Section 306(A.2)(1-2) of the Workers' Compensation Act
In Ford Motor/Visteon Systems v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Gerlach), 970 A.2d 517 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2009), the Court determined that under Section 306(a.2)(1-2) of the Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. 511.2, the date for modification based on a petition to modify or review due to an IRE impairment of less than fifty percent is the date of the IRE, not sixty days from the date of the Workers' Compensation Judge's decision.
Based on Ford the Board did not err.
This Section was added by the Act of June 24, 1996, P.L. 350. Section 306(a.2)(1-2) of the Act provides:
(1) When an employe has received total disability compensation pursuant to clause (a) for a period of one hundred four weeks, unless otherwise agreed to, the employe shall be required to submit to a medical examination which shall be requested by the insurer within sixty days upon the expiration of the one hundred four weeks to determine the degree of impairment due to the compensable injury, if any.
The degree of impairment shall be determined based upon an evaluation by a physician who is licensed in this Commonwealth, who is certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties approved board or its osteopathic equivalent and who is active in clinical practice for at least twenty hours per week, chosen by agreement of the parties, or as designated by the department, pursuant to the most recent edition of the American Medical Association "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment."
(2) If such determination results in an impairment rating that meets a threshold impairment rating that is equal to or greater than fifty per centum impairment under the most recent edition of the American Medical Association "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment," the employe shall be presumed to be totally disabled and shall continue to receive total disability compensation benefits under clause (a).
If such determination results in an impairment rating less than fifty per centum impairment under the most recent edition of the American Medial Association "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment," the employe shall then receive partial disability benefits under clause (b): Provided, however, that no reduction shall be made until sixty days' notice of modification is given. 77 P.S. 511.2(2).