Workers' Comp In-Cites
Welcome to the latest edition of Schaff & Young's Workers' Comp In-Cites. Designed to provide our clients with practical insight, Workers' Comp In-Cites outlines recent developments in Pennsylvania workers' compensation law and explains how those decisions impact our clients and their cases. Barbara Young, Michael Schaff and the other attorneys at Schaff & Young, P.C. are always available to discuss these cases – or any other questions or concerns you might have. Just give us a call at (215) 988-0090 or send an email to We look forward to hearing from you.

No New Cases in January

For the first time in memory, a month (January 2009) has passed during which neither the Pennsylvania Supreme Court nor the Commonwealth Court issued any published opinions on workers’ compensation matters. During January, the Supreme Court agreed, however, as noted below, to address the burden of proof in a reinstatement petition when a claimant voluntarily leaves a modified duty position to accept other employment, and then loses the substitute position through no fault of the claimant.

In particular, Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allocatur in Bufford v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (North America Telecom), to decide the following issues:

1. Under 77 P.S. § 772, what burden of proof must a claimant who leaves a modified duty position to accept other employment, which involuntarily ends due to no fault of the claimant, meet in order to obtain reinstatement of his or her worker’s compensation benefits, if the claimant remains disabled by his original work related injury?

2. The parties are also to address in their briefs the question of how 77 P.S. § 772 allocates the burden of proof as between the claimant and the employer in reinstatement proceedings. See Stevens v. W.C.A.B. (Consolidation Coal Company), 760 A.2d 369 (Pa. 2000).

February 2009 Edition
Volume III
Number 2

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Date of Receipt May Establish Proof of Timely Mailing

In Bates v. Cheltenham Township, the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board ruled that a Proof of Mailing is not the exclusive method of establishing that a filing was mailed in a timely manner. Rather, the Board held that when an appeal would logically have to have been placed in the mail within the filing deadline based upon the time-stamped date on which it was received, the appeal is timely. In this case, the Notice of Appeal was received one day after the filing deadline, but was metered rather than postmarked. The Board concluded that the appeal had to have been mailed before the filing deadline and was, therefore, timely, noting that a Proof of Mailing is not the excusive method for establishing when a filing was made.