On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 140,805.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Graves and Yannotti.
Audra D. Calloway (Calloway) appeals from a decision of the Board of Review (the Board), which reversed the Appeal Tribunal's determination that she was "not ineligible for additional benefits during training as provided by N.J.S.A. 43:21-60." After reviewing the record in light of the applicable law, we affirm.
Calloway filed for unemployment benefits effective January 1, 2006, and she collected benefits for twenty-six weeks before applying for additional benefits under the New Jersey Workforce Development Act, N.J.S.A. 43:21-57 to -66. Although Calloway was approved for a $4200 educational grant, the Deputy Director (the Deputy) of the Division of Unemployment and Disability Insurance (the Division) found Calloway was ineligible for "Additional Benefits During Training." The Deputy reasoned: "The training that you are attending or planning to attend is not full-time."
Calloway appealed the Deputy's decision to the Appeal Tribunal, which held a hearing on March 6, 2007. During the hearing, Calloway stated she was enrolled in a cardiovascular program at the School of Medical Technology. She admitted the course met for "a total of fourteen school hours per week," and therefore she did "not meet the twenty hour criteria" for full-time training as required by N.J.S.A. 43:21-60(f) and N.J.A.C. 12:23-4.2(a)(1). Nevertheless, the Appeal Tribunal issued a written decision dated March 6, 2007, which stated in part:
In this matter, the claimant contends that she was originally advised that her program was approved. The Appeal Tribunal views the claimant's testimony as credible due to the lack of challenging evidence.
The burden of proof [rests] upon the [D]ivision to demonstrate the claimant's reason for being ineligible for additional benefits. The [D]ivision has failed to provide this evidence.
The claimant followed the [D]ivision's directions and was advised that she was approved for additional benefits. There is no evidence to show that the claimant is ineligible for benefits. Therefore, the claimant is not ineligible for additional unemployment benefits during training as provided by [N.J.S.A. 43:21-60(f)].
The Division appealed the Appeal Tribunal's decision to the Board, and in a written decision dated April 12, 2007, the Board reversed. The Board's findings and conclusions included the following:
N.J.S.A. 43:21-60(f) provides in part: Eligibility for Additional Benefits:
(f) Enrolls in vocational training, remedial education or a combination of both on a full-time basis.
The Appeal Tribunal held the claimant [is] not ineligible for benefits as she was originally approved and there was no evidence to show that the claimant should be ineligible for benefits. We do not agree. Based on the above statute, in order to be eligible for Additional Benefits During Training, the claimant must have enrolled in an approved training program that was full time. The undisputed testimony at the hearing revealed that the training she enrolled in was only part ...