Current through Register Vol. 48, No. 14, April 8, 2022
to work, a requisite for eligibility for benefits, generally means the physical
and mental capacity of an individual to work under circumstances that
ordinarily exist. Thus, ability to work is defined as the possession
of A claimant is able to work if the claimant possesses the physical
and mental capabilities necessary to perform suitable work for which the
claimant is reasonably qualified. Conversely,
inability to work refers to a lack of physical or mental ability to such a
degree as to prevent the acceptance of work for which one is reasonably fitted
which renders him unemployable.
2. "Work for which a claimant is qualified"
is not restricted to the customary occupation of the claimant. It includes any
type of work for which the claimant is reasonably qualified and that the
claimant can perform under normal conditions of employment. A disability may
entirely prevent a claimant from pursuing the claimant's customary occupation
and yet the claimant may retain sufficient physical and mental ability to
perform some gainful work for which the claimant is reasonably qualified. The
Department shall determine a claimant's "ability to work" on the basis of
whether the claimant is able to work and not whether the claimant can obtain
"Able to work" does not
include a claimant's appearance or any personal characteristic that might
prejudice an employer against employing the claimant. To determine whether a
claimant is able to work, the Department shall consider whether:
a. The work for which the claimant is
qualified exists as a recognized part of the labor market; and
b. The claimant is capable of performing such
work without endangering the claimant, coworkers, the public, or the
Department considers a skilled worker who can no longer follow the worker's
trade more able to work than an unskilled worker because a skilled worker:
a. Typically possesses a number of skills
that can be transferred to a larger number of related fields; and
b. Usually can assume more positions of
1. Age, in itself, does
not create a presumption that a claimant is unable to work. A statement that a
claimant was separated or retired because the claimant was unable to maintain
the claimant's production raises just as much of a question as to the effect of
the employer's requirements for the job as it does on the claimant's ability to
perform work. If the claimant can show that the claimant is able to perform
other suitable work for which the claimant is qualified and reasonably fitted,
or that the claimant could still meet the production standards of other
employers, the claimant would be able to work.
In either event it requires additional evidence of
its import. If the claimant can show that he is able to perform other suitable
work for which he is qualified and reasonably fitted, or that he could still
meet the production standards of other employers, he would not be unable to
The Department may
consider a claimant who suffers from an infectious or communicable disease to
be able to work if the claimant is able to work in an occupation for which the
claimant is reasonably qualified and:
A claimant who suffers from an infectious or
communicable disease may be considered able to work
a. The claimant is willing to accept work in
an occupation where the disease would not be a hazard; or
b. The claimant is under medical treatment
and a physician certifies that the disease is in a noncommunicable state.
Except, a claimant
is not able to work until a physician certifies that the claimant is able to
work without endangering others when:
claimant's physician states that the claimant should not work because of the
danger of infecting others; or
The law of the community prohibits the claimant's employment because of the
An individual's ability to work may be restricted by
illness or injury which results in temporary, partial, or total disability. A g
a i n it is stressed that a claimant's ability is judged solely on the basis of
his capability to perform work for which he is qualified and not on the
willingness of employers to hire him.
2. When a claimant is
subject to periodic seizures , attacks, or any episodic conditions that render
the claimant unable to work during the seizure , attack, or episodic condition,
the Department may consider the claimant able to work if, during the intervals
between seizures , attacks, or episodic conditions, the claimant is able to
perform work for which the claimant is qualified . E.
pregnancy of itself may not render a woman unable to work, a claimant who is
pregnant is presumed to be unable to work for a period of 8 weeks prior to the
calculated date of delivery and for 6 weeks immediately following delivery.
Such presumption may however be rebutted by medical evidence or other proof to
the contrary. Pregnancy does not affect a woman's ability to work
unless her physician restricts her from working in any occupation for which she
2. A pregnant woman
who leaves employment because it is too difficult for her to perform work in
her customary occupation may be considered able to work if there is medical
evidence that she is able to do less strenuous work for which she is reasonably
qualified and she is ready to accept such work.
3. The Department shall consider a woman
unavailable for work if the woman, because she is pregnant, voluntarily leaves
suitable employment that she could have continued to perform and that did not
adversely affect her health .
When a woman was unable to work in the early months of pregnancy and has
recovered sufficiently to be able to return to work, the Department shall
consider her able to work if her physician agrees that she is physically able
to return to work.
When a pregnant woman restricts her availability
for employment to work that does not require her to stand, lift heavy objects,
or travel great distances, the Department may consider her able to work only if
she shows that work for which she is reasonably qualified:
a. Does not require these conditions;
There is a reasonable
possibility of her obtaining work with those restrictions.
If a claimant states that she is able to work only
part time because of her pregnancy, she may be presumed unable to
1. A claimant with a disability may not be
able to work full-time because of that disability. So long as the claimant is
not completely restricted from all work, the Department may find the claimant
able to work.
2. If the claimant
will be restricted in the claimant's ability to work or availability for work
because of a disability, the Department may consider the claimant able to work
if the claimant is seeking work up to the limit of the claimant's disability.
Example: A claimant cannot work longer than four hours each day because of
chronic pain. So long as that claimant is looking for and willing to work part
time up to four hours per shift, the claimant is still able to work.
3. A claimant who is completely disabled and
cannot work at all is ineligible.
4. A claimant shall substantiate the
claimant's disability by appropriate documentation such as doctor's notes,
military papers, or a judgment from a court.