PRESERVATION OF CREDIT WEEKS, Substantial compliance, Medical disability, Inability
CITE AS: Michigan Overhead Door Sales and Service, Inc., v Gowen, No. 84-419470-AE Wayne Circuit Court (November 8, 1984).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Charles Gowen
Employer: Michigan Overhead Door Sales and Service, Inc.
Docket No: B83 04091 89560
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The clear language of the statute requires that one disabled file with the Commission within 45 days of the commencement of the disability except when a medical inability exists.
FACTS: The claimant last worked on July 1, 1981, when he incurred work related injuries. He was hospitalized for 12 days thereafter and received Worker's Compensation benefits until November 22, 1982. On January 6, 1983, exactly 45 days after he received his last Worker's Compensation payment, claimant filed for preservation of credit weeks. On that date, he was given a physician's statement, which was subsequently signed by his physician on January 10, 1983 and returned to the Commission on January 14, 1983. The statement indicated that the claimant's disability was terminated on September 20, 1982.
DECISION: The claimant is ineligible to preserve his credit weeks.
RATIONALE: The use of the word inability, instead of disability, is important to an understanding of the statute. Inability means unable to file the application and submit the physician's statement, due to the medical disability. The claimant's 12 day hospitalization was clearly a medical inability. While the medical disability continued at least until September 20, 1982, at which time the claimant's physician released him to return to work, there is no evidence of a medical inability to comply with the statute.
The record clearly shows that following the claimant's hospitalization, he visited his physician and looked for work. "It must be concluded that a patient who visits his physician while disabled, and seeks employment, is medically able to comply with the M.E.S.C. requirements of making written application and submitting a physician's statement within the time limits set by statute."
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