telephonic hearing was held with an administrative law judge (the " ALJ" ). At the start of the hearing, Employee indicated that she did not submit any documents to be considered by the ALJ. The ALJ heard testimony from Employee and Pearline Harris, a program specialist on behalf of DWD. Harris testified that the base period for Employee's April 7, 2013 claim was the " entire calendar year of 2012," that no wages were reported for Employee during the base period, and that as a result Employee was not eligible for unemployment benefits with respect to her April 7, 2013 claim.[5] Transcript at 17. Employee also testified that she did not work or have earnings during the calendar year 2012. With respect to her October 2011 claim, Employee testified consistent with the statement she made in her letter appeal, and that the claimant handbook did not discuss expired benefits or what to do if there was a remaining balance. Employee also ...


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