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 July 15, 2004. The hearing officer determined that the appellant (claimant) is not entitled to supplemental income benefits (SIBs) for the 15th quarter. The claimant appeals this determination. The respondent (carrier) urges affirmance of the hearing officer’s decision.
Section 408.143 provides that an employee continues to be entitled to SIBs after the first compensable quarter if the employee: (1) has not returned to work or has earned less than 80% of the employee's average weekly wage as a direct result of the impairment; and (2) has in good faith sought employment commensurate with his or her ability to work. Tex. W.C. Comm’n, 28 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 130.102(d)(5) (Rule 130.102(d)(5)), provides that the good faith requirement may be satisfied if the claimant “has provided sufficient documentation as described in subsection (e).” Rule 130.102(e) states that “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 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.
Whether the claimant satisfied the good faith requirement for SIBs entitlement was a factual question for the hearing officer to resolve. Section 410.165(a) provides that the hearing officer, as finder of fact, is the sole judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence as well as of the weight and credibility that is to be given to the evidence. It was for the hearing officer, as trier of fact, to resolve the inconsistencies and conflicts in the evidence. Garza v. Commercial Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, 508 S.W.2d 701, 702 (Tex. Civ. App.-Amarillo 1974, no writ). It was the hearing officer's prerogative to believe all, part, or none of the testimony of any witness, including that of the claimant. Aetna Insurance Company v. English, 204 S.W.2d 850 (Tex. Civ. App.-Fort Worth 1947, no writ). Nothing in our review of the record indicates that the hearing officer’s decision is 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, 176 (Tex. 1986).
The decision and order of the hearing officer are affirmed.
The true corporate name of the insurance carrier is TEXAS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY and the name and address of its registered agent for service of process is
MR. RUSSELL OLIVER, PRESIDENT
221 WEST 6TH STREET, SUITE 300
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701.
Gary L. Kilgore