Most workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness on the job are covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. As such, they are entitled to receive both lost wages and coverage for medical expenses for any injuries suffered on the job. If a worker dies, then his or her dependents may be entitled to receive death benefits as well.To claim WC benefits, it’s important to report any work-related illness or injury to your employer right away. This will give you the highest chance of having your claim paid on.
You may be eligible to begin receiving lost wages benefits once you’ve been classified as partially disabled. In this case, the wages you’ll receive will have to be significantly reduced from what you were earning prior to your injury or illness. If you’re labeled as totally disabled and are deemed unfit to work, then you may also be able to file a lost wages claim.
Lost wage payments are generally paid at a rate that is two-thirds of what you’d typically make during an average week. The WC lost wages payment is capped and does not adjust depending on increases in cost of living. Some 50 percent of employer retirement funding, unemployment, Social Security or severance pay can be offset by WC lost wages that are paid out.
A worker must be classified as disabled for a least one week prior to becoming eligible for WC lost wage benefits. Your first payment is paid on the eight day following your injury. It’s only after you’ve been out of work for two full weeks that you’ll receive compensation to cover the first week you were out of work.
In the event your lost wages claim is accepted, payments may abruptly be stopped when you take on a job that pays the same or more than what you were making before you suffered an on-the-job injury. If a worker signs a final receipt agreeing to stop receiving payments or has remained classified as partially disabled for 500 weeks, then his or her WC lost wages benefits may be stopped as well.
Understanding the different benefits you may qualify for under existing Pennsylvania law can be difficult to do. In learning more about the circumstances surrounding your employment and injury, a Dauphin attorney can advise you of what you may be entitled to receive.