Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Judy K. Levy v. Dep't. of Health and Social Services, LIRC and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Case No. 003-742 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Co., August 29, 1988)

Digest Codes: CP 360

Claimant was discharged in May 1987 and applied for unemployment benefits in weeks 23 and 24. The employer alleged misconduct and an Initial Determination finding misconduct was entered in week 25. Claimant received a claim card for week 25 but did not file it; she claimed later that she thought she did not have to file weekly claims because she had appealed the Initial Determination. Her appeal of the misconduct finding resulted in a finding of no misconduct. She asserted that after she received the Appeal Tribunal Decision finding no misconduct, but did not begin receiving benefits, she called the department and was told to wait until she received a "white card", and that she waited and it did not come.  She asserted it was only after more calls to the department that someone told her she had to come in and reopen her claim.  After claimant reactivated her claim in week 39, benefits for weeks 25 through 38 were denied because she had failed to give timely notice of unemployment and failed to report in person to initiate or reactivate her claim for benefits as to those weeks.  

Held: Affirmed. The Commission properly held that claimant's failures to file her weekly claim and to report in person to reactivate her claim were not for "exceptional circumstances" within the meaning of the applicable adminsitrative rule, ILHR 129.01(3).  It is not disputed that claimant did not comply with the notice requirements. She received adequate instruction at the time of the Initial Determination. Her claim of misunderstanding is not an exceptional circumstance which allows waiver of the requirements.   The conditions listed  in the rule which allow a finding of exceptional circumstances are very specific and pertain to some fault on the part of one other than the claimant which might jeopardize the ability of the claimant to receive benefits.  Although it is true that the rule states that exceptional circumstances are not limited to the things listed there, the Court nevertheless concludes that other possible exceptions must deal with acts or actions that would result in a deprivation to the claimant that are not attributable to the claimant.

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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