Workers' Compensation

Mississippi: Return to Work at Same or Higher Wages Dooms PPD Claim

Stressing that under the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act—except for scheduled-member cases—indemnity benefits are made for diminished wage-earning capacity and not medical impairment, as such, a state appellate court affirmed the Commission’s findings that an injured worker was not entitled to PPD benefits where he had returned to his same or similar employment and earns the same or higher wages [see Miss. Code Ann. § 71-3-3(i) (2011)]. The court acknowledged that the worker could recover PPD benefits if he or she could show that the post-injury earnings were unreliable due to: (1) increase in general wage levels since the time of accident; (2) the claimant's own greater maturity and training; (3) longer hours worked by the claimant after the accident; (4) payment of wages disproportionate to capacity out of sympathy to the claimant; and (5) the temporary and unpredictable character of post-injury earnings. Here, however, the worker failed to overcome the rebuttable presumption that he had not suffered any disability.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Pruitt v. Howard Industries, 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 672 (Dec. 5, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 81.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law