Workers’ Comp:
Judge may amend injured worker’s review petition

(4/14/2004) -- A workers’ compensation judge did not exceed her authority in granting a claimant’s Review Petition and awarding compensation benefits for a work injury that occurred on Feb. 3, 1996, the Commonwealth Court ruled in Meenan Oil Company v. WCAB (Pownall), on April 13.

In an 11-page opinion and order written by Judge Friedman, the Court said that under section 413(a) of the Workers’ Compensation Act, a WCJ “has the power at any time, to review and modify or set aside an NCP, if it be proved that the NCP was in any way materially incorrect.” “The WCJ may modify an NCP under this provision only if a material mistake was made at the time the NCP was issued,” Friedman wrote. The Court ruled that the WCJ was permitted to modify the Review Petition because the injury date on the NCP was incorrectly listed as April 1, 1996. The actual date of the injury was Feb. 3, 1996, according to the opinion.

The Court also ruled that the claimant was not required to file a claim petition with respect to his Feb. 3, 1996 injury.