The Court of Appeal Issued a Non Published Decision on the Issue of Vocational Rehabilitation

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles in that it discusses the current case law.

The applicant was injured on April 28, 1999. It was an admitted injury. On December 2, 2008 the applicant filed a request for vocational rehabilitation services. On December 29, 2008 the Rehabilitation Unit determined the applicant was entitled to rehabilitation services. This was a final appealable order.

The employer did not file an appeal. The case was heard by a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) to enforce the award on June 28, 2009. It was stipulated that the adjuster did not review the award until April 29, 2009. No appeal was filed.

The WCJ awarded rehabilitation services. The employer filed a petition for reconsideration indicating that the applicant’s rights did not vest prior to the sunset of vocational rehabilitation services January 1. 2009.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the employer and reversed the WCJ.

The appellate Court reversed the WCAB on the grounds the decision was not appealed by the employer. If the decision of the Rehabilitation Unit would have been appealed then the sunset provision would have applied.


Editor: Harvey Brown

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