So, you’ve been injured at work and you’ve filed a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. You know the injury is bad, but the doctors don’t know how long it will take to recover or if you’ll be able to work the same job again once you heal. But you need to think long-term: what will your family need in a year? Two years?
And will your benefits last that long?
The first thing to understand is that your workers’ comp benefits are actually two benefits: wage loss benefits and medical expense benefits. The amount of time you’re entitled to one or the other depends on different factors.
How Long Do Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits Last in Pennsylvania?
Medical expense benefits are relatively simple: the workers’ comp insurer is obligated to pay any “reasonable, necessary, and related” medical costs involving your injury until you reach MMI, or maximum medical improvement.
MMI is the point at which you’re as healed as you’re going to get. Once the insurer finds that you’ve reached MMI, they’ll likely reduce your benefits to cover ongoing pain management costs or other palliative care. However, if you’ve suffered a lifelong injury, you may be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits in some form for the rest of your life.
How Long Do Workers’ Comp Wage Loss Benefits Last in Pennsylvania?
How long your wage loss benefits last will depend on the kind of benefits you receive. For temporary injuries, you’ll receive 66% of your average weekly wage for 90 days. For long-term injuries (or “permanent disability”), the PA Workers’ Compensation Act entitles injured employees to at least 104 weeks (or 2 years) of wage loss benefits.
After two years have elapsed, the workers’ comp insurer is allowed to request an Impairment Rating Evaluation to determine the extent of your disability. If you’re found to be more than 50% disabled, you’ll continue receiving total disability benefits under the law. If you’re found less than 50% disabled, you’ll be entitled to partial disability benefits. The amount of benefit you’ll get won’t change, but you’ll be limited to receiving 500 additional weeks of wage loss benefits, which is roughly 9 and a half years.
So even in a situation where you have a partial disability with an impairment rating under 50%, you’ll be entitled to over 11 years of wage loss benefits total.
“What If I Need an Exception?”
Our firm is used to handling complex cases that fall into specific legal categories. If you’re concerned that your insurer is going to take away your benefits or reduce them before you’re done recovering, then talk to our Pennsylvania workers’ comp attorneys. We’ve handled countless workers’ comp claims in Pennsylvania, and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions and assert your rights under the law. Regardless of what you went through, you deserve every benefit promised to you under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Speak with us in a free consultation: call (888) 498-3023 or contact us online today.