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Allen v GTE North 16.45

Section 32a

PROCEDURE, Timeliness of request for reconsideration, One year limit, Benefit interpretation

CITE AS: Allen v GTE North, Muskegon Circuit Court, No. 96-3-35589-AE (May 29, 1997)

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Bernie Allen, et al.

Employer: GTE North

Docket No. B96-02994-140610W

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: "One year after the mailing of the determination or redetermination in dispute, the Commission no longer has any jurisdiction to review its decision."

FACTS: Claimants applied for unemployment benefits after they accepted an early retirement package in 1993 and 1994. Claimants were found eligible for benefits subject to a pension reduction based on their prorated lump sum pension payment. The Commission issued determinations to each of the claimants holding them ineligible pursuant to the pension set-off provisions of Section 27(f)(5) of the Act. Sixteen of the claimants filed timely protests, and were issued redeterminations, but failed to appeal further. The other ten claimants did not protest the determinations. In November of 1995, the Commission issued a new Benefit Interpretation reversing its position on the treatment of lump sum pension payments subsequently rolled into an IRA account. In January 1996, based on the Commission's change in position, the claimants sought reconsideration of the determinations and redeterminations issued on their claims and contended that under the Commission's revised position, they would be entitled to receive unemployment insurance benefits. The claimants' requests for reconsideration were denied because they were filed more than a year after the issuance of the determinations and redeterminations claimants sought to have reconsidered.

DECISION: The claimants' requests for reconsideration were properly denied.

RATIONALE: The Commission lacks jurisdiction to reconsider a determination or redetermination after one year has passed since the mailing of the adjudication. Good cause for reconsideration is not a factor to be considered after the expiration of one year. "The Court further finds that the Commission's Benefit Interpretations lack the force of law. The fact that these Benefit Interpretations may have been revised following the initial determination does not change the current situation or afford the claimants additional rights."


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