BRIEF OF CLAIMANT

January 4, 2024

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
BOARD OF REVIEW

BRIEF OF CLAIMANT
Date mailed: _________

Takisha Locke
1413 London St
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Claimant
Claimant: TAKISHA LOCKE S. S. NO. : XXX-XX-7549
Appeals Docket No. : 22-LA-024705

Respectfully,
Claimant hereby files this Brief in support of Claimant’s appeal from the decision of the North
Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Employment Security, Appeals Section,
(Appeals Decision 22-LA-024705).
Background
Claimant had filed for unemployment insurance benefits effective March 22, 2020. The
Adjudicator held that the Claimant had failed to accurately report her work and earnings from
The Benjamin House, Inc. for a period of March 22, 2020 through March 13, 2021.
Consequently, the Adjudicator issued a determination to wit, Claimant was ineligible for benefits
from September 12, 2021 through September 10, 2022; and Claimant had been overpaid
unemployment insurance benefits in the amount of $14,265.00 plus a penalty of $2,139.75, and
overpaid for pandemic supplemental benefits in the amount of $15,600.00 plus a penalty of
$2,340.00. The Claimant appealed the decision of the Adjudicator, at the Division of
Employment Security (hereinafter “DES”).
The issue to be considered by the Appeals Referee was whether the Claimant made a false
statement, misrepresentation, or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact to obtain or increase
unemployment insurance benefits. Accordingly, the Appeals Referee issued findings of fact inter
alia, that the Claimant had started working for The Benjamin House, Inc. on November 15,
2016, and that Claimant works full-time and was a full-time employee during the period of
March 22, 2020 through March 13, 2021 when she maintained a claim for unemployment
benefits.
The Appeals Referee therefore concluded that the Claimant knowingly made false statements
and failed to disclose material facts in order to obtain the amount of benefits she received. The
Appeals Referee upheld the decision of the Adjudicator, that the Claimant had been overpaid

benefits in the amount of $14,265.00 plus a penalty of $2,139.75, and overpaid pandemic
supplemental benefits in the amount of $15,600.00 plus a penalty of $2,340.00.
Arguments
In enacting Chapter 96 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the "Employment Security Law,"
the North Carolina General Assembly declared as the public policy of this State:
Economic insecurity due to unemployment is a serious menace to the health,
morals, and welfare of the people of this State. Involuntary unemployment is
therefore a subject of general interest and concern which requires appropriate
action by the legislature to prevent its spread and to lighten its burden which
now so often falls with crushing force upon the unemployed worker and his
family . . . . The legislature, therefore, declares that in its considered judgment
the public good and the general welfare of the citizens of this State require . . .
the compulsory setting aside of unemployment reserves to be used for the
benefit of persons unemployed through no fault of their own.
N.C. Gen. Stat. 96-2.
Since the aforesaid Act was designed to provide protection against economic insecurity due to
unemployment, it should be liberally construed in favor of applicants. See Watson v. Employment
Security Comm, 111 N.C. App. 410, 413 (N.C. Ct. App. 1993).
In the instant case, the Claimant is the owner of Locke’s Tax & Financials, Inc. The company
deals in Business services and income tax preparation. Accordingly, the Claimant has been self
employed full-time by the said company.
The Claimant was rendered unable to work because of the COVID virus. Notably, the last day
she worked before she applied for benefits was March 20, 2020. As a result of a stay at home
order, the Claimant’s clients were unable to come to her office for her to obtain their confidential
paper work. Further, the IRS had extended tax preparation due to the disaster.
Being unsure of how to apply for benefits under the aforesaid circumstances, the Claimant
approached a DES officer. The said officer advised the Claimant to report her earnings as 0 each
week and her hours worked as 0 each week to be able to receive weekly benefits.
Contrary to the Adjudicator’s and the Appeals Referee’s assertions, Claimant had made all
disclosures as required under the law. For instance, in the responses to DES, the Claimant
disclosed fully that her company had clients, and that she had been working with these clients
when the pandemic struck. The Claimant also stated that she had been working on another job at
the time of the pandemic.
Accordingly, the Claimant contends that she innocently made the claim for benefits based on
how she was advised by the DES official, that the other job did not matter since they were in a

pandemic. The Claimant further asserts that she at no time had any intent to commit a fraud by
failing to make material disclosures in the application for benefits.
Conclusion
In light of the foregoing, the Claimant maintains that she innocently made the application for
benefits. She had no intent to commit a fraudulent conduct. Further, she was a victim of
erroneous advice that she received, pertaining the other job she had been working on during the
pandemic.
Therefore, the Claimant prays the decisions of the Appeals Referee and the Adjudicator be
dismissed in their entirety. Alternatively, in the event the Board holds against the Claimant, the
Claimant prays the Board issues a waiver on the penalty charged against the Claimant.
Thank You,

_____________________
Takisha Locke
Certified Income Tax Professional

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I, Takisha Locke, of address 1413 London St Elizabeth City, NC 27909, do hereby certify that I
mailed a copy of the foregoing Brief to the Board of Review at the following address:

NC Department of Commerce,
Board of Review,
Post Office Box 28263,
Raleigh NC 27611

Dated: __________________

_____________________
Takisha Locke
Certified Income Tax Professional

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