Workers’ Compensation Claimants Must Establish “Stokes” Evidence Even for Closed Period of Disability

In an unpublished opinion released yesterday (Tatar v. Ryder.OPN), the Court of Appeals affirmed the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission’s decision to overturn a closed period award of workers’ compensation benefits. The Commission ruled Plaintiff’s failure to meet his burden of proof under Stokes, that he was unable to find jobs that remained within his qualifications and training, prevented him from being eligible for benefits even during a closed period of disability.  The Court affirmed the Commission’s decision, holding claimants must go through the Stokes proofs even for closed periods before benefits can be awarded.  Since the claimant provided no evidence of any job search for jobs that remained within his abilities, qualifications and training, even during the closed period, the Commission’s reversal of the award was affirmed.

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