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STEPHEN J. LIPCHAK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/28/78)

decided: March 28, 1978.

STEPHEN J. LIPCHAK, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Stephen J. Lipchak, No. B-132464.

COUNSEL

Edward Van Stevenson, Jr., for appellant.

Susan Shinkman, Assistant Attorney General, with her Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 452]

Stephen J. Lipchak (claimant) appeals here from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's determination that he was ineligible for benefits under the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (Act) because he was a full-time student.

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 453]

The findings of fact indicate that the claimant worked as a systems analyst for Singer Business Machines (employer) for two and one-half years during which time he attended college on a part-time basis.*fn2 Because the employer went out of business, the claimant's employment was terminated in August, 1975 at which time he applied to the Bureau of Employment Security for unemployment compensation benefits and in September 1975, the claimant enrolled in college. The Bureau denied him benefits and upon appeal, the referee affirmed, concluding that because the claimant was then a full-time student, he was not genuinely and realistically attached to the labor market and was consequently ineligible for benefits under Section 401(d) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 801(d).*fn3 The Board affirmed the referee and it is from this determination that the claimant here appeals.

The issue here is whether or not the claimant, being a full-time student, was genuinely and realistically attached to the labor force in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 401(d) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 801(d).

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 454]

In Reardon v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 139, 373 A.2d 146 (1977), a case very similar to the instant claim, we have recently reviewed the factors relevant to determining a claimant's primary purpose (i.e., maintaining employment or continuing his education) and we concluded that the claimant's primary purpose in that case was not to attend college but rather to obtain employment to sustain himself. In Reardon, supra, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at 142-43, 373 A.2d at 148-49, Judge Mencer said, speaking for the Court:

While we have in the past held that there is in the law a presumption that a full-time student is not available for work, Claim of Wright, supra; Woodley v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 8, 317 A.2d 897 (1974), we have stressed that the presumption may be rebutted. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Siene, 24 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 430, 357 A.2d 228 (1976). To rebut the presumption, a claimant must demonstrate that he does not fall into the category of an ordinary college student whose primary purpose is to obtain an education and who is available for work only conditionally or on a limited basis. Patronas v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 491, 291 A.2d 118 (1972); Wiley Unemployment Compensation Case, 195 Pa. Superior Ct. 256, 171 A.2d 810 (1961).

Courts have in the past examined various factors in arriving at a determination of a claimant's primary purpose. Employment history, and particularly the duration of full-time employment;*fn3 economic requirements, especially those related to support ...


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