The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals of Louisiana ruled yesterday that a permanently and totally disabled worker can now challenge a previous settlement as to the carrier’s social security offset. The case, Gerald Greene v. Highlands Insurance Company, centered around Highlands’ termination of SEB on February 9, 2006, because they believed that Greene was working/should be capable of working, and that he was not statutorily entitled to SEB beyond 520 weeks (Greene was injured in 1995). Greene challenged the termination of his benefits and the parties reached a settlement in which Highlands’ would be entitled to a social security offset in exchange for declaring Greene PTD and paying him a net amount of $184.16 per week. Yesterday’s ruling resulted from Greene’s filing of a 1008 in 2010 alleging improper SS offset. The court reversed the OWC decision which said that the previous judgment was final. The court reasoned that: “Were we to grant Highlands the full offset it claims entitlement to, Claimant would experience a significant shortfall in the benefits he is receiving and would be subject to a repayment of over $3,038.99 to Highlands. To allow such a result here would defeat the statute’s objective and militate against the receipt of deserved benefits.”
Read the full decision here.
Get an overview from WorkCompCentral (paid content) here.