6 Types Of Benefits And Payments Under PA Workers Compensation Law
If you are an employee working in the state of Pennsylvania, and you suffer a workplace injury, the law has got your back. The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation law is a thorough roadmap that helps injured employees get back on their feet. However, while the law is generous, it is also complicated and time-sensitive.
It can only help you if you know exactly what you are looking for and act in time. That’s where the dedicated services of Cardamone Law come in. Unlike most other firms, we are dedicated to workers’ compensation laws and have helped thousands of clients reclaim their lives after suffering an injury at work.
While the PA Workers Compensation law provides a variety of benefits to injured employees, 6 basic ones that cover a wide range of injuries and compensation.
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Today, we are going to focus on these 6 basic benefits and give you a glimpse of what PA Workers Comp law can do for you if you know where to look.
1. Replacement Of Lost Wages
According to the Workplace Safety Annual report released by the PA Department of Labor, a major benefit you can claim under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law is the replacement of lost wages.
“A portion of the worker’s salary is paid for the time lost from work as a result of a work-related disability.”
When your work injury results in lost wages, the law moves to help you cover your losses, up to a certain amount. In 2020, this maximum amount was $1,081 per week. However, it is in the case of total disability.
If your injury is partial and you can return to some light work, you can claim Partial Disability benefits. These benefits consist of “two-thirds of the gross difference in wage loss for up to 500 weeks”.
This gross difference in wages refers to the difference between the two salaries: the salary you were getting before the injury and the salary you are now getting after you have returned to some light work.
Consider for example that the difference between two salaries is $100. Two-thirds of this amount is $66. This amount will be added to your revised salary (light work salary) and you will get this amount for as long as you continue on your revised assignment. The maximum time limit is 500 weeks (almost 9.5 years).
To claim the maximum wage loss benefits, make sure to report your injury to your supervisor immediately and call a lawyer who is an expert in workplace injury claims.
2. Payment Of Medical Expenses
Wage loss is not the only area that the PA Workers’ Compensation Program covers. Under this law, every employer is required to insure their employees against workplace injuries. This insurance can be carried out by a third-party insurance company or a business can be self-insured, too.
This insurance is a guarantee that in case of an injury, the employee will not have to worry about increasing medical costs. The medical expense benefits come into effect even when there is no loss of work or wages. “Reasonable and necessary work-related medical expenses are paid (to the injured employee) regardless of the duration of required treatment.”
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To make sure that you do not pay for these costs out of your own insurance, filing a workplace injury claim at your earliest will work in your favor. The medical report filed by the doctor who treats your injury is paramount in establishing the ‘reasonable and necessary’ treatment options for your specific injury. Therefore, it is critical to not sign any official medical reports unless your injury lawyer is present and they have reviewed the report.
3. Disfigurement Benefits
Disfigurement is a type of injury that not only has physical ramifications but also high emotional costs. Scars, defects, or deformities of the head, face, or neck that occur due to a workplace injury are covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp law.
In such cases, return to work is not easy. You not only have to overcome the physical aspects of the injury but also adapt to a new physical appearance. These scars or disfigurements are constant reminders of a brutal injury and may severely affect your emotional and psychological health.
Under the law, you are eligible for these benefits “if there is a serious, permanent disfigurement of the head, face, or neck”. What those benefits will look like depends on multiple factors including the severity of the injury and also the kind of Philadelphia personal injury lawyer you have employed to fight for you.
Philadelphia injury lawyers at Cardamone Law firm are well-versed in understanding emotional as well as physical aspects of how an injury affects a person. We keep these multiple factors in mind when we are fighting for your claims. To learn more about how we can help you, here is a helpful resource to start the process.
4. Specific Loss Benefits
These benefits target workplace injuries where employees suffer “loss of vision, hearing and/or the use of limbs (including fingers and toes)”.
Hearing loss and visual impairment are two of the most common workplace injuries in the state of Pennsylvania. Employees, who work in industries where exposure to a high level of noise is more common – such as, plumbing, construction, and mining, etc. – are at a greater risk of suffering permanent hear loss impairment.
This loss becomes greater when it is irreversible even after treatment or when it results in losing vision or limbs. Overcoming that kind of trauma requires serious time, effort, and money.
That is why the ‘specific loss benefits are paid without regard to the amount of time lost from work. A separate healing period is also defined for each loss”. This means that you will get these benefits and time off for healing on top of your wage loss benefits.
To make sure you get the maximum amount prescribed under the law, contact an expert workplace injury attorney right now.
5. Subsequent Injuries
The law defines subsequent injuries as an acceleration, aggravation, or recurrence of the prior injury. In simplest terms, if your workplace has caused a prior workplace injury to resurface or become worse, you are entitled to get benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation program.
Under the subsequent injuries section “workers who have had a specific loss of use of a hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye and who incur total disability caused by loss of use of another hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye” can claim comp law benefits.
The subsequent injury benefits continue for the duration of the total time you have been disabled and unable to work. Sometimes it becomes quite complicated to prove subsequent injury. The investigations are carried out to determine how the injury has been made worse. Is it due to the current work environment, personal negligence, an unhealed wound, and with whom the potential liability lays and to what extent? Knowing your medical history by heart pays hugely here. It not only impresses the judge but also equips your legal team with the latest and most updated information to help your cause.
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Navigating these complications can be difficult if you are not familiar with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp law. An experienced Philadelphia injury lawyer can prove to be extremely valuable to help you figure out how to claim the right benefits from the right party.
6. Death Benefits
When it comes to death benefits, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law covers two important aspects.
- Giving the employee’s dependents a reasonable amount of money to help them get their life back on track.
- Monetary help to cover the funeral expenses up to a certain amount.
It is important to note that the death benefits are paid to the spouse of the employee until the spouse remarries, and to the children till they reach the age of 18. The funeral expenses can be from $3,000 to $7,000. While the death benefits can be a maximum of $1,081/week.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that all workplace fatalities are reported to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within 48 hours. If you are a dependent of someone who has passed away due to a workplace injury, it is necessary to inform their company that you are filing a relevant claim. It is important to move quickly so you can claim the burial expenses too, so you can spend this necessary time with your family and loved ones without worrying about costs and expenses.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law is an important piece of legislation that encourages businesses and employees to contribute towards creating safer work environments. In cases when accidents occur, the law is on the side of the victim but it requires urgency of action and knowledge of the content.
Our experienced attorneys at Cardamone Law can provide you with both. If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury, call us at your earliest so we can take care of the legalities and administration while you focus on your treatment and healing.