Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In re: Claim of Anthony P. Catanzaro, Appeal No. B-EB-UCFE-71-3-A-17.
Anthony P. Catanzaro, for himself.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
This is an appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review ("Board") denying the appellant's request for extended benefits as provided for in the Act of February 9, 1971, P.L. , No. 1, 43 P.S. § 811 (hereinafter "Act No. 1").
The appellant was employed as an electrical equipment repair helper at the Tobyhanna Army Depot until he was laid off, and his last day of work was Friday, January 30, 1970. On Monday, February 2, he appeared at the local office of the Bureau of Employment Security
("BES") at Carbondale, which had been closed throughout Saturday and Sunday, January 31 and February 1, filed his application for unemployment compensation benefits and registered for work. As was then permissible and customary under BES regulations, the appellant's application was back-dated to Saturday, January 31, considered as his first day of unemployment. This procedure allowed an applicant the earliest possible eligibility date for the receipt of benefits, and the appellant raised no objection to it. The appellant thereafter received 30 weekly checks each in the amount of $56.00, with his last claim filed September 14, 1970, for the week ending September 9.
On February 16, 1971, following the enactment of Act No. 1, the appellant applied for extended benefits but was refused. The basis for this refusal was the determination by BES that the appellant's benefit year had ended on January 30, 1971, prior to the eligibility period for extended benefits, which began on January 31, 1971. On appeal to the Board, and after a hearing before a Referee, the appellant's claim was dismissed and he then brought an appeal to this Court.
Section 401-A(a)(2)(B) of Act No. 1 provides that ". . . no extended benefit period may become effective in this State prior to January 31, 1971. . . ." Section 402-A(i) of Act No. 1 defines the "eligibility period" of an individual as ". . . the period consisting of the weeks in his benefit year which begin in an extended benefit period and, if his benefit year ends within such extended benefit period, any weeks thereafter which begin in such period." It is clear, therefore, that, if the appellant's benefit year began on January 31, 1970, it would have ended on January 30, 1971, a day before the earliest date on which an extended benefit period could begin. It is the appellant's position, however, that his benefit year did not begin until February
[ 5 Pa. Commw. Page 5122]
, 1970, the day he first applied for benefits and that BES acted improperly at that time in back-dating his application to January 31, 1970. In support of this position, the appellant cites the definition of "benefit year" contained in Section 4(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 753(b), which is ". . . the one-year period beginning with the day as of which such 'Valid Application for Benefits' is filed. . . ." The date on which the appellant's application ...