Friday, March 2, 2012


In determining credibility issues, the DOL is guided by certain principles and practices as set forth in Review Letters. Here is the continuation of the introductory paragraph of "REVIEW LETTER 1-2009, March 2009, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE – PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES" - which sets forth the guiding rule the DOL bases its determinations:


The nationwide Unemployment Insurance system was established by the enactment of the Social Security Act in 1935. Section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act requires a state unemployment law to provide for “…such methods of administration …as are found by the Secretary of Labor to be reasonably calculated to insure full payment of unemployment insurance compensation when due.” A discussion of the mandate to pay benefits “when due” is a useful context from which we gain perspective on the time tables and guidelines for making determinations.

In a 1971 case before the United States Supreme Court, California Department of Human Resources v. Java, 402 U.S. 121(1971), the phrase “when due” was interpreted by the Court to mean “at the earliest stage of unemployment that such payments [are] administratively feasible after giving both the worker and the employer an opportunity to be heard.” In its decision, the Court found that a provision of California’s Unemployment Law requiring benefits to be withheld during the pendency of an employer’s objection to the claimant’s eligibility, (after due process fact finding and the issuance of a determination of eligibility), violated the “when due” provision of the Social Security Act. The statutory phrase “when due” and the Court’s interpretation of it, form the basis for the US Department of Labor’s guidelines for the issuance of timely unemployment insurance determinations and payments that New York and all other states are required to follow.

The Federal timeliness guidelines for payments and determinations recognize that in some cases fact-finding may be lengthy and complex, but require nevertheless that the largest proportion of claims be examined and resolved as quickly as feasible."

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