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Injury Severity and Terms: Learn What This Means for Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania


When you are injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help you recover. These benefits are typically divided into two categories, medical and disability benefits, which become death benefits to your immediate survivors should you die as a result of an on-the-job accident.

Individuals will receive medical benefits under the same principle, that medical care and expenses will be paid until the employee has fully healed or has improved as much as their condition will allow. No matter the severity of injury, the basic right to receive these benefit payments through the healing process are the same for every individual.

When it comes to disability benefits, however, all injuries are not all created equal. A person who breaks a finger at work will receive a different monetary sum than someone who loses a limb, and the type of disability benefits they receive will also be different based on the severity and expected term of disability.

How Disability Benefits Are Determined

Unlike medical benefits, which continue indefinitely until the individual has improved as much as possible, disability benefits are meant to bridge the gap between former earning potential and current earning potential. For many people this gap will only be temporary, but for some, there will always be a gap due to the term of the disabling injury.

When disability payments are determined, the term and severity of the injury is considered, meaning how serious the condition is and how long it is expected to last. The term and amount of these payments are classified in four ways:

  • Permanent Total: The most severe rating, this indicates that the injured worker has been injured to a point that he/she will be unable to ever return to work.
  • Permanent Partial: While the injured employee will never recover from their disabling injury, they are expected to recover the point that they will be able to return to the work force in limited capacity.
  • Temporary Total: The injured employee will be unable to work at all for a short period of time, but is expected to make a full recovery and return to their original position.
  • Temporary Partial: The injured employee will be unable to perform their full duties, but can usually perform light duty or sedentary work as they heal.

Typically, the amount an individual receives will be about 2/3 of their average weekly wage prior to their injury.

If you have been hurt on the job, you are entitled to medical benefits and disability benefits to help you recover, both medically and financially. If you are unsure of how to proceed with your workers’ compensation case, or are confused about the amount you are owed, contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Fill out our short online contact form or click on the live chat link to be connected with a firm representative now.