On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 207,250.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges R. B. Coleman and Coburn.
Michael Peto appeals from the dismissal of his appeal to the Board of Review. The Board accepted the Deputy Examiner's determination of disqualification for benefits based on Peto's untimely appeal. Peto asserts that his landlord delayed in giving him his mail, but the Board concluded that Peto received the Deputy's determination and waited beyond the specified time period before filing his appeal. The Board, therefore, held that the Deputy's determination became final, and it upheld the disqualification. We likewise affirm.
The applicable statute, N.J.S.A. 43:21-6(b)(1) provides in pertinent part that:
Unless the claimant or any interested party, within seven calendar days after delivery of notification of an initial determination or within 10 calendar days after such notification was mailed to his or their last-known address and addresses, files an appeal from such decision, such decision shall be final and benefits shall be paid or denied in accordance therewith[.]
Peto admits he did not file his appeal for twelve days after the Deputy's notification was mailed to his last-known address, and the Board justifiably determined that he did not meet his burden of showing good cause for the late filing. The standard of our review has been concisely expressed by the Supreme Court as follows:
Although in reviewing the decision of an administrative agency, we must give deference to the agency's findings of fact, and some deference to its interpretation of statutes and regulations within its implementing and enforcing responsibility, we are in no way bound by the agency's interpretation of a statute or its determination of a strictly legal issue.
Utley v. Bd. of Review, 194 N.J. 534, 551 (2008) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Thus, we are not bound by the agency's decision; however, in this instance, the statute is unambiguous. The agency applied the statute according to its terms. We perceive no basis for us to disagree with its disposition of the matter.
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