Date: December 16, 2016
Topic: Entitlement to Incapacity Benefits During Full-time School Attendance
In a recent decision by the Maine Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division, the panel upheld Administrative Law Judge Pelletier’s determination that full-time school attendance does not preclude an award of partial incapacity benefits. The employee’s Petition for Award was granted at the hearing level, providing him with ongoing partial incapacity benefits for a work-related right hand and wrist injury. The Department argued the employee’s decision to attend school full-time without working constituted a removal from the workforce, disqualifying him from receiving incapacity benefits during that period.
The panel disagreed with their arguments and affirmed the decision, providing the employee only needed to show a decrease in his ability to earn due to the effects of the injury.