The filing of a petition to terminate, suspend or modify a notice of compensation payable or a compensation agreement or award as provided in this section 1 shall automatically operate as a request for a supersedeas to suspend the payment of compensation fixed in the agreement or the award where the petition alleges that the employe has fully recovered and is accompanied by an affidavit of a physician on a form prescribed by the department to that effect, which is based upon an examination made within twenty-one days of the filing of the petition. A special supersedeas hearing before a workers' compensation judge shall be held within twenty-one days of the assignment of such petition. All parties to the special supersedeas hearing shall have the right to submit, and the workers' compensation judge may consider testimony of any party or witness; the record of any physician; the records of any physician, hospital, clinic or similar entity; the written statements or reports of any other person expected to be called by any party at the hearing of the case; and any other relevant materials. The workers' compensation judge shall rule on the request for supersedeas within seven days of the hearing and shall approve the request if prima facie evidence of a change in the medical status or of any other fact which would serve to modify or terminate payment of compensation is submitted at the hearing, unless the employe establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence, a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of his defense. The workers' compensation judge's decision on supersedeas shall be interlocutory and shall not be appealable. The determination of full recovery with respect to either the petition to terminate or modify or the request for supersedeas shall be made without consideration of whether a specific job vacancy exists for the employe for work which the employe is capable of performing or whether the employe would be hired if the employe applied for work which the employe is capable of performing.
In any other case, a petition to terminate, suspend or modify a compensation agreement or other payment arrangement or award as provided in this section shall not automatically operate as a supersedeas but may be designated as a request for a supersedeas, which may then be granted at the discretion of the workers' compensation judge hearing the case. A supersedeas shall serve to suspend the payment of compensation in whole or to such extent as the facts alleged in the petition would, if proved, require. The workers' compensation judge hearing the case shall rule on the request for a supersedeas as soon as possible and may approve the request if proof of a change in medical status, or proof of any other fact which would serve to modify or terminate payment of compensation is submitted with the petition. The workers' compensation judge hearing the case may consider any other fact which he deems to be relevant when making the decision on the supersedeas request and the decision shall not be appealable.
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