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Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation: An Overview

At some point in their career, many workers will suffer a work-related injury or illness. The Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act provides insurance that pays medical and wage loss expenses for workers with work-related injuries and illnesses. It also pays death benefits to dependent survivors in the event of a work-related death.   

Pennsylvania employers purchase worker’s compensation insurance from private insurance companies or the State Worker’s Insurance Fund (a state-run worker’s compensation insurance carrier). Worker’s compensation claims are paid to sick and injured workers and their beneficiaries by these insurance companies or their third-party administrators.

Covered Workers

Pennsylvania employers, in general, must provide worker’s compensation insurance for all of their employees—including seasonal and part-time workers.  

Some workers—including volunteers, domestics, and agricultural employees—may be excluded from these provisions under certain situations. Additional employees—such as railroad workers, longshoremen, shipyard, and harbor workers—are covered by other worker’s compensation programs.

Benefit Coverage

Worker’s compensation coverage starts the day an employee is hired. Any injury, illness, or disease caused by the job may be covered by worker’s compensation. Note, however, that no benefit will be paid for the following:

  • Intentional self-inflicted injury or death 
  • Injury or death caused by a violation of law (including illegal drug use)
  • Injury or death caused by intoxication

Claim Reporting

Employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness must report it to their supervisor promptly. Failure to report the illness or injury can cause delay or denial of the worker’s compensation claim.

Workers should report that they were injured or became ill as a result of their employment. In addition, they should report the date and place the illness or injury occurred. Once a worker has missed her next shift, the employer must file an injury report with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.

Note that the employer can accept or deny a work-related injury or illness claim. If a claim is denied, the worker can appeal to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Worker’s Compensation and request a case review by a worker’s compensation judge.

According to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, 85,560 employees lost work time due to work-related injuries and illness in 2010. Work-related injuries and illness are common and can result in huge medical bills and loss of income.

If you have been denied worker’s compensation benefits or are feeling pressured to settle your worker’s compensation claim, you owe it to yourself to contact a Lancaster worker’s compensation attorney at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers for assistance.  Our toll-free number is (888) 476-0807. Call today to schedule your free case review.