Appellate Court: ‘We See No Difference’ Between Workers With Secondary Mental Impairments and Secondary Physical Impairments

The New Mexico Court of Appeals this week found that a portion of the Workers’ Compensation Act discriminatorily limits disability benefits for workers with a secondary mental impairment compared to similarly situated workers with a secondary physical impairment.

The appeal came before the court following an order by workers’ compensation hearing officer Reginald C. Woodard, who limited a special education teacher’s disability benefits for a secondary mental impairment to 150 weeks of compensation—which is the fixed period determined by the Workers’ Compensation Act.

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