Disability Benefits

Dear Atty. Joji,


My father sustained a back injury due to the heavy lifting involved in his current job. In his recent check-up, he received advice to refrain from heavy lifting to prevent further aggravation of the injury. In this situation, Atty., would he be eligible for compensation considering that his injury resulted from the nature of his job?


Dear Javier,


Disability benefits are granted to an employee who sustains an injury or contracts a sickness resulting in temporary total, permanent total, or permanent partial, disability. For the injury and the resulting disability to be compensable, they must have necessarily resulted from an injury or accident arising out of and in the course of employment.

Citing the case of Iloilo Dock & Engineering Co. v Workmen’s Compensation Commission, the Court explained the phrase “arising out of and in the course of employment” in this wise:

The two components of the coverage formula — “arising out of” and “in the course of employment” — are said to be separate tests that must be independently satisfied; however, it should not be forgotten that the basic concept of compensation coverage is unitary, not dual, and is best expressed in the word, “work-connection, because an uncompromising insistence on an independent application of each of the two portions of the test can, in certain cases, exclude clearly work-connected injuries.”

The words “arising out of” refer to the origin or cause of the accident, and are descriptive of its character, while the words “in the course of” refer to the time, place and circumstances under which the accident takes place.

As a matter of general proposition, an injury or accident is said to arise “in the course of employment” when it takes place within the period of the employment, at a place where the employee may reasonably… be, and while he is fulfilling his duties or is engaged in doing something incidental thereto.

Thus, for injury to be compensable, the standard of “work connection” must be substantially satisfied. The injury and the resulting disability sustained by reason of employment are compensable regardless of the place where the injured occurred, if it can be proven that at the time of the injury, the employee was acting within the purview of his or her employment and performing an act reasonably necessary or incidental thereto.

Hope this helps.


Atty. Joji Alonso

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