07. Eligibility - Able & Available

Kyles v A One Dentures, P.C. – 7.40

Kyles v A One Dentures, P.C.

Digest No. 7.40

Section 421.28

Cite as: Kyles v A One Dentures, P.C., unpublished opinion of the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission, issued November 21, 2011 (Docket No.: B 2010-28689-RMI-220443W).

Court: MCAC

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Ginay Y. Josey Kyles

Employer: One Dentures, P.C.

Date of decision: November 21, 2011

View/download full opinion

HOLDING: The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission held that the mere fact that the claimant had an underlying medical condition, COPD, did not make her unable or unavilable to work where the evidence showed that she was laid-off due to lack of work and not her inability to work. However, the claimant was no longer able and available to work once she applied for Social Security disability benefits.

FACTS: The ALJ found the Claimant ineligible for benefits beginning February 4, 2010, based on the record that established the Claimant experienced complications with Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (COPD). However, the Commission noted that the facts provided that the claimant was seeking work, had transportation, had no care-giving duties, and had had COPD for years. Once claimant filed for Social Security disability benefits, however, the Commission deemed her ineligible for benefits due to lack of ability and availability to work.

DECISION: The Commission modified the ALJ order and found Claimant ineligible for benefits only once she applied for Social Security disability benefits.

RATIONALE: The ALJ’s erred in finding that Claimant was not able and available to perform suitable full-time work of a character which the Claimant was qualified to perform by past experience or training under Section 421.28(1)(c) based soloely on the record of Claimant’s medical condition. The Claimant was laid off due to lack of work—not due to a medical condition. The record offered no basis for the ALJ to find ineligibility as of February 4, 2010. The record, however, did offer such basis as of February 23, 2010, when the claimant applied for Social Security disability benefits.

Furthermore, it was beyond the authority of the ALJ to decide eligibility prospectively, as eligibility questions, like availability and seeking work, must be considered on a week-by-week basis. Therefore, the ALJ could find only that the claimant was ineligible for benefits beginning the week of the administrative hearing, which was held on February 9, 2011.

Digest author: Toni Suh, Michigan Law, Class of 2020
Digest updated: January 29, 2021