The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), recently awarded EC disability benefits to a worker due to cerebrovascular accident or stroke.

Fernando V. del Castillo, a 51 year-old resident of Tarlac City, suffered a stroke while employed as a lubeman at Central Azucarera de Tarlac.

He then filed an EC claim for permanent total disability (PTD) benefit with the Social Security System (SSS). The SSS, however, denied his claim on the ground that the duties he performed as a lubeman had no causal connection with his illness. Moreover, he has a history of smoking cigarettes which increased his risk of developing the illness.

When his case was appealed to the ECC, it was found out that SSS had previously granted him EC permanent partial disability (PPD) benefit for his hypertension.

After evaluating appellant case, the ECC-Secretariat reversed the decision of the SSS. In its decision, the ECC-Secretariat invoked that all consequences of hypertension, including stroke, which was previously considered as work-connected shall be deemed employment related. This is based on the Progression (Deterioration) of Illness or Injury found under Paragraph 4 of the Employees’ Compensation Board Resolution No. 93-08-0068 dated August 5, 1993. It provides in substance the following: “Where the primary illness or injury is shown to have arisen in the course of employment, every natural consequences that flows from the illness or injury shall be deemed employment related; x x x.”

The ECC ordered the SSS to pay the claimant EC disability benefits plus reimbursement of medical expenses for his illness.

EC claims for sickness or injury resulting in disability or death are filed at the SSS for the private sector and GSIS for public sector.