Serious, life-altering accidents that occur in the Lancaster workplace may be covered as a specific loss benefit under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law. Specific loss benefits compensate injured workers for amputation or permanent loss of function of specific body parts, hearing, vision or disfigurement. These benefits are paid to injured workers regardless of the amount of time lost at work.
In order to be eligible for specific loss benefits, the injured worker must suffer permanent loss of use of the affected body part. This means that, for all practical purposes, the body part no longer functions in a meaningful way at work or at home. In addition, the injury must be one that is listed in the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation statute. Injuries such as the loss of a kidney or disfigurement resulting from a scar on the leg are not eligible for specific loss benefits.
Each specific loss injury has a specific healing period—the number of weeks in which benefits are paid while the worker is recovering from the injury. In addition, specific loss injuries include a specific benefit compensation period—number of weeks in which benefits are paid to compensate the worker for the specific loss of a body part.
The healing benefits end when the worker goes back to work or the healing benefit runs out. The specific loss benefit starts after the healing benefit ends.
Specific loss of a body part, loss of function of a body part, loss of vision or hearing, or disfigurement due to an accident at work can be very stressful. In addition to the extensive medical issues and recovery involved, the accident can cause severe financial difficulties due to medical expenses and lost work time. Have you been injured at work and suffered a specific loss or any other type of work-related injury or illness?
Alternatively, you may wish to download our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work? for more information.