Backdating an unemployment application in pennsylvania
The claimant used the internet to open an application for benefits on [or] about June 30, 2012.(C. 8.) Based on Section 401(c) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), relating to extended filings, the Referee denied Claimant's “request to backdate the date of his application to May 13, 2012 and to backdate credit for the waiting week ending May 19, 2012 and the claim weeks ending May 26, 2012 through June 30, 2012.” (Id.)Claimant appealed to the Board, and the Board affirmed the Referee's decision. (Id.) Furthermore, the Board specifically noted that “the medical issues of the claimant's immediate family members, were serious, but they existed over a considerable period of time and should not have kept the claimant from timely filing for benefits.” (Id.)On appeal, Claimant argues that the Board erred in affirming the Referee's decision denying his request for backdating. Code § 65.43a, his mother's and son's medical issues entitle him to have his application for benefits backdated by six weeks.Based on the same regulation, he also argues that he is entitled to have his claim weeks ending on May 26, 2012, through June 30, 2012, backdated.The Department of Labor and Industry (Department) promulgated regulations that govern the mechanics of filing an application and claims for compensation and the backdating of applications and claims weeks. The reasons for late filing of application for benefits include, inter alia, the “[s]ickness or death of a member of the claimant's immediate family .” 34 Pa. With regard to the filing of claims, “[f]or a week in which a claimant was employed less than his full time work, the claimant shall file a claim for compensation not later than the last day of the second week after the employer paid wages for that week.” 34 Pa. Like an application for benefits, claim weeks also may be backdated by the number of weeks indicated in Section 65.43a(e) if the claimant's untimely filing of the claims is due to one or more of the enumerated reasons in Section 65.43a(e). In other words, contrary to the Board's argument, a claimant does not need to establish that the sickness or death of an immediate family member actually prevented the claimant from filing an application or claim for benefits at an earlier date when seeking backdating under subsection (e), as the word “prevent” does not appear anywhere in that subsection.
The Board further argues that because Claimant is ineligible to backdate his application, it logically follows that he also is ineligible to backdate claims for weeks ending May 26, 2012, through June 30, 2012. Thus, if a claimant is determined to be eligible for backdating on account of sickness or death of an immediate family member, then his application and claims weeks must be backdated by two weeks only. Based on our interpretation of the Department's regulations, a claimant must merely demonstrate that an immediate family member is sick or has died to be eligible for extended filing under Section 65 .43a(e) of the regulations. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part and reverse in part. 1–2.) In addition, Claimant also requested backdating of his claims for the weeks ending May 26, 2012, through June 30, 2012. 3.) Claimant appealed the Service Center's determination, and a Referee conducted an evidentiary hearing. (Id.) He also testified that on June 30, 2012, he applied for unemployment benefits via the internet. at 3–4.) He testified that he waited until the end of June to apply for benefits because a number of his close relatives had severe medical issues. at 4.) Specifically, Claimant testified that, since the beginning of May 2012, his eighty-two-year-old mother's health declined as a result of cancer.