Disability Change Requires Stronger Job Proof

February 2, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A Pennsylvania appellate court has ruled that an employer must provide evidence of actual job openings when trying to prove a worker receiving disability payments can get other employment.

The Commonwealth Court judges ruled that an employer must produce evidence of “existing actual jobs (that are) are open and available” to prove an injured worker can generate some level of income. Kraft Food’s request to change Leonard Anterola’s benefits contended “work was generally available” for him, the court said.

Anterola, a utility worker for Kraft, went on disability after hurting his right knee in a February 2004 accident.

According to the court, the employer filed a petition three years later asserting that Anterola could get another job so his disability payments should be changed.  A workers compensation judge allowed the modification, but the employer appealed when the appeal board overturned the judge’s finding.

The court ruling is available here.