Pennsylvania State Workers' Compensation Laws and Regulations
Maybe you threw out your back lifting in a warehouse in Philadelphia or developed carpal tunnel syndrome after years of typing at an office in Pittsburgh. No matter the circumstances surrounding your injury, you should know the benefits available to you through workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
In Pennsylvania, any business with at least one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is designed to protect workers who suffer an injury or illness on the job by providing them a percentage of their lost wages as well as financial assistance for medical expenses and other costs. These benefits are provided to full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. The severity of your injury will determine which benefits are available to you.
What Are Disability Benefits?
If you get hurt or sick on the job and must spend time away from your place of employment, you may be entitled to disability benefits under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws, such as:
- Total Disability: Workers who require more than seven days away from work due to an injury at their place of employment may qualify for total disability benefits. The initial seven days are not paid unless you wind up missing more than 14 days of work. Total disability benefits amount to two-thirds of your average weekly earnings up to a maximum set by law ($1,049 as of 2019). The minimum benefit is either half of the statewide average weekly wage or 90% of your weekly income, whichever is lower. These benefits are paid until 104 weeks have passed or you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point at which further treatment will not benefit you.
- Partial Disability: If you’re able to return to work in some capacity but are earning less than you did before your injury, you may receive partial disability benefits. Alternatively, you can receive these benefits if a doctor deems you have a disability rating below 50%. Partial disability benefits pay two-thirds of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages, with the same minimum and maximum payments afforded under total disability benefits. These payments may continue until you’re able to earn your pre-injury wages or 500 weeks have gone by, whichever occurs first.
- Specific Loss: If you suffered a disability in a specific body part — such as the eyes, ears, arms, or legs — or serious disfigurement of the head, face, or neck, you may receive a scheduled loss-of-use award. These benefits are paid at two-thirds of your average weekly wages, to be determined by a state schedule. For example, if you lose a leg, you’ll receive two-thirds of your wages for 410 weeks.
What Other Benefits Are Covered?
Pennsylvania workers may be eligible to receive additional benefits such as:
- Medical treatment
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctor visits
- Vocational rehabilitation to help find new employment
- Death benefits for the loved ones of a worker who has died
- Up to $3,000 in funeral and burial expenses
What if My Benefits Are Denied?
Employers and their insurance companies have proved time and again that they’ll do anything in their power to reduce costs, including denying workers’ compensation benefits. They may, for example, argue that your injury didn’t take place at work or that it can be connected to a preexisting condition. A highly skilled workers’ compensation attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you collect the benefits you are owed.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
It’s imperative that you understand your rights and how Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws apply to you. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have helped workers with all types of injuries in a diverse array of industries recover the benefits they deserve. To find out more, fill out a free case evaluation today.