February 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Worker's Compensation wage loss benefits
Article provided by Vellner Law Visit us at http://www.vellnerlaw.com
Most Pennsylvania workers who become injured or ill on the job are fortunately covered under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. The Act requires every employer to have worker's compensation insurance for every employee, even those who work only part-time or seasonally.
Even when an employer fails to have worker's compensation insurance, an injured Pennsylvania worker might still be able to obtain benefits through the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
Coverage for those who cannot return to work
Along with payment for medical expenses due to job-related injury or illness, workers' compensation can also pay for wages lost if the employee is totally or partially disabled and unable to return to the same or "light-duty" work.
While total disability means being completely unable to work or the employer cannot accommodate medical restrictions, partial disability may allow an employee to do some work. Some workers have just a partial disability right after their injury, but others have total disability status immediately, which may or may not change as they recover.
In Pennsylvania, disability means wage losses. That means you are only entitled to a check, wage loss money, if your injury causes you to lose time/pay at work. Beginning on the eight day of total disability, a worker who has been totally disabled can receive payment for time lost from work. There are other injuries; called Specific Loss benefits, that an injured worker gets paid regardless of wage losses such as eye injuries, amputations, scars and other components of that aspect of the law. After 14 days of total disability, the worker will receive retroactive wage-loss payment for the first seven days.
The amount of wage-loss benefits is, generally, about two-thirds of what the worker was earning before becoming disabled.
Working after going on disability
An employee can stay on partial disability status for up to 500 weeks (ten years) in Pennsylvania. Benefits are paid as long as the worker retains this status and either does not work or goes to work with work-related restrictions at a lower rate of pay. If the worker receives some wages, the amount of workers' compensation wage loss benefits is reduced.
When a worker is receiving or has filed a petition for either total of partial disability benefits, the worker is required under Pennsylvania law to report any wages received from any other employer or from self-employment.
If a disabled worker is offered a job, it is not mandatory to accept it, but the employer can petition a Workers' Compensation Judge to reduce or stop the benefits. The Judge will evaluate the situation and determine whether realistically the worker should be back at work.
Once an employee has returned to work at wages that are at least as much as what was earned before the injury, the insurer can suspend wage-loss benefits after giving the worker notice. However, workers' compensation insurance companies do remain responsible for medical care and treatment in a "suspended status".
Any injured Pennsylvania worker whose disability status is being challenged, that is denied, needs a skilled advocate. An Attorney who specializes in workers' compensation law will know how to protect the worker's rights and keep benefits in place when the worker's disability is ongoing.---
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