Q: I have been collecting workers' comp wage loss benefits for a while. How long can I continue to collect?
In most cases, the maximum period of time for which an injured worker can collect wage loss benefits is 11.6 years or 604 weeks. The reason for this arbitrary sounding period is that after 2 years of collecting TTD benefits, the insurance company can send you for an IRE. If the IRE finds you to have an under 50% total body impairment, you will be limited to collecting 500 weeks of additional weekly benefits. It is important to note that the medical benefits that accompany the workers' compensation injury do not expire at the end of this 500 week clock. Unless you settle your case or a Workers' Compensation Judge finds that you have made a full recovery, your medical benefits will continue for life.
This is not to say that you are guaranteed to collect 604 weeks of weekly checks; the insurance company will take steps throughout this period to reduce or cut off your benefits. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the better you'll be to maximize your workers' compensation benefits whether they be in the form of a settlement or continued weekly checks.
Schmidt Kramer handles workers' compensation cases throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Reach out today for your free consultation through our website or at 717-888-8888.