Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Elmer W. Maki v. Truck and Trailer Equipment, Inc., No. F.M. 3292.
Richard H. Scobell, for appellants.
William J. Cavanaugh, with him James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 273]
Appellants appeal from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board which provides as follows: "And Now, this 30th day of October, 1973, it is hereby Ordered and Directed that the Petition for Further Medical Services filed by the Claimant be granted in an amount not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00)."
Appellee-claimant suffered a compensable, totally disabling accident on September 21, 1966, when he fell from a ladder and suffered a skull fracture. Compensation continues to be paid on the basis of an agreement.
On November 27, 1972, appellee-claimant submitted a petition for further medical services. The provisions of Section 306(f) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended by the Act of December 31, 1965, effective January 1, 1966, and in effect at the time of this accident,
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 274]
provided, in pertinent part: "The board may order further medical, surgical and hospital services, if it is established that further care will result in restoring the injured employe's earning power to a substantial degree. In each order the board shall specify the maximum period and the maximum cost of the treatment designed for the employe's rehabilitation."
Appellee-claimant appropriately used a printed form for his petition, but did not complete many of the "blanks" which, if they had been completed and if they contained appropriate information, should have assisted the Board in arriving at a conclusion. However, the principal defect in the petition is that in the statement which utilizes the language of the statute, prepared to be signed by the doctor, the appellee-claimant's doctor struck the word "result" and substituted the word "aid" so that the statement then read: ". . . further medical care will aid in restoring the injured employe's earning power to a substantial degree. . . ."
At the first hearing, these deficiencies were pointed out by the Board and the hearing was continued in order to give appellee-claimant an opportunity to supply additional information and an appropriate statement from the physician. Subsequently, two letters from appellee-claimant's physician were submitted, as well as a letter or statement of appellee-claimant's wife. These letters do not, in our opinion, supply the deficiencies in the petition. This is especially true when, as is the case here, the appellee-claimant knows specifically that the physician's statement on the petition is insufficient in that it does not state that the proposed treatment will result in restoring the injured employee's earning power to a substantial degree. Furthermore, the best ...