Articles Posted in Public Benefits

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Jessica Barr appealed an Idaho Industrial Commission (Commission) decision finding her ineligible for unemployment benefits and affirming the decision of an Appeals Examiner for the Idaho Department of Labor’s (IDOL) Appeals Bureau. The Commission found that Barr was discharged by her employer, Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. USA (Citicorp), for misconduct in connection with employment and determined that Barr was not eligible for benefits pursuant to Idaho Code section 72-1366(5). Barr argued that Citicorp representatives provided false information to the Appeals Examiner and her unemployment benefits should have been restored. Finding that the Commission's decision was supported by substantial and competent evidence, the Supreme Court affirmed the IDOL Appeals Examiner's decision. View "Barr v. CitiCorp Credit Svc" on Justia Law

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In 2008, Joseph Gerdon was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident that arose out of and in the course of his employment. He was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a coworker, who drove off the road. The Industrial Commission awarded Gerdon benefits. Gerdon requested a hearing to determine whether he was also entitled to benefits for a compensable psychological injury. That issue was heard before a referee, who issued proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommendation that Gerdon had failed to prove that he was entitled to additional psychological care. The Commission adopted the referee’s proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and issued an order. Gerdon appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. Because the Commission’s decision was based upon its constitutional right to weigh the evidence and determine the credibility of conflicting expert opinions, the Supreme Court affirmed the Commission's order. View "Gerdon v. Con Paulos, Inc." on Justia Law

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While claimant-appellant Judith Weible was employed by Safeway, Inc., she requested time off because she had to have surgery. Safeway granted her request and agreed to hold her job until she was able to return to work, which she intended to do. She was gone for approximately six weeks. While on leave, claimant applied for unemployment benefits. She was denied because during her leave of absence she was still employed, even though she was not working. An appeals examiner upheld the denial, and the Industrial Commission upheld the appeals examiner. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the Industrial Commission. View "Weible v. Dept of Labor" on Justia Law

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Appellant Billy J. Bringman appealed an Idaho Industrial Commission decision in favor of Respondents New Albertsons, Inc. and the Idaho Department of Labor. The Commission determined Bringman willfully made a false statement or failed to report a material fact regarding his separation from Albertsons to obtain unemployment benefits from the Department and ordered Bringman to repay the benefits he received and pay a civil penalty. Finding no reversible error with that decision, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Bringman v. New Albertsons, Inc." on Justia Law

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Melvin Peterson died in 2007. Prior to his death, he owned some residential real property. In 2001, Peterson executed a Gift Deed of his real property to his daughter, Cathie Peterson, retaining for himself a life estate in the property. Shortly thereafter, he applied for Medicaid and began receiving Medicaid benefits in March 2003. At the time of his death, Melvin Peterson had received a total of $171,386.94 in Medicaid benefits. Cathie was appointed personal representative. IDHW filed a timely Claim Against Estate and later an Amended Claim Against Estate in the amount of $171,386.94. Cathie disallowed the claims without stating a reason. In response, IDHW filed a Petition for Allowance of Amended Claim. After a hearing, the court granted IDHW's petition. After receiving no response to its claim against the estate, IDHW filed a Petition to Require Payment of Claim, setting forth its demand for payment of the value of Melvin Peterson's life estate. After a hearing, the magistrate court entered an order requiring payment of IDHW's claim. The Order held that the life estate was an asset of the estate for purposes of Medicaid recovery and ordered the personal representative to add the life estate interest to the estate's inventory and assign it an appropriate value. However, the personal representative instead filed and was granted a motion to hire an appraiser to determine the fee simple value of the residential real property. After the personal representative failed to file an appraisal, IDHW filed various motions relative to the appraisal, sale of the property, and payment of its claim. The magistrate court granted IDHW's motions to compel appraisal, sale of the property, and payment of the Medicaid claim, which the personal representative subsequently appealed. The district court vacated the magistrate's Order and remanded the matter for additional findings of fact and conclusions of law. Shortly after the ruling on appeal was entered, Cathie Peterson sought permission from the magistrate court to sell the property, liquidate an escrow account, and pay counsel for the personal representative of the estate. On the same day, she also filed an Amended Personal Representative's Inventory assigning the life estate zero value. Attorney Brent Featherston filed a Demand for Notice and Special Appearance on behalf of "Cathie Peterson, individually,"stating that he was seeking to vacate and dismiss all orders entered by the magistrate court regarding her real property. IDHW responded by filing a petition to remove Cathie Peterson as personal representative of the estate, which the magistrate court granted. Following a court trial, the magistrate court held that the life estate remainder interest was an estate asset of value for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement and that its value was to be determined in accordance with IDAPA 16.03.05.837.01. On appeal, the district court affirmed the magistrate court. Cathie Peterson appealed. The Supreme Court found that both the magistrate court and the district court had subject matter jurisdiction over this case and personal jurisdiction over Cathie Peterson individually, and that the entire residential property that Cathie Peterson received from her father was an asset of his estate and subject to Medicaid recovery. Thus, the district court erred to the extent it held that only the remainder interest in the estate was subject to Medicaid recovery. Furthermore, the Court held that Cathie Peterson failed to show that the district court's decision denying her claim for offsets was unsupported by the evidence. View "Dept. of Health & Welfare v. Peterson" on Justia Law

