As the laws state in Pennsylvania, most employees qualify for recompense when they suffer a work-related injury. This law, titled the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, covers a variety of potential expenditures that stem from work-related injuries. Employers are required by law to include all employees in workers’ compensation, regardless of work status, corporation type, or company size.
There are other avenues by which an employee might be covered, and there are some workers who may decide to opt out of the Act, so it is important to seek legal counsel before looking into any other type of workers’ compensation insurance outside of the Act.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers are potentially entitled to receive workers’ comp on the first day of their employment. The benefit of workers’ compensation is only triggered if the injury is obtained directly from the work being performed. Any injury that is self-inflicted or caused by an employee’s inability to follow to law will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Expenses covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Medical bills associated with the injury
- The loss of wages due to an inability to continue working
The benefit for wage-loss comes into effect when a worker is deemed unfit to work or if they are classified as a partially disabled worker. It is a worker’s responsibility to report their injury to their supervisor as soon as it happens, and it is also the worker’s job to inform their insurer of a petition for wage-loss benefit.
How Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Lost Wages?
When a worker is incapable of performing their normal job duties, the beneficiary may receive approximately two-thirds of his or her average weekly income. This pay can be offset by other earnings such as severance pay, unemployment compensation, and social security entitlement. These benefits are paid out by the State Workers’ Insurance Fund or through private insurance companies. A worker is only entitled to receive wage-loss payments after being disabled for a period longer than seven calendar days, earning their first day of compensation on their eight day of disablement.
If a worker ends up being disabled for longer than fourteen calendar days, the employee will now have earned the right to receive compensation for their first seven days of disability. When an injury is reported immediately after its occurrence, a worker can expect to receive their first compensation check within the first three weeks of the incident. In addition to this, a worker who suffers a permanent loss of a body function (movement of a finger, loss of hearing, etc) will be eligible to receive an additional amount that is dependent on the severity of the loss.
There are a few ways that workers’ compensation benefits can end. If an employee returns to work at the same rate of pay that they were receiving before an injury, an employer is then required to discontinue the workers benefit. In the event that an employer or insurance company asses a work-related claim and deems the claim unacceptable, the worker will then no longer receive their compensation benefit.
In addition, workers’ compensation can be discontinued by a judge after a worker’s hearing or if a disability status expires from fulfillment of the total benefit. If you or a loved one has been cut-off from workers’ compensation and you want answers, please contact Handler Henning & Rosenberg LLP for a free evaluation of your case.
Can I Get Unemployment During or After my Workers’ Comp Benefit?
There are certain scenarios where a Pennsylvanian worker will be eligible to receive both unemployment and workers’ compensation due to a work-related injury. However, any benefit that is received in addition to workers’ compensation will actually “eat into” the total amount that someone is awarded through workers’ compensation. So, despite one’s ability to receive both workers’ comp and unemployment, the unemployment benefit will be counted towards the workers’ compensation total, making the sum of both benefits equal to solely receiving workers’ compensation.
The greatest downside to concurrently receiving both benefits is that there is an expiration date attached to unemployment. Each worker is entitled to a strict lifetime allowance of unemployment benefit, and in the event that a worker starts to use unemployment, this allowance will begin to dwindle. It may not be advisable to concurrently receive workers’ compensation and unemployment.
However, in the event that a workers’ compensation benefit stands in jeopardy of being forfeited or suspended, it is recommended that a worker look into the unemployment benefit as a fall back. If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation but worry that your case will be dismissed, contact our office now for a free consultation regarding your eligibility to receive your unemployment benefit.We will do everything we can to get you the benefit that you may deserve—call today! We serve injured workers from offices in Harrisburg, Hanover, Carlisle, York, and beyond.