Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2480 12
18/01/2013
G. Dee
  • Adjournment (additional issues)
  • Continuing entitlement

The worker suffered head, neck, back and hip injuries in a fall in July 2009. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying LOE benefits after October 2009.

In a preliminary matter, the Vice-Chair considered the worker's request for an adjournment to allow the worker to pursue entitlement at the Board for chronic pain disability or psychotraumatic disability.
The Vice-Chair noted that the Tribunal has a strict adjournment policy. Among relevant considerations relevant to an adjournment request are whether the party requesting the adjournment contributed to the need for the adjournment, whether the party made the request at the earliest opportunity, whether the party made reasonable efforts to avoid the need for an adjournment and whether any prejudice would result that cannot be remedied by conditions.
In this case, the worker completed the Tribunal's hearing-ready form indicating that the worker was not pursuing any issues that needed to be completed at the Board. The worker subsequently started to pursue entitlement at the Board for non-organic disability but did not inform the Tribunal and agreed to the hearing date set by the Tribunal. Thus, the worker's representative contributed to the need for the adjournment.
All of the parties were present for the hearing and ready to proceed on the issues that had been appealed. It is preferable to deal with all matters affecting a claim on a whole-person basis but there was not significant prejudice to the worker or the employer in proceeding on the basis of organic entitlement alone. The request for the adjournment was denied.
On the evidence, the worker had some restrictions but could have accepted modified work offered by the employer. The worker was not entitled to further LOE benefits after October 2009. The appeal was dismissed.