What Does Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
February 3, 2022 | Workers’ Compensation
If you have suffered work-related injuries or illnesses in Pennsylvania, knowing your rights, benefits, and filing requirements for workers’ compensation claims is crucial to receiving the money you deserve.
Under Pennsylvania law, an employer is obligated to compensate an employee for most employment-related illnesses and injuries, regardless of who caused the accident. In exchange for workers’ comp, the injured employee waives their right to separately file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer in the majority of cases.
What Benefits Are Available to Injured Workers?
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation will cover medical care costs related to occupational diseases and workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation also pays partial wages while an injured employee is out of work.
Benefits from workers’ compensation include:
- Benefits related to medical costs, including hospital stays, prescriptions, and treatments.
- Benefits related to wage loss, typically equal to two-thirds of your weekly salary.
- Benefits for a partial disability, should the employee earn a lower wage due to the injury.
- Benefits for vocational rehabilitation.
- Certain death benefits for the employee’s dependents if the illness or injury resulted in death.
Pennsylvania defines the following individuals as dependents for the purpose of death benefits:
- An employee’s spouse.
- An employee’s child provided that the child is under the age of 18 or is a full-time student under 23.
- An employee’s child, regardless of age, who is mentally or physically incapacitated.
- An employee’s dependent parent who relies on the deceased employee’s financial support.
- An employee’s siblings provided that the child is under 18 or is a full-time student under 23 who relies on the deceased employee’s financial support.
Pennsylvania workers’ comp death benefits include a provision to cover burial expenses up to $7,000.
For more information on claims, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
How is an Employee Defined in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law?
In Pennsylvania, an individual who performs a service in exchange for money or something of value is considered to be an employee, with a few specific exceptions. These exceptions include independent contractors.
Independent contractors are not typically entitled to workers’ compensation after an injury. However, some employers misclassify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying workers’ compensation and other benefits. You should speak to an employment lawyer if you have questions about your status as an employee.
What Steps Should an Employee Take When Injured on the Job?
Anyone who has been injured on the job should immediately seek medical help and explain to their healthcare provider that their illness or injury is work-related. The injured person then has 21 days to inform their employer of the injury. If they fail to report their accident within 120 days, they will lose their rights to compensation.
Be prepared to offer specific details about when, where, and how the accident occurred to receive workers’ compensation benefits as quickly as possible.
What Happens Once the Employer is Informed of the Injury?
Once informed of the injury, it is up to your employer and their insurance provider to investigate your claim. They have 21 days to either deny your claim or start paying you a partial wage benefit.
What Happens When a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Challenged or Denied?
In this case, the employee has a right to file a petition with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. A Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can help you prepare any appropriate documents related to your appeal, argue your claims against your employer, and adequately represent you in your hearings.
Obtaining a Free Workers’ Compensation Claim Review
If you were injured in an on-the-job accident, chances are good you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to explore your rights and benefits. You may even be eligible to file a third-party claim for additional compensation.
Contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case
Workers’ Compensation Law Firm in Harrisburg
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111