Vocational: Return to Work Matters: Evidence

Poindexter v. Montana State Fund [11/19/10] 2010 MTWCC 31 Based on the testimony of witnesses that the employer typically made modified work available to injured workers, and the employer’s testimony regarding proposed job duties for the modified position which would have fit within Petitioner’s work restrictions, the Court found that a modified position existed which Petitioner was able and qualified to perform at an equivalent wage to his time-of-injury position.

Peterson v. MSGIA [04/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 14 A vocational rehabilitation counselor’s opinion that “maybe” a job no longer requires lifting which exceeds Petitioner’s restrictions is inadequate evidence that this job is now suitable for Petitioner’s physical limitations.
Chapman v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh [6/25/96] 1996 MTWCC 44 Substantial evidence supported hearing officer's conclusion claimant could return to work under option (c) of section 39-71-1012, MCA (1987). Although claimant argues hearing officer did not give deference to treating physician's letter, a treating physician's opinion is not conclusive. Where the treating physician's letter contradicted his earlier opinions, which earlier opinions were consistent with other medical opinion and the results of a functional capacity evaluation, the hearing officer's conclusions would not be reversed on appeal.