When a worker is injured on the job or becomes sick, they are likely eligible for workers’ compensation. In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation provides benefits for medical care, specific loss benefits, death benefits, and wage loss.
Most employees are covered, but there are a handful of employees who may not be covered under state workers’ compensation laws. Some employees, such as federal employees and longshoremen, may be covered under different types of laws.
What are the Types of Wage Loss Benefits?
Partial disability benefits and total disability benefits are types of wage loss benefits. Partial disability status is limited to 500 weeks. Partial disability is when an employee could return to work or a lower paying job with restrictions, or when a physician determines the employee is not completely disabled. If a worker’s disability is determined by a doctor to be greater than 35 percent, workers may file for total disability.
How are Wage Loss Benefits Calculated?
Wage loss benefits are about two-thirds of one’s average weekly wage. In Pennsylvania, there is a maximum weekly benefit that cannot be exceeded. Workers’ compensation can be offset by 50 percent from Social Security benefits or other earnings a worker receives, such as an employer-paid retirement pension, unemployment compensation, severance pay, or any other earnings.
When Can Workers Expect Workers’ Compensation Payments?
It is important to understand that one must be disabled more than seven calendar days before one can begin to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Once a worker has not been working for 14 days, they can receive a check retroactively for the first seven days. Typically, if the work-related injury is reported promptly, one will likely receive a check within 21 days of the injury.
What Circumstances Will Prevent a Worker from Earning Wage Loss Benefits?
During the first 90 days after an injury, the workers’ compensation insurance company is evaluating whether the injury or illness is work-related. If the company determines that the injury or illness is not work-related, the worker’s payments can stop.
Additionally, if the employer has evidence that the worker has returned to work and is receiving equal or higher payments, then benefits can be denied. Also, a judge’s ruling can determine that payments should be stopped.
If benefits were terminated, a worker can file a petition to re-start benefits within three years of their last Workers’ Compensation check. Pennsylvania uses the alternative dispute resolution method to resolve cases, and a judge may help parties come to an agreement if there are any disputes.
Although it may not be necessary to proceed with an attorney, a lawyer can help guide an injured worker through the process with an understanding of the applicable deadlines.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Assist Injured Workers with Wage Loss Benefits
If were injured in a work accident, you may be eligible to collect wage loss benefits. Our Downingtown worker’s compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can assess your case and help you get the compensation you need. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve workers throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.