X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:After suffering an on-the-job injury in June 1994, Linda Teague was eventually assigned with a 18 percent impairment rating. She became eligible for supplemental income benefits, provided she met the criteria set forth in the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission regulations. One of those criteria is that an individual in good faith to look for work every week of the qualifying period. Supplemental income benefits are calculated quarterly and are based in part on events that took place in the preceding 13-week qualifying period. During the preceding 13 weeks of one quarter, Teague spent two weeks out of state attending to her sick daughter. Based on the two weeks missed from seeking work, the TWCC denied Teague supplemental income benefits for that quarter. Teague challenged the ruling and lost, the filed suit in trial court. The trial court granted TWCC’s motion for summary judgment. On appeal, Teague claims that the requirements in �130.102(e) of the TWCC’s regulations are not to be strictly interpreted to mean that an individual look for work literally every week. She claims �130.102(e)(11) contemplates consideration of other relevant factors. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court finds no support for Teague’s arguments in the language of the rule. As written, the regulations state that a good-faith effort to search for employment must involve a search during every week of the qualifying period. The court also points to TWCC’s responses to public comment sought on the regulations when they were first published in the Texas Register. As to �130.102(e), the TWCC stated that the section includes factors to be considered when reviewing job-search efforts, and added that the section “places an affirmative responsibility on the injured employee to look for work every week of a qualifying period.” Additionally, when the proposed regulations were criticized for potentially visiting unnecessarily harsh results, and suggesting that benefits be prorated for weeks missed, the TWCC responded that the statute did not provide for prorated benefits, and that “an injured employee is either entitled or not entitled to benefits for the particular quarter, based on whether or not the injured employee met the entitlement criteria during the qualifying period.” In order for Teague to satisfy the good-faith effort criterion necessary to maintain her qualification for quarterly supplemental income benefits was obligated to search every week for work “commensurate with her ability to work.” He failure to do so disqualified her as a matter of law. OPINION:Campbell, J.; Quinn, Reavis and Campbell, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.