This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). A contested case hearing was held on April 27, 2004. The hearing officer resolved the disputed issue by deciding that the appellant (claimant) is not entitled to supplemental income benefits (SIBs) for the 17th quarter. The claimant appealed, arguing that her job search constituted a good faith effort to obtain employment commensurate with her ability to work and that the hearing officer’s determination to the contrary is against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The respondent (carrier) responded, urging affirmance.
Section 408.142(a) and Tex. W.C. Comm’n, 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 130.102 (Rule 130.102) set out the statutory and administrative rule requirements for SIBs. At issue in this case is whether the claimant met the good faith job search requirements of Section 408.142(a)(4) by meeting the requirements of Rule 130.102(e).
The SIBs criterion in issue is whether the claimant made a good faith effort to obtain employment commensurate with her ability to work during the relevant qualifying period of the 17th quarter. 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 effort. The rule then lists information to be considered in determining whether the injured employee has made a good faith effort, including, among other things, the number of jobs applied for, applications which document the job search, the amount of time spent in attempting to find employment, and any job search plan. In this case the claimant documented 18 job contacts during the 17th quarter qualifying period. The hearing officer determined that the claimant had not made a good faith effort to obtain employment commensurate with her ability to work.
The hearing officer is the sole judge of the weight and credibility of the evidence. Section 410.165(a). As the finder of fact, the hearing officer resolves the conflicts in the evidence and determines what facts have been established. Although there is conflicting evidence in this case, we conclude that the hearing officer’s decision 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).
We affirm the decision and order of the hearing officer.
The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is THE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is
CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY
800 BRAZOS STREET, SUITE 750, COMMODORE 1
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701-2554.
Margaret L. Turner
Daniel R. Barry