• Delaware Superior Court
  • D66312
  • May 20 2014 (Date Decided)

DELAWARE SUPERIOR COURT

Sekyere v. Unemployment Ins. Appeal Bd., DeFAX Case No. D66312 (Del. Super. May 20, 2014) Streett, J. (16 pages)

Unemployment insurance claimant's appeal from Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's decision denying benefits was not untimely where it was mailed within 10 days of Board's remailing of decision to corrected address.

Appellant Godred Sekyere applied to for unemployment insurance benefits. Appellant stated on the claim form that his mailing address was "158 Paper Mill Rd Apt 1102 Lawrenceville, GA 30046."

The Department of Labor (DOL) determined appellant was not entitled to receive benefits. The notice of determination did not correctly state appellant's apartment number ("unit number"). On March 16, 2012, the Claims Deputy issued a Notice of Determination that appellant was ineligible to receive benefits. The Notice was sent on that date to an address that did not correctly state appellant's unit number. On May 13, 2013, appellant sent a letter to the DOL seeking an appeal. The letter stated his address correctly.

On May 22, the Claims Deputy determined that the appeal was late and that the earlier determination had become final. Notice of that determination was sent to appellant on that dated. The address did not correctly state the unit number. On May 28, notice of a telephone hearing was mailed by the Appeals Referee to appellant, again to an incorrect unit number.

On June 10, the Appeals Referee dismissed the appeal for appellant's failure to appear at the telephone hearing. Notice of the decision was mailed to appellant, again to an incorrect unit number. The notice advised appellant he had 10 days from the mailing date to appeal.

Two days later, on June 12, someone determined that the June 10 notice had been sent to an incorrect address. The next day, June 13, the notice was resent, to the correct address. No certification of that later mailing date was entered into the record.

Appellant appealed the Appeals Referee's decision in a letter, dated June 23, advising he had never received notice of a hearing. On July 9, 2013, appellee Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board determined appellant's appeal of the Appeals Referee's June 10 decision was untimely because it was filed more than 10 days after the decision.

The Superior Court determined that the statutory time for filing an appeal did not run until the decision was mailed to appellant at his correct address of record. That day fell on June 13. The tenth day following fell on a Sunday; accordingly, appellant had until June 24 to file his appeal.

The DOL erred as to appellant's mailing address. Thus, it could not be presumed that a "proper mailing" went out on June 10 or that appellant received the copy of the decision that was mailed on that date. The 10-day statutory appeal period should have been adjusted.

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