Conford, Collester and Labrecque.
Claimant Virginia DeLorenzo appeals from a decision of the Board of Review, Division of Employment Security, Department of Labor and Industry, which affirmed a determination of the Appeal Tribunal that the claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits as of October 7, 1966 under N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) for leaving work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work and that she was liable for a refund of benefits received in the sum of $685.
Claimant, aged 65, a sewing machine operator employed by M & S Knitwear, terminated her employment on October 7, 1966 when she became disabled due to high blood pressure, a gall bladder condition and appendicitis. No claim was made that her ill health was attributable to her employment. Thereafter, she was paid temporary disability benefits for 8 1/2 weeks under the employer's private plan established pursuant to the Temporary Disability Benefits Law, N.J.S.A. 43:21-25 et seq. During the period of her illness claimant applied for federal social security benefits and received her first monthly benefit of $100.60 in December 1966.
On December 15, 1966 claimant filed a claim for unemployment benefits, and thereafter weekly benefits were paid to her through the week ending April 20, 1967, totalling
$685. On May 27, 1967 claimant's former employer, in response to an inquiry from the local employment office of the Division of Employment Security, said he was willing to rehire the claimant. She returned to her job on June 6, 1967.
On June 1, 1967 a deputy of the Division determined that when claimant left her employment due to illness on October 7, 1966 she left her job voluntarily without good cause attributable to her work. A demand was made by the Division for a refund of the $685 paid in benefits.
Claimant appealed to the Appeal Tribunal which conducted a plenary hearing. Contrary to claimant's testimony that she had been told in December 1966 that there was no work available for her, her employer testified that there had been work for the claimant ever since she left on October 7, 1966. He said that when she called at his plant in December she informed him she was completely retired from work. She told him she would be willing to work no more than one or two days a week because she was then receiving social security benefits. He said it was impossible to tie up a machine for only one or two days a week and could not rehire her on that basis.
The Appeal Tribunal held claimant was disqualified under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 43:21-5 (a) and was liable for the refund of $685. The Board of Review affirmed and this appeal followed.
The appellant alleges that the Board of Review erred in its conclusion that the disqualification provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Law precluded her from receiving benefits. The statute, N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a) provides,
"An individual shall be disqualified for benefits: (a) For the week in which he has left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to such work, and for each week thereafter until he has earned in employment * * * at least 4 times his weekly benefit rate * * *"
Claimant alleges she did not quit her job voluntarily; that her leaving was involuntary because she ...