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DAVID B. HANSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/01/81)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 1, 1981.

DAVID B. HANSON, 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 David B. Hanson, No. B-176967.

COUNSEL

Ira P. Smades, Smades & Jones-Wenger, for petitioner.

Karen Durkin, Associate Counsel, with her Richard Wagner, Counsel and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Craig

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 383]

In this unemployment compensation appeal, the claimant*fn1 questions a denial of compensation by the board,*fn2 affirming a referee's ruling that the claimant was ineligible for compensation because he was not available for work.*fn3 We affirm.

On January 19, 1979, the employer*fn4 terminated the claimant under circumstances which did not disqualify him from receiving compensation. Consequently the claimant applied for and received benefits for the period March 10 through June 2, 1979.

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 384]

On March 5, 1979, the claimant became a full-time college student, a status he maintained until July 1979; the record reveals that the claimant never informed the compensation authorities that he was a full-time student. The Unemployment Compensation authorities determined, not only that the claimant was ineligible to receive compensation because he was not available for work, but also that a fault overpayment in the amount of $1,950 had been made to the claimant during the period between March 10 and June 2.

In Reardon v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 139, 373 A.2d 146 (1977), this court held that there is a rebuttable presumption that a full-time student is not available for work, but the claimant can rebut the presumption if he can establish that he is attached to the labor force and that his primary purpose is to work, rather than to obtain an education.

Based on the evidence in the record, we cannot hold that this claimant rebutted the presumption.

The claimant's sporadic work record before he became a student cannot be said to establish attachment to the labor force. Moreover, the claimant did not work at all during the period he attended school. Such evidence provides no support for the claimant's contention that his education was secondary to his desire for employment.

To support his contention that he was available for work, the claimant testified that he often missed classes because he was looking for work. However, the record is devoid of evidence to support that testimony, and the board apparently rejected the testimony on credibility grounds. The same is true of the claimant's statement in a letter to the board that he had support obligations which caused his education to be secondary to his desire for work.

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 385]

Because the claimant's admitted failure to inform the bureau of his student status resulted in the bureau's overpayment to the claimant, we hold the finding of a fault overpayment to be proper.

Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the board.

Order

And Now, June 1, 1981, the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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