Labor Code Sections 5410 and 5804 provide that the WCAB has no jurisdiction to alter or amend an award beyond five (5) years from the date of applicant’s injury, when applicant did not file a timely petition to reopen for new and further disability or for a change of law.
New and further disability is not defined in the statutes and judicial interpretation has not flushed out all its potential permutations. Thus, its meaning is not entirely clear. However, it has been judicially defined “to mean disability . . . resulting from some demonstrable change in an employee’ condition, including a gradual increase in disability. .” Nicky Blair’s Restaurant v. WCAB (1980) 45 CCC 876. See CHP v WCAB (2010) 75 CCC 1241.
Regarding A Petition To Reopen For New And Further Disability
Labor Code Section 5410 provides that a party can petition to reopen within 5 years of the date of injury upon the ground that the original injury has caused new and further disability . . . The new and further disability must be based on the body parts that were part of the original award or that were compensable consequences of injuries to the original body parts contained in the original award.
A petition to reopen for new and further disability requires that there be a causal connection between the alleged “new and further disability” and the original industrial injury. Put another way, the new and further disability must be a result or an effect of the prior compensable injury. This causal connection may be in the way of further injury to the same body part or injury to a new body part as a compensable consequence of the original injury.