Abandonment of Benefits
(1)If benefits are abandoned, claimant forfeits all rights under these rules, except the right to give Department clear and convincing evidence that abandonment did not occur. Claimant shall provide such evidence in writing to Department within 30 days of Department’s declaration of abandonment. If Department refuses to reinstate benefits after receipt of clear and convincing evidence that abandonment did not occur, claimant may appeal as provided in these rules.
(2)Benefits shall be deemed abandoned if both of the following occur:
(a)The Department sends three consecutive mailings by regular or certified mail on different dates at least one week apart and all are returned, or the Department’s requests for response contained in each and all of the mailings elicit no response, or Department’s checks or warrants included in each of the mailings are not negotiated.
(b)In the 90 days following the date of the last mailing, the Department receives no signed, written communication from the claimant with a valid residential mailing address.
(3)Upon the occurrence of the preceding, the Department shall declare the claim abandoned and take the following steps:
(a)Department shall record in its records that the claim is declared abandoned. Department shall not be required to make further attempt to find claimant or notify claimant or any other party.
(b)If final award has not been made, Department shall permanently terminate the claim and all prospective benefits as fully and finally abandoned.
(c)If final award has been made, Department shall suspend all benefits until the earlier of six months or claimant’s proof to Department’s satisfaction that claimant remains eligible for benefits. The benefits suspended shall be forfeited. Upon satisfactory proof of eligibility, suspended benefits may be resumed subject to any conditions Department may deem reasonable. Otherwise, Department shall permanently terminate all benefits as fully and finally abandoned.
(4)Any benefit check or warrant that is returned from the last known mailing address or is not negotiated within 90 days of mailing, may be canceled or voided by Department. A payment so canceled may be deemed paid. Its month shall count against any benefit period. Department shall not be required to replace it.
Rule 125-160-0720 — Abandonment of Benefits,