What Is the Relationship Between the Impairment Rating Evaluation and Termination of Work-Related Injury Benefits ?

In Schachter v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (SPS Technologies), 910 A.2d 742 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006), this Court also considered the relationship between an IRE and a termination of benefits. There, the claimant's IRE resulted in a finding that he had a 6 percent work-related impairment, and the employer changed the claimant's status from total disability to partial disability. Thereafter, the employer sought a termination of benefits, asserting a full recovery by claimant. The claimant argued that the employer could not do so because it had already been determined that the claimant had a 6 percent permanent impairment. The Court held that a finding of a 6 percent impairment is neither a judicial admission nor res judicata for purposes of filing a subsequent termination petition. Id. at 746. The Court also explained that "the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) remedies ? are in addition to, not a replacement of, the remedies available to an employer who believes that an employee's loss of wages is not the result of a work-related injury." Id.