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At a Glance:
Title:
APD 020151
Date:
February 12, 2002

APD 020151

February 12, 2002

This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). A contested case hearing (CCH) was held on December 13, 2001. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issue by deciding that the appellant (claimant) is not entitled to supplemental income benefits (SIBs) for the second quarter. The claimant appealed and the respondent (carrier) responded.

DECISION

The hearing officer’s decision is affirmed.

The hearing officer did not err in determining that the claimant is not entitled to SIBs for the second quarter. Eligibility criteria for SIBs entitlement are set forth in Section 408.142(a) and Tex. W.C. Comm’n, 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 130.102 (Rule 130.102). The parties stipulated that the claimant sustained a compensable injury, that the claimant has a 17% impairment rating, that the claimant did not commute impairment income benefits, and that the claimant earned no wages and did not seek employment during the qualifying period for the second quarter. The claimant contended that, as a result of her compensable injury to her left hand, she had no ability to work during the qualifying period for the second quarter.

Rule 130.102(d)(4) provides that an injured employee has made a good faith effort to obtain employment commensurate with the employee’s ability to work if the employee has been unable to perform any type of work in any capacity, has provided a narrative report from a doctor which specifically explains how the injury causes a total inability to work, and no other records show that the injured employee is able to return to work. Rule 130.102(e) provides in part that, except as provided in subsection (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of Rule 130.102, an injured employee who has not returned to work and is able to return to work in any capacity shall look for employment commensurate with his or her ability to work every week of the qualifying period and document his or her job search efforts. The hearing officer found that the claimant failed to prove that she was unable to perform any type of work in any capacity, that the claimant failed to provide a narrative report from a doctor which specifically explained how the injury caused a total inability to work, and that the claimant did not make a good faith effort to obtain employment commensurate with her ability to work during the qualifying period for the second quarter. Conflicting evidence was presented at the CCH. The hearing officer is the sole judge of the weight and credibility of the evidence. Section 410.165(a). The hearing officer’s decision that the claimant is not entitled to SIBs for the second quarter is supported by sufficient evidence and is not so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust. Cain v. Bain, 709 S.W.2d 175 (Tex. 1986).

The hearing officer’s decision and order are affirmed.

The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is

CT CORPORATION SYSTEM

350 NORTH ST. PAUL STREET

DALLAS, TEXAS 75201.

Robert W. Potts
Appeals Judge

CONCUR:

Judy L. S. Barnes
Appeals Judge

Edward Vilano
Appeals Judge

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