SBCR, Inc. d/b/a Southern Concrete Repair, BITCO Insurance Companies, Appellants,
Calvin Doss, Appellee.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
of Accident: July 1, 2009.
appeal from an order of the Judge of Compensation Claims.
Ralph J. Humphries, Judge.
J. Cox of Cox & Rouse, P.A., Maitland, for Appellants.
Jonathan B. Israel of Rudolph, Israel and Ellis, P.A.
Jacksonville, for Appellee.
Employer/Carrier (E/C) in this workers' compensation case
appeal the judge of compensation claims' (JCC's)
order awarding Claimant supplemental permanent total
disability benefits after the date he reached the age of 62.
In the order, the JCC found that, in accordance with section
440.15(1)(f), Florida Statutes (2008), Claimant continued to
be entitled to supplemental benefits past the age of 62
because the compensable injury prevented him from working
sufficient quarters to be eligible for social security
disability benefits. The E/C challenge the JCC's
interpretation of the statute as well as his factual
determination. Because no competent substantial evidence
(CSE) supports the JCC's finding concerning
Claimant's eligibility for social security disability
benefits, we reverse on that basis and find it unnecessary to
address the statutory interpretation issue.
accepted Claimant as permanently totally disabled as a result
of his 2009 workplace injury and subsequently paid both
permanent total disability (PTD) and supplemental PTD
disability benefits under section 440.15(1), Florida Statutes
(2009). When Claimant reached the age of 62, the E/C stopped
paying supplemental benefits as provided in section
440.15(1)(f). This statutory provision states:
[S]upplemental payments shall not be paid or payable after
the employee attains age 62, regardless of whether the
employee has applied for or is eligible to apply for social
security benefits under 42 U.S.C. s. 402 or s. 423,
unless the employee is not eligible for social security
benefits under 42 U.S.C. s. 402 or s. 423 because the
employee's compensable injury has prevented the employee
from working sufficient quarters to be eligible for such
(Emphasis added). The italicized portion of the statute
creates an exception to the general rule that supplemental
PTD benefits cease at age 62 without regard to eligibility
for either social security retirement benefits (42 U.S.C.
§ 402) or social security disability benefits (42 U.S.C.
§ 423). The narrow question for review here is whether
Claimant proved the exception to the general rule.
conceded that he is eligible for social security retirement
benefits, but testified that his post-accident application
for social security disability benefits was denied because he
had not worked enough quarters. He also contended that he
would have continued working for this employer but for the
injury. The E/C argued below that the exception does not
apply because Claimant did not satisfy his burden under the
review the JCC's findings of fact for CSE. See
Swanigan v. Dobbs House, 442 So.2d 1026, 1027 (Fla. 1st
DCA 1983). Here, the JCC found that Claimant is not eligible
for social security disability benefits because the
compensable injury prevented him from working sufficient
quarters. Under the federal statute, insured status for
social security disability requires, among other things, that
an individual have at least forty quarters of coverage by age
62, and that not less than 20 quarters of this coverage fall
within the ten-year (40-quarter) period immediately before
the date in which the other requirements are satisfied.
See 42 U.S.C. §§ 414, 423(b) &
(c)(1)(B)(i). Claimant appears to have credit for the minimum
forty quarters as he has conceded that he worked enough
quarters to qualify for social security retirement benefits.
See 42 U.S.C. §§ 414(a) and ...