Responsibility for Termination – Substantial Evidence

Claimant appealed an order of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that determined he was responsible for his termination and consequently was not entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.  Claimant argued that the ALJ failed to address Claimant’s “worsening condition” due to restrictions that were given by the Authorized Treating Physician (ATP) after his termination from employment.  Claimant requested that the matter be remanded back to the ALJ for a determination of whether he suffered a worsening condition entitling him to TTD benefits. The Industrial Claim Appeals Office (ICAO) noted that the ALJ is presumed to have considered all evidence presented at the hearing.  ICAO also must uphold an ALJ’s factual determination if it is supported by substantial evidence and they must defer to the ALJ’s resolution of conflicts in the evidence, credibility determinations, and plausible inferences drawn from the record.  Claimant only cited to his new restrictions by the ATP after termination as the support for overturning the ALJs Order.  However, merely having evidence that might permit a contrary result is not a basis for relief on appeal.  ICAO concluded that the findings of fact were sufficient to support the ALJ’s order which was supported by applicable law.  Thus, the ALJs Order was affirmed.

Rivas v. Arctic Slope Regional Corp. W.C. No. 5-100-039-002 (ICAO May 18, 2021)

Kristi Robarge

June 2021 Newsletter