Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation
Pennsylvania workers who are injured while performing their normal job duties may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. Worker comp benefits in Pennsylvania, which are paid for by the Pennsylvania employer, are provided by private insurance companies or the State Workers' Insurance Fund and provide medical benefits and wage loss compensation to workers who are injured at work performing their normal job duties.
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act was passed to ensure uniform requirements for the protection of injured employees. Workers' compensation has eliminated the right of the injured employee to file any additional personal injury lawsuits to seek additional compensation (in most cases). If a worker's injury was caused by the actions of a third party or a defective product the worker may have additional legal rights.
Hiring a Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Pennsylvania workers' comp lawyers are available to discuss you work comp case at any stage of the process. Many workman compensation cases can be complex, and it is important to have an experienced employment lawyer evaluate your Pennsylvania workers' compensation case to ensure that all of your appropriate benefits are explored.
Workers compensation laws in Pennsylvania can be complicated. Whether you need information about a disability status, a hearing, filing a petition or adjudication, a Pennsylvania workman's comp lawyer can help.
Not all injured employees will need legal help, but if your Pennsylvania work injury is severe or permanent or if you have been denied Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits, a Pennsylvania employment lawyer is ready to work with you to make sure you get the work comp benefits you deserve.
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Work Injuries Covered Under Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation
Most common work injuries or occupational illnesses are covered under Pennsylvania workers' compensation as long as the work injury occurred while the employee was performing their normal job duties.
Common work injuries and occupational illnesses which are generally covered by workman's comp in Pennsylvania can include the following: Bone fractures, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Hernia, Torn Rotator Cuff, Torn Meniscus, Bulging disc, Stroke, Concussion, Asbestosis exposure, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, General Anxiety Disorder.
Not all injuries are covered under workman's compensation. Employees, who intentionally injured themselves or others, who were intoxicated when they are injured, who failed to follow standard safety procedures or who were travelling to and from work may not be entitled to Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits.
Types of Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Benefits
Pennsylvania workers' compensation provides a variety of benefits for injured Pennsylvania workers. Work comp benefits can include: temporary total disability benefits (TTD), permanent partial disability benefits (PPD), medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) - Permanent partial disability benefits may be paid to workers who are either partially disabled either temporarily or permanently and are able to return to a modified-duty or a job which is lower paying than their prior job.
Employees who are working but who have lost wages due to their work injury may be entitled to PPD benefits paid as a percentage of the difference between the worker's previous and current wages. PPD benefits are paid for 500 weeks.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) - Temporary total disability benefits are paid to Pennsylvania workers who have missed at least 7 days of employment due to a work injury. The first 7 days are not compensated unless the worker misses 14 days of work.
Employees may receive 104 weeks of temporary total disability payments before the employee is required to submit to a physician evaluation. If the employee remains 50% or more disabled based on the physician's assessment as determined by the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment they will continue to receive payment until the disability ends or the physician determines the employee is no longer at least 50% or more disabled.
Workers who are less than 50% disabled may be entitled to permanent partial disability payments (which are limited to 500 weeks of benefits).
Death Benefits - Death benefits may be paid to eligible surviving beneficiaries of the deceased worker. Beneficiaries may include: a spouse, minor children, and a dependent adult child or parent. To be eligible for death benefits the deceased worker must have died as a result of their Pennsylvania workplace injury or occupational illness within 300 weeks from the date of the work accident or the exposure which caused the occupational illness.
Death benefits may include weekly wage loss compensation benefits which are a percentage of the deceased employee's benefits. The spouse may be entitled to benefits until they die or they remarry. Children may receive their death benefits until they are 18 years of age or until 23 years of age if they are a full-time student.
Death benefits can also include $3,000 for funeral expenses.
Vocational Rehabilitation - Vocational rehabilitation is provided to certain eligible injured employees who are unable to return to their previous employment due to a work injury. Vocational rehabilitation services vary by state but are used to help employees either return to their previous job or find suitable employment given their current physical health limitations.
Medical Benefits - Medical benefits are provided to Pennsylvania workers who are injured in a workplace injury. Medical expenses which may be paid by the Pennsylvania work comp insurance can include: medical supplies, prescription medications, surgeries, hospitalizations, doctor's visits and laboratory services.
Under Pennsylvania work comp law, employees may have the right to choose their own physician unless their employer has posted a list of doctors at the workplace. If a doctor's list is posted, the employee must choose from this list for the first 90 days. The employer may have the right to refuse to pay for medical expenses if the employee does not see a doctor from the list.
Specific Loss Benefits - Specific loss benefits may be paid to workers who have lost the use of certain body parts. This can include disfigurement and scarring of the face, neck and head.
Refer to Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, Section 306(c), for the specific list of injuries and compensation allowed. For example, if an injured worker loses the use of their foot they may be entitled to 250 weeks of specific loss compensation benefits.
Medical evidence must be presented to support the worker's case. Talk to a Pennsylvania work comp lawyer for more information if you have suffered a permanent body loss.