One question that many injured workers in the state of Pennsylvania have is in regards to the length of time they can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Both the amount of benefits paid as well as the length of time that benefits are paid is dependent upon an injured worker’s disability.
Do I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
If you are an employee in the state of Pennsylvania and suffered injuries or illness on the job, you probably qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. An employee is any person who performs services for another for a valuable consideration. Exceptions are if the employee violated the law at the time of injury or if the injury was self-inflicted.
Total Disability Benefit Status
In Pennsylvania, injured workers may qualify as either partially or totally disabled. If an injured worker is totally disabled, then she will receive benefits for as long as she is totally disabled and cannot work, up to 104 weeks.
After 104 weeks has passed, the employer or insurance can require that the injured employee undergo a medical evaluation, which will determine whether or not total disability benefit status should continue. If the employee is not at least 50 percent impaired, then his or her status will change to partial disability benefit status.
Partial Disability Benefit Status
Workers can collect partial disability if they can or do return to work at a lower-paying position or if they are not totally disabled. Unlike total disability benefits, partial disability benefits have a maximum amount of time for which they will be paid, which is 500 weeks. If a worker is able to return to work earlier than the 500-week time period, then benefits will cease. After 500 weeks, a worker’s disability may be reevaluated. If the worker is more than 50 percent disabled, then his or her status may change to total disability.
How much will I be paid?
In addition to knowing how long you’ll receive benefits, knowing how much you’ll receive is also important. Lost wage benefits are paid at a rate equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Wage loss benefits will only be paid if you’re disabled for more than seven calendar days.
Do I need an attorney to get workers’ compensation?
You are not required to hire an attorney, but an attorney is valuable when filing a claim for workers’ compensation. If an insurer denies your claim or if you have questions about your benefit status, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. You can reach our legal team now at 215-642-2335 or contact us online.