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WILLARD W. HANSEN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/13/80)

decided: November 13, 1980.

WILLARD W. HANSEN, 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 Willard W. Hansen, No. B-164207.

COUNSEL

Willard W. Hansen, petitioner, for himself.

John T. Kupchinsky, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 525]

In this unemployment compensation appeal, the claimant*fn1 questions the board's*fn2 affirmance of a referee's decision which excluded earnings during the first two calendar quarters of 1977 from the claimant's base year wages, used for the computation of compensation amount. The basis for excluding those quarters was that they had been used to calculate claimant's base year wages for a previous claim filed under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Assistance Act of 1974,*fn3 also known as the Special Unemployment Assistance (SUA) Program.

Steel Valley Vocational Tech (school) had employed claimant for eight years as a teacher. The record indicates that declining enrollment and course consolidation caused the school to discharge the claimant on October 24, 1977.

When claimant was discharged from his teaching position, Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Law*fn4 did not provide unemployment compensation coverage for teachers. Consequently claimant filed an application for and received benefits under SUA.

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 526]

The effective date of claimant's SUA application was October 23, 1977, and under Pennsylvania law*fn5 his base year for determining the amount of his entitlement was July 1, 1976 to June 30, 1977. Section 4(a)(1), 43 P.S. § 753(a)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law defines base year as follows:

[T]he first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year.

Effective January 1, 1978, Section 402.1 of the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 P.S. § 802.1, was added to provide benefit coverage for employees of educational institutions for services performed after January 1, 1978. However, under that section, base year wage computations on claims for services performed before January 1, 1978 resulted in financial ineligibility because the services were performed outside the coverage period of the section. However, bridging that gap, the federal Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1976*fn6 made provision for federal reimbursement to states which paid benefits to newly-covered workers during that transitional period.

Claimant filed a transitional claim for regular unemployment compensation with the Pennsylvania Office of Employment Security, with effective date of January 1, 1978. Applying the moveable base year ...


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