Can You Use PTO Alongside Workers Comp Benefits in Pennsylvania?
July 2, 2023 | Workers’ Compensation
An on-the-job injury could require you to miss work. However, missing work can result in a significant loss of income.
We often receive questions from injured workers about using their PTO with workers’ comp benefits in Pennsylvania. Our Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyers answer many of these questions for you here.
Can My Employer Require Me To Use My Sick Time or PTO if I Am Injured at Work?
Your employer cannot require you to use your PTO or sick time if you are out of work because of an injury you sustained during the course of your employment. However, it is important to remember that workers’ compensation does not pay wage benefits for the first week if the injury results in less than 14 days of missed work. Therefore, you might want to use your PTO if you will not be out of work for more than 14 days.
Can I Use My PTO While My Workers’ Comp Claim is Pending?
Sometimes, insurance companies deny workers’ comp claims, so the injured worker hires a Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer to appeal the denial. Appeals of workers’ comp decisions take time, which means you could be without pay for an extended period.
You can use your accrued PTO while waiting for the decision regarding your workers’ comp appeal. You can also use your accrued PTO while you wait for the initial decision. Some insurance companies could take several weeks or a couple of months to make their initial decision.
Do I Have To Pay My Employer Back for PTO if My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Begin?
You can receive workers’ comp benefits in addition to the PTO benefits you have already received. You are not required to pay back your employer for benefits you earned throughout your employment. Those benefits are yours to take whenever you desire.
However, you might want to restore your sick days and vacation time to use later. If so, the workers’ comp insurance company does not pay you for the days you missed that you used paid time off benefits.
Does Being in the Union or Having a Collective Bargaining Agreement Change How PTO May Be Used After a Work Injury?
The negotiated terms of your union contract or collective bargaining agreement govern the situation. Many agreements contain language that protects your PTO after a work injury.
The agreement may provide that you can use your PTO and receive workers’ comp benefits or restore your days if you choose to do so. You must look to your union or collective bargaining agreement to determine if taking PTO can impact your workers’ comp benefits.
What Happens to My PTO if I Lose My Workers’ Comp Case?
If you took PTO after a work injury and lost a workers’ comp case, you do not receive that time back. It would be the same as taking a vacation or sick time for any reason during the year. The time is exhausted once you use it.
Using PTO To Supplement Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Work Injury in Pennsylvania
If an injury on the job prevents you from returning to work during your recovery, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. When a work injury reduces your work hours during your recovery, you can receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
However, loss wage benefits in a workers’ comp case do not compensate you for all lost wages. You only receive a portion of the wages you would have earned had you not been injured on the job.
Temporary total disability benefits equal approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wages before your injury. However, there are minimum and maximum amounts you can receive. The state sets the amounts, so you might not receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages if you earn about the state weekly wage limits.
Receiving two-thirds of your earnings can cause a financial strain for your family. Therefore, you might want to use your PTO to supplement your lost wage benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance provider. If so, you might be able to receive your full pay while you are recovering from a work injury, depending on how long you are out of work and how much paid time off you have accrued.
Seek Legal Advice From an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Do you have questions about using your PTO during a workers’ compensation case? Your employer or its workers’ comp insurance company might not be the best source of information.
Instead, talk to an experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer understands the laws governing the use of vacation time and sick leave after a work injury. They can direct you on how to protect your rights throughout your case.
Contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
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