Workers' Compensation

Texas Appeals Panel Decision No. 100316 – 90 Day Finality

   By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford

The carrier mailed the first certification of MMI/IR to the claimant’s correct address on July 2, 2008.  The original envelope placed into evidence, was stamped “unclaimed” with three notices of attempted delivery.  The attorney at the hearing opened the original envelope which included the PLN-3, the DWC-69, and the report.  The Claimant testified he never received the certification.  He also testified that sometimes the U.S. Postal Service delivered his mail to another address and he received mail that was not his.  The Hearing Officer believed Claimant did not receive notice.  Citing Appeals Panel Decision No. 080745, the Appeals Panel held the injured worker was given written notice through verifiable means.  The carrier mailed a PLN-3 and DWC-69 to the acknowledged correct address by verifiable means.  The U.S. Post Office made three attempts.  Therefore, the Appeals Panel held the first certification of maximum medical improvement and impairment became final.  The decision and order of the Hearing Officer was reversed and rendered. subscribers can access Texas Workers' Compensation Commission Appeal No. 100316.