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Kyle Pike was employed by the County of San Diego as a Deputy Sheriff Detention.  On July 31, 2010 he injured his right shoulder and received a combination of Labor Code section 4850 salary continuation benefits and permanent disability benefits between October 27, 2010 and November 15, 2011 and April 30, 2015 through June 19, 2015.

Pike received a Stipulated Award of 12% permanent disability, and filed a timely Petition to Reopen on May 26, 2015 as he claimed an entitlement to Labor Code section 4850 benefits for the period September 15, 12 2015 through March 28, 2016, and temporary total disability benefits from March 29, 2016 through August 18,2016 which was beyond the five year time limit from the date of his injury.

The issue to be determined was whether applicant could receive additional benefits for periods of temporary disability that extended more than five years from his July 31, 2010 date of injury.

The WCJ concluded that when acting upon a timely petition to reopen, the Appeals Board may award temporary disability benefits more than five years from the date of injury, provided that applicant is limited to an aggregate of 104 weeks of benefits. A split panel decision denied reconsideration. However the court of appeal reversed in the published case of County of San Diego v WCAB, and Kyle Pike.

The court of appeal concluded that the plain language of the statute indicates that the T.D. benefit is limited to five years from the date of injury.

Section 4656, subdivision (c)(2) provides, “Aggregate disability payments for a single injury occurring on or after January 1, 2008,[ ] causing temporary disability shall not extend for more than 104 compensable weeks within a period of five years from the date of injury..” (Italics added.)

“The legislative history of section 4656, subdivision (c)(2) is entirely consistent with the statutory text in supporting the conclusion that the Legislature intended to limit temporary disability benefits to five years from the date of a worker’s injury for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2008.”

“None of the arguments presented by Pike or the CAAA in support of Pike’s claim for benefits is persuasive.”

“Accordingly, we annul a Board order affirming a workers’ compensation administrative law judge’s order that awarded temporary disability benefits for periods of disability occurring more than five years after Pike’s injury.”