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One of the many changes to the Florida Workers' Compensation law that occurred in 2003 was the standard for Permanent and Total Disability (PTD). On February 6, 2008 the First DCA issued an opinion in the case of Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Thompson (1D07-2661) that "accentuates the Florida Legislature's recent redefinition of the threshold for PTD in workers' compensation case".
Under the current law "in order to obtain permanent total disability benefits, the employee must establish that he or she is not able to engage in at least sedentary employment, within a 50-mile radius of the employee's residence, due to his or her physical limitation." F.S. 440.15(a)(b)(2003). In the Thompson case, unrefuted vocational evidence was presented that established the claimant met this standard. Although the Judge of Compensation claims found it incomprehensible that the claimant was PTD, because she had met her burden she was awarded PTD. The First DCA refused to re-weigh the evidence presented to the Judge and found the Judge had committed no error of law.