Can a Person Be Granted Permanent Total Disabilty Compensation Solely Due to His Age ?
In State ex rel. Blue v. Indus. Comm. (1997), 79 Ohio St.3d 466, 1997 Ohio 164, 683 N.E.2d 1131, the commission had noted that the claimant was 57 years old, that he had a 12th grade education and a work history as a certified electrician.
The commission found that the claimant's educational level and the specialized nature of his former job indicated that he had the intellectual capacity and sufficient qualifications for successful training and eventual employment in the sedentary workforce.
In mandamus, one of the claimant's arguments was that the commission had only mentioned his age without addressing it.
With regard to that issue, the court specifically stated as follows:
While the commission did not "discuss" this factor, that flaw, in this instance, should not be deemed fatal. Claimant was fifty-seven when permanent total disability compensation was denied. While not a vocational asset, claimant's age is also not an insurmountable barrier to re-employment. If claimant's other vocational factors were all negative, further consideration of his age would be appropriate, since age could be outcome-determinative--the last straw that could compel a different result. All of claimant's other vocational factors are, however, positive. a claimant may not be granted permanent total disability compensation due solely to his age. Therefore, even in the absence of detailed discussion on the effects of claimant's age, the commission's explanation satisfies Noll. Id. at 469-470.