What are the four categories of workers' compensation payments?

In recent posts, we’ve explored several ways that a worker might be injured at work, as well as the causal relationship to the workplace that sometimes must be proven before an injury may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This naturally leads to a discussion of the types of benefits that are available to injured workers.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, there are four categories of payments that may be paid out as workers’ compensation benefits. Payments may be authorized to cover lost wages; the cost of medical treatments, medications and equipment; the loss of physical functioning and/or disfigurement; as well as for a loved one’s death.

Of these categories, lost wages may be the least complicated benefit to calculate. Of course, a dispute may arise about when an injured worker’s health has been adequately restored to permit him or her to return to work. However, that area is related to the issue of obtaining full medical care for a workplace injury.

Claims paid through the state’s insurance program offer employees the freedom of selecting any provider. However, claims paid from a private employer may limit the selection to a preferred list of medical providers. If a dispute over the course of treatment arises, an employee may need to get a second medical opinion. Similarly, disagreements over the status of an employee’s recuperation may also require a second medical opinion.

Although denied workers’ compensation claims can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, our law firm advises injured workers to proactively consult with an attorney. The mere fact of legal representation may provide some leverage in negotiations, as well as ensuring that forms are properly filled out the first time around.

Related Article: “Navigating Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation process,” copyright 2016, Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates, PC

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