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Kimberly Ann Marasco v. Board of Review

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


January 17, 2012

KIMBERLY ANN MARASCO, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND AT&T WIRELESS, RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 272,021.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 13, 2011

Before Judges Fuentes and Harris.

Appellant Kimberly Ann Marasco appeals from the decision of the Board of Review denying her application for emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008, 26 U.S.C.A. §3304. She also appeals the Board's decision directing her to refund a total of $15,300 in benefit payments she received for the weeks ending July 25, 2009, through January 23, 2010. We affirm.

Appellant was employed in various positions from 2006 to 2008. She was first employed by Spherion Professional Services in New Jersey until January 1, 2007. From this point, AT&T hired appellant to serve in Morristown, New Jersey until September 2008, when that office closed. Appellant then worked for Tact Medical Staffing in New York for approximately one month, until she was laid off.

On February 1, 2009, appellant filed to receive regular unemployment compensation benefits. Her application was approved and she received weekly benefit payments of $584, until this plan was exhausted. Thereafter, appellant applied and was found eligible to receive EUC benefits commencing the week ending July 25, 2009. The EUC benefit payments consisted of $584 per week, with a maximum total benefit of $15,300. Appellant received the maximum benefit amount in January 23, 2010.

Sometime after January 23, 2010, the New Jersey Division of Unemployment and Disability Insurance determined that appellant was entitled to receive regular unemployment benefits from the State of New York. The Division informed the New York unemployment benefit authorities to back date the regular payments to July 20, 2009. Based on this, appellant collected benefits from New York during the same time period she received EUC benefits from New Jersey.

Because appellant was eligible to and did in fact receive regular unemployment benefits from New York, she was ineligible for EUC benefits. On February 9, 2010, the Division reexamined appellant's EUC application and determined that she improperly received $15,300 in EUC benefits. The Division directed appellant to return these funds to the State of New Jersey. Acting on appellant's appeal, the Appeals Tribunal affirmed the Director's determination. The Board of Review reached the same conclusion.

In her appeal before us, appellant argues that she did not intentionally seek to recover double benefits. The error was made by the Division. She thus argues that it would be unfair under these circumstances, to require her to refund $15,300. She also maintains that this would create a great financial hardship.

We recognize that appellant did not engage in fraud or any other deceptive practice. Nonetheless, she was not legally entitled to receive the EUC benefits. N.J.S.A. 43:21-16(d) mandates the full repayment of unemployment benefits received by one who is deemed ineligible, regardless of the good faith of the individual involved. Bannan v. Bd. of Review, 299 N.J. Super. 671, 674 (App. Div. 1997).

Our review of administrative agency decisions is limited. Brady v. Bd. of Review, 152 N.J. 197, 210 (1997). We are compelled to affirm the agency decision unless it was arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. Ibid. We discern no reason to interfere with the Board's determination.

Affirmed.

A-1282-10T3

20120117

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