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Pennsylvania: Benefits Terminated in Spite of Claimant’s Continuing Pain

July 26, 2018 (1 min read)

A Pennsylvania appellate court found substantial evidence supported the Board’s decision to terminate compensation benefits in spite of the fact that the claimant credibly testified that he continued to experience pain resulting from the work-related injury. Citing Udvari v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (U.S. Air, Inc.), 550 Pa. 319, 705 A.2d 1290 (Pa. 1997), the appellate court said a contrary conclusion would lead to the absurd result that a claimant could forever preclude the termination of benefits by merely complaining of continuing pain. What was relevant in deciding whether the termination of benefits was warranted, said the court, was whether the claimant suffered from pain as a result of the work-related injury. Here, the court noted that the employer's physician credibly testified that the claimant had fully recovered from the work-related injury, the claimant's physical examination was objectively normal, and any pain the claimant was experiencing resulted from degenerative changes unrelated to the work injury. 

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Hernandez v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (F&P Holding Co.), 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 327 (July 19, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 83.07.

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