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    The Six Types of Worker’s Compensation in Pennsylvania, Part One

    work injuryOriginally passed in 1915, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act was set forth as a state-wide insurance system on a no-fault basis aimed to provide injured workers with benefits, lost wages and medical coverage. The intent of the Act is not to replace all wages for the worker but to give a percentage of wages to help aid recovery after a work-related injury. The Act also does not cover non-economic damages. This means if pain and suffering come as a result of injury, the worker will have to pursue those damages separately.

    Depending on the injury, workers will be eligible for different coverage under the Act. There are six types of Worker’s Compensation in Pennsylvania, leading to better coverage for different types of injury. The categories are important to understand after injury as pursuing the wrong type could lead to denial of coverage or you may receive less coverage than you were entitled to.

    Total Disability Benefits

    In most cases, total disability benefits are paid as long as the person is not able to work if supported by medical documents. There will often be a medical exam after two years to determine if the person is able to return to work or if coverage will continue. In cases where the worker is found to have less than a 50% whole body impairment, the benefits may be limited to a maximum of 500 weeks and will be considered to be partially disabled and weekly payments will stay the same. However, insurance companies will be able to attempt to lower the disability benefits by offering vocational rehabilitation during those 500 weeks of partial disability benefits.

    Partial Disability Benefits

    These benefits are available for up to 500 weeks after the partial disability status has been determined either by an official exam or if the doctor under the insurance carrier feels the worker has the capacity to perform light-duty work. Partial disability is a way of saying the person is not fully recovered from the injury and be offered a new position to fit their disability. If the new position pays less than the position held prior to injury, the worker is entitled to two-thirds of the difference in average weekly wage.

    Expenses for Travel

    Under the Act, expenses to travel to and from medical providers are not reimbursable but workers may be entitled to compensation if the travel for treatment is not available in their community. If you are not able to travel on your own to the treatment, insurance is also required to provide transportation to the Independent Medical Examination needed to determine coverage.

    These three are the first to understand the types of coverage when seeking Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you have questions about your claim, contact us today to work with a law firm well-versed in the laws surrounding Workers’ Compensation.