How long you can collect workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania depends on your injuries and the severity of your disability. You can receive medical benefits for as long as you need them. For lost wages benefits, the length of time you can collect workers’ compensation depends on your level of disability (temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability).
How Long You Can Collect Workers’ Compensation With a Temporary Total Disability
This classification assumes that your condition is temporary and that you will successfully resume your job duties. Under this classification, you can collect benefits for lost wages for a maximum of 90 days.
How Long You Can Collect Workers’ Compensation With a Permanent Partial Disability
This classification assumes that you are 49 percent or less disabled. It also assumes that you cannot recover from your illness or injury within 90 days and that you cannot resume your same job duties. You can collect partial lost wage benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks (approximately 9.6 years).
How Long You Can Collect Workers’ Compensation With a Permanent Total Disability
This classification assumes that you are 50 percent or more disabled and that you cannot return to work in any capacity.
You can collect lost wage benefits indefinitely. Until 2017, disabled workers faced an evaluation after 104 weeks of benefits, to determine if their status remained accurate. However, a recent court ruling rendered that evaluation unconstitutional.
How Long Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation if You Are Disfigured?
This classification applies to workers who sustain a work-related injury so severe that they sustained a permanent injury such as an amputation. Benefits for this classification are determined on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the insurance company may offer a lump sum settlement.
For example, workers’ compensation offers a “specific loss” award. This applies if you permanently lost the use of all or a portion of any of the following:
How Does an Impairment Rating Evaluation Affect Your Ability to Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) is a medical examination that workers’ compensation insurance companies previously used to discontinue permanent total disability benefits. However, a 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling struck down the section of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (PWCA) that established guidelines for the IRE.
What if a Workers’ Compensation Insurer Discontinues Your Benefits?
Insurance companies and employers strive to resolve claims as quickly as possible. This may mean a premature discontinuation of your benefits. Insurance companies and employers have several ways of accomplishing this, some of which can be questionable. If you lost your benefits, consider consulting a lawyer to explore the legality of your benefits loss. You have a legal right to appeal a change in your benefits status.
What if a Workers’ Compensation Insurer Denies Your Claim
Your employer or its insurance company may attempt to deny your claim on the basis that you caused your injuries in some way or that you neglected to report your injury in the required time.
Other reasons the employer can deny your claim include:
- You had errors or misinformation on your accident report or claim form
- You incurred your injury outside the workplace
- You engaged in illegal activity at the time of the accident
If your employer or their insurer denies your claim, consider consulting a lawyer. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help ensure you receive the medical and wage loss benefits you deserve for your injuries.
Who Can Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania?
Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Any employee can collect workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania after suffering from a work-related injury or illness. You meet the definition of an employee if you perform work or services for someone else, in exchange for valuable consideration. Valuable consideration can be hourly or salaried compensation or anything else of value.
You cannot collect benefits if you broke the law when you sustained your injury or if you inflicted the damage on yourself.
Get Help from a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Pennsylvania Today
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC understand the importance of getting the full value of workers’ compensation benefits you deserve after a workplace injury. If your employer or its insurer has denied, reduced, or discontinued your benefits, contact us today at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.