We anticipate that injured workers' attorneys will file petitions for reinstatement of total disability benefits in light of the recent invalidation of Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) methodology by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Please click here to read the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Alert regarding the 9/18/15 Commonwealth Court Decision in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District).
The challenges to partial disability status will likely take the form of petitions for reinstatement (of total disability status) or even less formal requests by employees' attorneys for a change of status by agreement. Employers and insurers should be on the lookout for such petitions and requests, even in claims where the change in disability status went into effect many years ago. Employers and insurers should seek guidance and advice on how to respond to such petitions and requests. The responses may vary depending upon how the change of status was accomplished (by notice, agreement or litigation) or the overall claim status, including modification of benefits by other means. Guidance may also be necessary on IREs still in process or just completed.
Be on the alert for information about a Weber Gallagher webinar to be offered by our firm in early October to address the issues raised by the Protz decision.
For more information, please contact Stephen Potako at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267.765.4132 or David Greene at email@example.com or 215.972.7910.
Sara L. De Long