Workers' Compensation in Pennsylvania
Workers' compensation in Pennsylvania gives workers injured on the job income to replace their lost wages during their recovery period. It further provides death benefits to the dependents of employees who died as a result of their injuries or illnesses. Employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry work-compensation insurance. It is important to note that independent contractors are not covered by workman's comp insurance. There are specific deadlines for filing workers' comp claims in Pennsylvania, so make sure you file within the requisite time periods.
Legal aid is necessary in some workers' comp cases. For instance, if your employer is uninsured, underinsured, or contests your claim, or if your injury or illness is lengthy and/or potentially permanent, you should definitely consider hiring counsel that specializes in Pennsylvania workman's comp. Discuss any questions or concerns about your claim, or about the claims process, with your Pennsylvania workmans comp attorney.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- "Accidental" injuries that occur at the worksite are covered under an employer's workers' comp insurance. These may include injuries resulting from tripping, falling, and/or slipping.
- When a worker's injury is self-inflicted, or the result of his own intoxication or drug use, or when his actions are against the law, his injury is not covered by workman's comp.
- If the conditions at your workplace cause you to become ill, workman's compensation will most likely cover the illness. Such illnesses include loss of hearing, asbestosis, and lung damage from toxic chemical exposure. In work-connected disease cases, the resulting injury or disability must occur as a result of the occupational condition within 300 weeks of the employee's last exposure to the hazardous condition.
- Dependents of a worker who dies from a work-related injury or sickness are eligible for death benefits.
The Pennsylvania Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- You must promptly report the injury you suffered at work to your employer, and in no event more than 21 days after the injury. If you do not report your injury, your work compensation benefits may be delayed, or you may even lose your right to receive workman's comp benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- File a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry:Your employer should submit a First Report of Injury within three years. Failure to report your claim within three years from the date of injury means that you may lose your lost wage payments, permanent disability compensation, and/or medical benefits.
- Consult a Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney if you need help with the claims process or if your claim is denied.
Benefits Received in Pennsylvania Under the Workers' Compensation Program
Speak to a Pennsylvania worker's compensation attorney about work compensation benefits. The following kinds of workman's compensation benefits are available in Pennsylvania:
- Medical Treatment: Workers' comp insurance pays for hospital and doctor's bills, medical treatment, and other medical bills. The health care provider is paid directly.
- Wage Reimbursement: An injured worker must be reimbursed for lost wages incurred during the time he spent at doctor's offices, being examined, and/or time he spent attending and traveling to and from hearings regarding his claim, if the reason for the hearing is due to the employer's actions.
- Funeral: Not to exceed $3,000. Payments are made directly to the funeral home.
- Death: When an employee dies as a result of his work-related injury or illness, dependents of the worker may receive death benefits, the amount of which depends on whether the dependents are completely or partially dependent.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Pennsylvania workers' comp law does not have a provision for vocational rehabilitation.
- Specific Loss Benefits: You may be eligible for a specific loss benefit if you permanently lose the use of a finger, toe, leg, arm, eye, ear, or have permanent disfigurement of you head, face, or neck.
- Income Benefits: there are several kinds of replacement benefits in Pennsylvania:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): When you are being treated for an injury and are temporarily completely unable to work, lost wages will be paid to you.
- Amount: You are eligible to receive 2/3 of your pre-injury average weekly wages, subject to Social Security benefit offsets.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD for short): To be paid to an employee whose injury makes it temporarily impossible to return to his old job, but who can still work at a lower paying job.
- Amount: Payments may continue for 500 weeks. Payments are 2/3 of the difference between the employee's pre and post injury wage.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): The worker is permanently unable to work because his illness or injury is so severe.
- Amount: The worker is paid the same amount weekly as he was paid for TTD.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): Benefits are paid out when the worker has reached his maximum improvement level, and can do some work, but is still permanently hampered by his injury.
- Amount: 2/3 of the difference between the worker's pre and post injury wage.
Why Hire A Pennsylvania Workers' Comp Lawyer
Having your workers' compensation claim denied or contested can have significant results. A Pennsylvania workman's comp lawyer can help you understand the claims process, come up with a plan for your case, discuss your options for compensation with you, and if necessary, effectively make your case in front of a Workers' Compensation Judge. In addition, you should think about getting advice from legal representation who specializes in workers' comp law if a third party is involved, or may become involved in your case.
Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act:
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art.3, § 301.
- Covered Employees
- Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art.1.
- Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art. 3.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art. 4.