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KENNETH HARGENRADER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/13/86)

decided: August 13, 1986.

KENNETH HARGENRADER, 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 Kenneth Hargenrader, No. B-228848.

COUNSEL

James Bukac, for petitioner.

James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, with him, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Senior Judges Rogers and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 626]

Kenneth Hargenrader (claimant) appeals a decision of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 627]

Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's determination that the claimant was financially ineligible to receive extended unemployment compensation benefits because he had insufficient base year wages. Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 813(i). The issue of the case is provided by the Board's determination that the Supplemental Unemployment benefits received by the claimant from U. S. Steel, an employer, did not constitute wages within the meaning of Section 4(x) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 753(x), and should not, therefore, be included in the total of the claimant's base year wages for the purpose of determining his eligibility. The claimant says the Supplemental Unemployment benefits should have been counted as wages and if they are not his constitutional rights are violated.

The claimant had been employed by U. S. Steel and Judith Messer. The record does not tell us whether these were successive or concurrent employers. He became eligible for unemployment compensation and received benefits pursuant to an application filed with the Office of Employment Security (OES) on April 3, 1983. This application established the claimant's base year period for wages as January 1, 1982 through December 31, 1982. During this time the claimant received, in addition to pay for working, the sum of $214.20 in benefits from a trust called a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan established by U. S. Steel pursuant to a provision of the collective bargaining agreement between it and its organized employees. The Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan paid benefits to workers during layoffs and during weeks in which they worked fewer than 32 hours.

After exhausting his regular unemployment compensation benefits, the claimant filed an application

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 628]

    with the Office of Employment Security (OES) for extended benefits effective October 9, 1983. The OES issued a determination finding the claimant financially ineligible. It refused to include as ...


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