Workers Request for Rehabilitation 5 Years After the Injury
In Sanchez v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1990), 217 Cal. App. 3d 346, an employee's initial request for rehabilitation was made more than five years after the date of injury but within one year of the last finding of disability. (Id. at p. 351.)
The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) found the rehabilitation request barred by the five-year statute of limitations under Labor Code section 5410. the appellate court annulled the decision.
The appellate court in Sanchez reconciled the five-year limitations period in Labor Code section 5410 and the one-year limitations period in section 5405.5. the court considered the legislative intent behind both statutes and determined:
"Section 5405.5 operates to provide that an initial or original request for rehabilitation may be made after five years from the date of injury, as long as the request for rehabilitation is filed within one year from the last finding of permanent disability or the approval of a compromise and release of other issues. Any other interpretation of section 5405.5 would create aberrant results." (217 Cal. App. 3d at p. 355, fn. omitted.)