March 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Understanding some of the benefits of workers' compensation Pennsylvania
Article provided by Brant & Associates, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.brantlaw.net
If you've been injured at work, it's important to understand the benefits you are entitled to. Pennsylvania, like every state, has its own rules on workers' compensation benefits.
Medical care, specific loss, lost wages and death benefits
Individuals injured at or who suffer a debilitating condition because of work in Pennsylvania are entitled to certain benefits. Those benefits include medical care, payments for lost wages, specific loss benefits and death benefits. If a worker's injuries or illness is covered by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, the worker is entitled to payment of the related medical and surgical services. Medicine, additional hospital treatment, prosthetics or other medical supplies are also covered as long as the need exists. This is true even if the worker has not missed work because of the injury. In addition, the injured worker should not be responsible for any balance for bills related to medical care.
An injured worker may be entitled to a specific loss benefit if he or she has lost the permanent use of a body part, such as a thumb, finger, leg or arm, the use of a faculty, such as sight or hearing, or suffered permanent disfigurement to the head, face or neck. A specific loss ward is linked to a loss schedule that determines the amount of the award.
Payments for lost wages are available for an injured workerif it's determined that the worker is totally disabled and unable to work or partially disabled and receiving fewer wages than before the injury. If a worker is considered to be totally disabled, the status lasts for 104 weeks after which the employer may request a medical exam to determine whether the employee is at least 50 percent impaired because of the work injury. If the worker does not meet the standard, the worker's status changes from total to partial disability.
Partial disability lasts for a maximum of 500 weeks if the worker returns to work at a lower-paying position or not. Payments for lost wages are equal to about two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wage; however, payments for lost wages can be offset by 50 percent of severance pay, employer-paid retirement pension, unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits or other income or earnings. Workers' compensation wage-loss benefits do not reflect cost-of-living increases. Payments for lost wages only begin if the worker is disabled for more than seven calendar days and are payable on the eighth day after injury. If the worker misses work for 14 days, the worker may receive retroactive payment for the first seven days. A worker who receives lost wages is required to report in writing any information relevant to wages to the insurer.
If the employer has evidence that demonstrates a position is available to the injured worker within his or her geographic area and medical restrictions, the worker may receive an offer of employment. The worker has the right to accept or decline the work; however, if the offer is declined the employer may ask a Workers' Compensation judge to reduce or stop the wage-loss benefits. Payments of lost wages under the workers' compensation system generally stop if the worker returns to work at wages equal to or greater than the earnings level prior to the injury or after the 500-week period for partial disability ends.
Finally, the surviving dependents of an injured worker who dies because of the injury may be entitled to benefits referred to as "death benefits."
If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can help ensure you receive appropriate compensation.---
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