When you are injured on the job and unable to work, you can be thrust into a very precarious position. Medical bills, prescription medications, physical and cognitive therapies, and ongoing treatments related to the recovery of your workplace injury can quickly deplete your financial resources. Fortunately for those who are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to help provide for you and your family while you recover.
There are several different types of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits that are determined primarily by the type of injury sustained, the severity of the injury, and how long the recovery period is expected to last. While Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits do not provide full pay, they compensate an injured work at a rate of two-thirds of their current wages.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Partial Disability are available to employees who are totally disabled and unable to work while recovering from their injury, and those who are partially disabled but can work limited hours. After 104 weeks of Temporary Total Disability payments, you may be asked to undergo an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. At that time, if the worker is determined to be less than 50% disabled, they are considered to be “partially disabled” Partial disability benefits are payable for a period of up to 500 weeks. The IRE determined partial disability does not result in a change in the rate of benefits that are payable, but it does affect the duration of benefits.
Another method that employer can attempt to limit benefits is through a Labor Market Survey (“LMS”). An LMS is estimates an employee’s “earning capacity” based on his or her ability to perform a light duty job. If the light duty position pays less than the job before the injury, the employee will be paid two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury and post-injury position. Partial Disability payments are available for up to 500 weeks.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits also cover medical expenses that occur because of a work injury. These include doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medications, surgeries and all other medical treatment considered to be reasonable medical treatment. Medical treatment, includes home and motor vehicle renovations., access ramps to home entry ways to accommodate wheelchairs and other similar expenses. Travel expenses for treatments necessary for your recovery that are not available locally are also provided. The employee is not responsible for any out of pocket medical expenses. There are no co-pays, etc..
If a work injury results in an amputation of limbs or other body parts, hearing or vision loss, or permanent scars or deformity, Workers’ Compensation specific loss benefits can be claimed. These benefits compensate the injured employee at the same rate as the Temporary Total Disability payments, and will be paid according to a schedule published by the state. Death benefits are also paid to the surviving spouse and children of an employee that dies from their work injury. Spouses are paid indefinitely or until remarriage occurs, and children receive benefits up to the age of 18, or to the age of 23 when attending school full time. A funeral reimbursement benefit of $3,000 is also payable to the surviving spouse.
Enlisting the help of a qualified and experienced Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected following a workplace injury. An experienced lawyer is familiar with state laws and restrictions on claims; and can make sure that you file forms correctly, that you meet critical filing deadlines, claim the highest rate of compensation available, receive reimbursement for your medical expenses, and keep your benefits going for as long as you need them.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed on the job in Pennsylvania, call the highly skilled and competent Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP at 1-800-USWA (1-800-222-8792) or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, and Reading, Pennsylvania allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, Allentown, and southern New Jersey.