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LOTTIE C. DINGEL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/26/74)

decided: July 26, 1974.

LOTTIE C. DINGEL, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Lottie C. Dingel, No. B-118603.

COUNSEL

Katherine L. Hagg, with her Irvin S. Bails, for appellant.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 486]

Lottie C. Dingel (claimant) was employed for approximately eight years by the Pennsylvania State Police in Pittsburgh, primarily as a communications operator. Her last working day was February 1, 1973. Since October 1971 she had been under a doctor's care for hypertension, nervousness and arthritis, and when her doctor suggested that she ask for lighter work she did so, but none was then made available for her. Subsequently, again at her doctor's recommendation, she requested a leave of absence without pay, which was granted, commencing March 31, 1973 and extending for 90 days. She applied for unemployment compensation benefits for the compensable weeks ending April 21, 1973 through May 19, 1973 (all within the 90-day leave of absence period), but benefits were denied by the referee and by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board).

The claimant testified that her weakened physical condition would no longer permit her to do the work previously required of her as a communications operator, but that it would be beneficial for her to perform lighter duties for which she would be qualified, such as clerical, stenographic or auditing work. She also testified that her doctor had endorsed an application for a second 90-day leave of absence, but that she hoped the full 90 days of the original leave would not be needed. Her application for benefits was denied on the ground that she was not "able to work and available for suitable work."

Our scope of review in cases of this kind is limited to questions of law and, absent fraud, to a determination as to whether or not the Board's findings are supported by the evidence. Questions of credibility and

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 487]

    the weight to be given evidence are for the Board. Furthermore, the party victorious below is to be given the benefit of any inferences which can reasonably and logically be drawn from the evidence in the record. Shira v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 457, 310 A.2d 708 (1973). Applying these rules to the case at hand, we must affirm the Board's findings.

Section 401(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of Dec. 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 801(d), provides: "Compensation shall be payable to any employe who is or becomes unemployed, and who . . .

"(d) Is able to work and available for suitable work. . . ."

The test of availability under the Unemployment Compensation Law has been to require a claimant at all times to be ready, able and willing to accept suitable employment, temporary or full time. Pinto Unemployment Compensation Case, 168 Pa. Superior Ct. 540, 79 A.2d 802 (1951). It has also been held that "availability for work" in the light of the Unemployment Compensation Law means that a claimant should actually and currently be ...


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