An employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) received disability benefits from the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) for an injury she sustained while at work.
The employee, who works as a Project Development Officer II, accidentally fell from her swivel chair while doing her duty on September 13, 2016. As a result thereof, she underwent a total hip replacement procedure.
On September 20, 2019, the said employee filed a claim for disability benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), ECC’s administering agency for the public sector. The claim was considered work-connected by the GSIS, however, the claim was denied due to prescription. Based on the GSIS’ record, the contingency occurred on September 13, 2016, but the claim for disability benefits was only filed on September 20, 2019. Under the Employees’ Compensation Law, no claim for compensation shall be given due course unless the said claim is filed with the System within three years from the time the injury was sustained.
On appeal, ECC ruled in favor of the government employee. The Commission said that despite the formal filing of the claim being made on September 20, 2019, the claimant made considerable efforts to submit her application for EC claim on September 11, 2019 and on several other occasions. But, the different information given to her by the attending staff regarding documentary requirements, led to the belated filing of the claim.
The Commission took into account that the appellant has shown her intention to file on September 11, 2019 which falls within the three-year prescriptive period from the time she sustained her injury on September 13, 2016.
The ECC reversed the decision of the GSIS and granted EC disability benefits and/or medical reimbursement to the DSWD officer.
The Employees’ Compensation Commission, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, is tasked to review EC claims denied by the SSS and the GSIS, on appeal.
D. Lacson – 3