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Kalberer v. Department of Employment and Economic Development

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

August 12, 2013

George H. Kalberer, Relator,
v.
Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Department of Employment and Economic Development File No. 30065863-2.

George H. Kalberer, Northfield, Minnesota (pro se relator).

Lee B. Nelson, Amy R. Lawler, Department of Employment and Economic Development, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent).

Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Stoneburner, Judge; and Connolly, Judge.

STONEBURNER, Judge.

In this certiorari appeal from the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for Tier 3 emergency unemployment compensation, relator argues that but for respondent's failure to "transfer" his benefits to Michigan, he would have been eligible for Tier 3 benefits in Michigan. Relator also makes numerous arguments regarding his former employment that are unrelated to his eligibility for benefits. Because the ULJ did not err in determining that relator is not entitled to the benefits he seeks, we affirm.

FACTS

In April 2010, relator George H. Kalberer resigned from his employment as a journeyman mailer for the Star Tribune. Relator subsequently established a standard unemployment-insurance benefits account (STUI) with respondent Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), effective December 5, 2010. In August 2011, relator exhausted his STUI and began collecting Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). Relator collected Tier 1 EUC from August 2011 through February 2012. He then began collecting Tier 2 EUC, which were exhausted in June 2012.

In May 2012, relator moved to Michigan in an effort to collect Tier 3 EUC. On July 13, 2012, DEED issued to relator an amended determination of benefits account which provided relator with an additional week of Tier 2 benefits but no Tier 3 benefits. Relator challenged DEED's determination that he was not entitled to collect Tier 3 EUC. Following a de novo hearing, the ULJ, based on her determination that applicants who exhausted their Tier 2 EUC the week of April 8, 2012 or later are not eligible for Tier 3 EUC, held that because relator exhausted his Tier 2 EUC in June 2012, he is not eligible to receive Tier 3 EUC. Relator requested reconsideration, and the ULJ affirmed the decision. This certiorari appeal followed.

DECISION

When reviewing the decision of a ULJ, this court may affirm the decision, remand the case for further proceedings, or reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the relator may have been prejudiced because, among other reasons, the decision is "affected by [an] error of law" or is "unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted." Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d) (2012). Interpretation of a statute presents a question of law, which is reviewed de novo. Swenson v. Nickaboine, 793 N.W.2d 738, 741 (Minn. 2011).

Generally, an applicant who receives unemployment benefits under Minnesota law will collect the maximum state benefit in 26 weeks. Minn. Stat. § 268.07, subd. 2a(c)(2) (2012) (providing that eligible applicant is generally entitled to receive 26 times the weekly unemployment benefit amount for which the applicant qualifies); Voge v. Dep't of Emp't & Econ. Dev., 794 N.W.2d 662, 664-65 (Minn.App. 2011) (stating that, absent interruption in benefit payment or change in amount of payments, applicant may collect the maximum yearly benefit in 26 weeks). An interruption or reduction in benefit payments may prolong the time it takes to reach the maximum yearly benefit for which an applicant is eligible. Voge, 794 N.W.2d at 665.

An applicant who collects the maximum benefit amount before the end of the unemployment-benefit year may be eligible to receive federal extended unemployment benefits. Id. Eligibility requirements for such extended benefits are set forth in Minn. Stat. § 268.115, subd. 3 (2012), which conforms to the federal requirements of the Federal–State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, 26 U.S.C. § 3304 (2006) (EUC Act). Id. Since 1970, congress has created additional programs, including the tiered EUC program at issue in this case. See Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-252, § 4002, 122 Stat. 2323, 2354–55, amended by Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. ...


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