Benefits: Termination of Benefits: Release to Return to Work

Ford v. Sentry Casualty Co. [07/20/11] 2011 MTWCC 19 Although Petitioner may not be at MMI, no one disputed his treating physician’s opinion that Petitioner could return to work without restriction. Therefore, Petitioner is not entitled to TTD benefits under § 39-71-701(1), MCA.
Schoeneman v. Liberty, 2007 MTWCC 28 It would seem axiomatic that "released to return to work in some capacity" must mean at least some capacity to work in the practical sense and not merely the hypothetical sense. In the present case, I am hard-pressed to consider a claimant to have been released to work in some capacity when he is not at MMI, cannot return to his time-of-injury job, and there exists absolutely no evidence that any job exists that he may perform in his present physical and vocational condition.
Daulton v. MHA Workers' Comp. Trust [8/03/01] 2001 MTWCC 37A Where the claimant has reached maximum medical improvement, a physician's release to return to work is sufficient to terminate temporary total disability benefits so long as the physician releasing the claimant considers her physical condition; the Court is not required to make a de novo determination, based on claimant's subjective testimony, as to whether she in fact is capable of performing the job.
Johnson v. State Compensation Insurance Fund [8/20/99] 1999 MTWCC 52 63-year old truck driver fell and hit his head, shoulder, and lower back. Insurer accepted liability, but terminated TTD benefits when a physician released claimant to return to work. Medical records indicate claimant exaggerated his symptoms and failed to cooperate with medical testing and examination. His in-court testimony about his pain and limitations was not credible. While claimant unquestionably suffers from osteoarthritis, there was no objective medical evidence that he could not return to work in identified jobs.
Sears v. Travelers Ins. [4/8/97] 1997 MTWCC 18 While criteria for termination of TTD benefits were adopted by the WCC in Coles v. Seven Eleven Stores, WCC No. 2000 (11/20/84), affirmed 217 Mont. 343, 704 P.2d 1048 (1985), and embraced by the Supreme Court in Wood v. Consolidated Freightways, Inc., 248 Mont. 26, 30, 808 P.2d 502, 505 (1991), the WCC will not now add to the Coles requirements, which are not mandated by the statutes at issue in this case. A detailed and technically accurate job description, which would undoubtedly have to be prepared by a vocational consultant hired by the insurer, and which would then be subject to attack by a vocational consultant hired by claimant, is not required by section 39-71-701, MCA (1993), or the language of Coles.