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MARIANNE EDWARDS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/10/81)

decided: March 10, 1981.

MARIANNE EDWARDS, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Marianne Edwards, No. B-174229.

COUNSEL

Kenneth A. Zak, with him Edward Myers, for petitioner.

Stephen B. Lipson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 398]

This is an appeal from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming the referee's decision which found the claimant financially ineligible for benefits pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 801 and 804. We affirm.

The facts are not in dispute. Claimant was involved in an automobile accident on the way home from work on October 16, 1977. As a result of injuries sustained in the accident, claimant was unable to resume her employment until January 28, 1979. Upon returning to work, claimant was informed by her employer, Plastek Industries, that because of her long

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 399]

    absence from the job her services were no longer required. Claimant filed an application for unemployment benefits with an effective date of January 28, 1979. Benefits were subsequently denied by the Bureau of Employment Security, the referee, and the Board because the wages earned during the claimant's base year were insufficient to qualify her for benefits.

The amount of unemployment compensation benefits, if any, to which a claimant is entitled is computed with regard to the total wages earned during the claimant's base year. Section 4(a) of the Act 43 P.S. § 753(a) defines base year as "the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year." The referee found that the claimant's application date established her base year as the fourth quarter of 1977 and the first, second, and third quarters of 1978. The referee further found that the claimant had base year wages of only $574 and that Sections 401 and 404 of the Act required that she have total base year wages of $960 in order to qualify for benefits.*fn1

Claimant does not challenge the referee's findings as to financial eligibility under the Act. Rather, claimant's sole contention on appeal is that she should be permitted to predate her application for benefits in order to create a base year with enough earnings to qualify her for benefits. The claimant maintains that the regulations promulgated under the Act are deficient and violative of Section 3 of the Act, 43 P.S. § 752 (the public policy preamble) in that they do not provide

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 400]

    for the predating of an application for benefits where the base year earnings are insufficient because of illness or ...


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