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Claimant DeAnne Muchow began working for Varsity Contractors, Inc in 2011 as a human resources assistant. During her employment, the claimant had an ongoing conflict with her supervisor and had lodged several complaints about her supervisor with the director of the department. In an effort to resolve the conflict, the director held a meeting with claimant and her supervisor. The claimant and her supervisor both stated that they had documentation outlining their complaints. The director told them to get their documentation and bring it back to his office. The claimant asked if they could do so the following day because she wanted time to look over her documentation, but the director denied that request because he was leaving the next day on a business trip. He did give the claimant a few minutes to look over her documentation. She returned to her desk and after a few minutes printed her documentation. She took the documents and walked toward the director, who was standing outside his office. The claimant waved the documents in the air, told the director she had them and was going to shred them, and walked past him toward the shredder. He told her not to shred them, but she continued to the shredder and shredded them. The director then discharged her for insubordination. The claimant applied for unemployment benefits, which were initially denied. She appealed, and an appeals examiner reversed the ruling that the claimant was not entitled to unemployment benefits. He held that as a matter of law there was no insubordination. The basis of his ruling was that the director’s order not to shred the documents was not a directive that the director was authorized to give and entitled to have obeyed, because the documents belonged to the claimant and contained her personal notations about issues and problems she was having with a coworker. The employer then appealed to the Industrial Commission. The commission adopted the findings of fact made by the appeals examiner. However, the commission disagreed with the conclusions of law made by the appeals examiner. The commission concluded that her conduct constituted employment-related misconduct, and it reversed the decision of the appeals examiner and held that the claimant was not eligible for unemployment benefits. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court found no reversible error in the Commission's decision and affirmed. View "Muchow v. Varsity Contractors, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Department of Health and Welfare appealed an order that disallowed its attempt to recover assets in a probate proceeding. The Department sought to recover assets of a dead Medicaid recipient for medical assistance payments made on the decedent's behalf from her widower. The magistrate court held that the Department could not reach the separate property of the decedent's spouse. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded the Department was permitted to seek recovery from the decedent's community property that was transmuted to her widow as his separate property. View "In re Estate of Wiggins" on Justia Law

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Appellant Habib Sadid, a former tenured professor of civil engineering at Idaho State University, appealed an Industrial Commission Order that reversed the Department of Labor Appeals Examiner's grant of unemployment benefits to Appellant after he was terminated by Idaho State University. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the Commission's finding of misconduct was supported by substantial and competent evidence. As such, the Court affirmed the Industrial Commission's order. View "Sadid v. Idaho State University" on Justia Law

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This appeal arose from a claim filed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in the probate proceeding of George D. Perry, the deceased spouse of Medicaid recipient Martha J. Perry. The Department sought to recover funds under I.C. 56-218 from the sale of the couple’s home (their only significant asset) to recoup Medicaid benefits paid to Martha during her lifetime. The magistrate court disallowed the Department’s claim for recovery, finding that Martha had no interest in the real property because George, acting for Martha under a power of attorney, conveyed the property to himself before his death. That decision was upheld on appeal to the district court. The Department appealed to the Supreme Court. Upon review, the Court found that the district court erred in finding that federal law preempted the Department's ability to recover from George's estate what was once Martha's community property during the marriage. The Court reversed the district court and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Id. Dept. of Health & Welfare v. McCormick" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs-Respondents father and daughter Jose and Nayeli Carrillo, father and daughter, sued Boise Tire Co. (Boise Tire), alleging that Boise Tire improperly performed a tire rotation on their vehicle and that as a result, the Carrillos and Marisela Lycan, Jose’s wife and Nayeli's mother, were in a motor vehicle accident. Marisela was killed, Jose was injured, and eighteen-month old Nayeli underwent testing that revealed no physical injury. A jury found that Boise Tire's conduct was reckless. Boise Tire moved for new trial on the grounds that: (1) the Carrillos' pleadings merely alleged negligence and therefore the court committed legal error by permitting the Carrillos to argue that Boise Tire's conduct was reckless; (2) the jury verdict was excessive and the result of passion or prejudice; and (3) the jury verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence. The district court issued a remittitur as to Nayeli's noneconomic damage award but otherwise denied the motion. Boise Tire appealed that denial and the court's holding that I.C. 6-1606 did not require the Carrillos' damage awards to be reduced by the subrogation interest transferred from the Carrillos' insurer to their attorney, nor by social security benefits obtained by the Carrillos. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's denial of Boise Tire's motion for a new trial, vacated the judgment and remanded the case for the district court to reduce Jose's personal injury reward by the value of his social security benefits when judgment was originally entered. View "Carrillo v. Boise Tire Co., Inc." on Justia Law