The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court applied the standard burden of proof in Reinstatement of benefits to the exhaustion of 500 weeks of Partial Disability Benefits. When a Claimant files a Reinstatement Petition to be reinstated to full total disability benefits, he must meet the burden in showing a worsening condition. However, what about after the Claimant reaches the statutory 500 week limit on partial disability benefits and a funded light duty job is terminated?
The Court address this very issue in Sadisky v. WCAB (Allegheny Ludlum Corp.) In this case, the Claimant was working a light duty job, a funded position with Easter Seals, not with his original Employer. After Claimant reached the maximum 500 weeks of partial disability benefits, his funded position with Easter Seals was no longer funded, therefore, no position existed for the Claimant. Claimant filed a Reinstatement Petition to be reinstated to total disability benefits because his light duty position was no longer available.
The Court upheld that even when Claimant reaches the 500 weeks of partial disability benefits and his light duty job is eliminated, to be reinstated to total disability benefits, Claimant must still meet the burden of showing that his condition had worsened. The Court stated that it is not enough for Claimant to just show that light duty is unavailable.
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