T. Booth v. UCBR

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA Timothy Booth, : Petitioner : : v. : No. 834 C.D 2021 : Submitted: May 6, 2022 Unemployment Compensation : Board of Review, : Respondent : BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, President Judge HONORABLE CHRISTINE FIZZANO CANNON, Judge HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Senior Judge OPINION NOT REPORTED MEMORANDUM OPINION BY PRESIDENT JUDGE COHN JUBELIRER FILED: September 7, 2022 Timothy Booth (Claimant), pro se, petitions for review of the July 9, 2021 Order (Reconsideration Order) of the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Board of Review (Board) that denied Claimant’s request for reconsideration of its June 1, 2021 order (Merits Order). In the Merits Order, the Board upheld a Referee’s conclusion that Claimant was ineligible for benefits pursuant to Section 401(d)(1) of the UC Law (Law)1 because he was not able and available for suitable work where he had not been medically released to perform work. On appeal, Claimant argues that the Board erred in finding him ineligible because it was the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Police Department’s (Employer) fault he could not return to work and that the UC authorities have intentionally acted to deprive him benefits. Upon our 1 Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 801(d)(1). review of the record, the Law, the Board’s Regulations, and the Reconsideration Order, which is the only order timely appealed, we discern no abuse of discretion and, therefore, affirm. I. BACKGROUND Claimant worked for Employer as a custodian until he took a paid leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act2 (FMLA) on October 4, 2019, which later turned into an unpaid leave of absence. Relevant to this claim, Claimant submitted an internet claim on October 23, 2020, reflecting that Claimant took a leave of absence from work for health reasons caused by his work; there were circumstances under which he would not be able and available for work; the leave of absence was to extend through October 3, 2021; and he was not able and available to work, even if Employer offered restricted duty work, until after he completed his treatment because it made him unable to work. (Certified Record (C.R.) at 8-9, 11- 13.) Claimant reiterated his inability to perform any work in his interview with a UC representative. (Id. at 15.) By Notice of Determination dated January 13, 2021, a UC Service Center found Claimant ineligible for benefits because he was not able and available for work as required by Section 401(d)(1) of the Law for the week ending October 24, 2020. (Id. at 18.) Claimant appealed, asserting that Employer was aware of his medical condition and leave of absence, his work caused his health issues, and he was entitled to UC benefits.3 A Referee held a telephonic hearing on March 16, 2021, at which 2 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, 2611-2620, 2631-2636, 2651-2654. 3 Claimant attached to his appeal various documents and information regarding the alleged theft of his identity, which appears to have been …

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