Common questions about workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania

Employees who are injured at work are eligible to receive benefits for lost wages, medical care and for a specific loss, like the loss of a hand or foot.

Workers' compensation provides employees in Pennsylvania with benefits if they are ever injured while they are at work. Additionally, workers' compensation can cover the expenses associated with incurring an illness or occupational disease that developed as a result of employment. In exchange for these benefits, employees are typically prohibited from suing their employer for damages.

Are all employees covered?

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry states that almost every employee in the state can receive workers' compensation benefits because employers are required to provide coverage. However, certain types of employees, like railroad workers, civilian employees, harbor workers and shipyard workers are covered under other compensation laws.

What types of benefits exist and how can they be acquired?

There are several types of workers' compensation benefits available to employees. These include the following:

  • Medical care-Employees who incur an injury at work are entitled to payment to cover the cost of surgical and medical services provided by a physician to treat their condition.
  • Death benefits-Benefits may be available to surviving dependants if an injured employee passes away.
  • Lost wages payments-Injured employees who are unable to work or who are partially disabled may be able to receive a portion of their wages.
  • Specific loss benefits-A specific loss award may be given to employees who lose an arm, leg, hand or foot or if their neck, head or face becomes permanently disfigured.

After employees are involved in a workplace accident and become injured, they must report the situation to their employer as soon as possible. When employees report the accident, they must tell their supervisor that they were injured while performing employment-related duties and inform them of the exact date of the accident and where the accident occurred. If employees do not report the accident to their employer quickly, their benefits may be delayed or denied.

How much can employees receive for lost wages?

According to the PDLI, employees can receive about two-thirds of their typical weekly wage after a workplace accident. However, there is a weekly maximum injured employees are eligible to receive.

Can a claim be denied?

After employees file a claim for benefits, their employer has the right to either accept or reject the claim. If their claim is denied, employees are able to petition this decision and have a hearing held before a workers' compensation judge. If your claim for workers' compensation benefits was denied and you want to petition for benefits, speak with an attorney who can provide you with legal guidance before the date of this hearing arrives.

Keywords: workers' compensation, workplace, injury