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

Subject: Terrald P. Haney v. LIRC, Case 10-CV-172 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Ashland Co., July 8, 2011)

Digest Codes: CP 395 - Setting aside benefit year

Claimant filed a claim for benefits on or about October 30, 2008. The base period for his claim was thus Calendar quarters 3/07-2/08. He had started a job with Weathershield during June 2008 -- and thus within his base period -- but he did not actually receive his first paycheck for that work until July 2008, so those wages were not included in his base period. Claimant later sought to be allowed to set aside his benefit year so that an alternative benefit year could be computed using his wages from Weathershield. This request was denied at all levels.

Held: Affirmed. Wis. Adm. Code s. DWD 129.04(2) provides that DWD may set aside a benefit year if certain conditions are met. Section 129.04(2)(b) lists exceptional circumstances to be considered. Subs. (b)2. permits recalculation if the department makes an error relating to the establishment of the claimant's benefit year. Here, there was no error. Although claimant would like to have his earned wages from Weathershield considered in computing his benefit year, this really is an argument based on claimant's view of what the law ought to be, rather than what it is. Wis. Stat. § 108.02(4m)(a) provides that “base period wages” means earnings paid to an employee. The Weathershield wages were paid outside the claimant's base period. While subs. (b)4. permits a recalculation if the claimant establishes a benefit year in the two weeks preceding the first full week of a new calendar quarter, that was not the case here so that section is inapplicable. Finally, while a benefit year may be set aside under subs. (b)8. for other exceptional circumstances that are related to establishing a benefit year over which a claimant has no control, this does not apply. Claimant decided when to start his claim. DWD did not make any statement to influence his timing and it did not give him any false or misleading information. While after his benefits were established, claimant was given wrong information about what benefits he"d receive, there"s no indication the correct information, if given, would have changed his benefits, so that is not a basis for reversing the commission

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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