Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Explanin the New Workers’ Compensation Computer System November 27, 2013
When you are injured at work, knowing your rights is important. Recently, the Workers’ Compensation Bureau implemented a new computer program known as WCAIS. As with many large scale computer programs, there have been some complications in its implementation. These problems will be worked out in time. However, a benefit of this system is that injured workers will have access to the program, which will allow them to get up-to-date statuses on their claim. Ultimately, the Worker’s Compensation Bureau hopes to have all documents in this electronic format, shortening the time of litigation.
This brings us to an important question for injured workers who previously filed a claim. If your case resolved a while ago, do you recall the terms upon which it was concluded? Cases conclude many different ways. Here are some examples:
- If a claim petition was filed and the case was won, wage loss and medicals were to be paid;
- If you returned to work, wage loss benefits may have been suspended but payment of medicals still remain the responsibility of the insurance company. Many workers forget this;
- If you returned to work in a light duty capacity, making wages less than pre-injury wages, you may be entitled to partial disability benefits;
- If you were laid off while working light duty you may be entitled to reinstatement of benefits;
- If you lost your claim petition and an appeal was filed, please make sure you know the outcome. Frequently the decision on appeal takes years and people forget that an appeal was pending.
Other issues include termination, suspension or modification of benefits. Again a determination may have been made based upon the circumstances at the time. You should not conclude that the Decision of the Judge or documents submitted ended the matter forever. The electronic files will help keep track of the case status in the event the matter needs to be revisited.
Finally, please remember that when cases are settled it is not uncommon that medicals are left “open.” This means that the insurance company remains responsible for payment of medical bills for your work injury. At the appropriate time, these benefits can potentially be settled as well. You should discuss this with your attorney.
Technology is wonderful and should help us all stay more on top of the matter at hand. However, knowing your rights in light of changing circumstances could have significant financial implications. Please call your attorney just to make sure you are receiving the benefits to which you are entitled or contact us online.