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.

Impairment Rating Evaluations (IREs) Must Be Based on Latest Edition of the AMA Guides

In Stanish v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (James J. Anderson Construction Co.), the Commonwealth Court ruled that, under Section 306(a.2) of the Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 511.2, an impairment rating evaluation must be based upon "the most recent edition of the American Medical Association 'Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.'" Thus, once the 6th Edition of the Guides was published, all IREs were required (1) to be based upon this volume, and (2) to be performed by physicians trained in evaluations under the latest edition. Any Bureau regulations to the contrary are invalid.

January 2011 Edition
Volume V
Number 1

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Economic Factors May be Sufficient to Preclude an Award of Partial Disability Benefits

A claimant seeking partial disability benefits must establish that the work injury caused a decrease in earning power. When the employer establishes, however, that the loss of earning power is caused by economic circumstances that reduced time for all workers, and not by the disability arising from the work-related injury, the Claimant is not entitled to partial disability benefits. That was the Commonwealth Court’s holding in Trevdan Building Supply v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Pope).

The Contents, Not the Date, of the NCP Is the Key Factor

That’s the holding in City of Philadelphia v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Butler), in which the Commonwealth Court ruled that an employer may terminate benefits based upon a date that predates the issuance of a Notice of Compensation Payable under the Workers' Compensation Act. The contents, not the date, of the NCP are outcome determinative.