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JOANN E. STRICHKO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/12/88)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: September 12, 1988.

JOANN E. STRICHKO, 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 Joann E. Strichko, No. B-254071.

COUNSEL

William T. Ray, for petitioner.

Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Doyle, Palladino and McGinley, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 372]

Joann E. Strichko (Petitioner) appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's decision denying her unemployment compensation benefits based on sections 401(c) and 4(w)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We affirm.

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 373]

Petitioner was employed by Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal as a stationary engineer. Petitioner stopped working on June 11, 1985 due to a non job related physical injury. On June 10, 1986, Petitioner presented her employer with medical certification that she could return to work of a sedentary nature. The following day, Petitioner presented her employer with medical certification that she could return to work on June 11, 1986 with no restrictions. Petitioner was not returned to work by her employer.

Petitioner did not file an application for unemployment compensation benefits until August 27, 1986. At that time, Petitioner requested that her application be backdated to June 8, 1986 and that her claim for benefits for the waiting week ending June 14, 1986 and the compensable weeks ending June 21, 1986 through August 23, 1986, also be backdated. The Office of Employment Security (OES) denied benefits because Petitioner's claim was filed late.

Petitioner appealed the OES determination alleging that she was given incorrect information about benefits. The referee affirmed the OES determination. The

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 374]

Board, without taking any additional testimony, affirmed the referee's decision.

On appeal to this court,*fn2 Petitioner contends that her local OES office gave her incorrect information upon which she relied and this constituted a constructive refusal by OES to accept her application.*fn3

This court has held that a claimant who files late is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits, unless misled by unemployment compensation officials. Snipas v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 43 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 129, 401 A.2d 888 (1979). However, in this case the referee found that Petitioner was not misled by OES personnel in regard to proper reporting requirements. Finding of fact No. 10.

Petitioner, the only witness to testify in this case, testified that she did not file her application prior to August 27, 1986 because she called the unemployment office and was told that she would not be eligible for benefits because she had not worked for a calendar year. N.T. at 3. However, the referee determined that Petitioner's testimony was not credible, stating in her discussion that she could not give credibility to the Petitioner's allegation that Petitioner was misinformed by OES in regard to her eligibility.

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 375]

It is well established that the credibility of witnesses is for the Board to determine, Mikolayczak v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 94 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 163, 503 A.2d 100 (1986). The Board may disregard even uncontradicted testimony, Carriers Terminal Company v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 68 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 586, 449 A.2d 873 (1982).

Accordingly, we affirm.

Order

And Now, September 12, 1988, the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the above-captioned matter is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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