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Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Laws

UPDATED: March 30, 2011

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Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws provide benefits for injuries and illnesses that develop because of your job. Pennsylvania workers' compensation benefits may vary depending on the severity and type of your condition.

Claims under Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Laws

Injuries caused by accidents at the work-site (for instance, falling or tripping) are covered by Pennsylvania workers' compensation law. Note, however, that an employee is not entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries sustained while the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If a hazardous condition at your workplace causes an occupational illness such as lung damage, you may also recover workers' compensation benefits. In Pennsylvania, however, your illness must have occurred within 300 weeks of your final exposure to the condition.

Finally, in the event that a worker dies from an occupational illness or injury, his dependents may receive death benefits.

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Benefits

In Pennsylvania, several kinds of benefits are available in workers' compensation cases for injuries or illnesses suffered at work, including:

Mileage Reimbursement: When you travel to and from medical appointments, the time and money you spend traveling to have your injury or illness treated may be reimbursed by your employer.

Health Care: Medical providers are directly paid by your employer's insurer for the treatment of your work-connected injury or sickness. Treatment expenses may include medical treatment and physician's bills.

Death/Funeral: Relatives of a worker who dies from his work-related disease or injury are paid benefits to compensate for the lost earning capacity of the worker. Additionally, burial expenses of up to $3,000 will be paid to the funeral home.

Specific Loss Benefits: In Pennsylvania, specific loss benefits are provided for employees who lose parts of their bodies, such as permanent disfigurement of the head, face, or neck, or the loss of their eyes, ears, or legs.

Income Replacement Benefits: Income replacement is a major component of most workers' compensation claims. Income replacement benefits are classified into four categories:

1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): Two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wages pre-injury will be paid to the injured employee for as long as the employee's injury or illness makes him unable to do any kind of work.

2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD): When an employee's injuries make it impossible for him to do his old job but he can perform some job duties in a lesser capacity. The employee is paid two-thirds of the difference between his pre- and post-injury wages for up to 500 weeks.

3) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): Payments will be made to a worker at two-thirds the amount of his pre-injury weekly wage if the employee is completely unable to work permanently because of the severity of his injury.

4) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): The worker has maximally improved but his injury or illness still greatly affects him and makes it hard for him to work at his old level. If he must work at reduced wages, under PPD he will make two-thirds of the difference between his pre- and post-injury wages.

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Statutes

Refer to the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act for the specific relevant statutes.

Employers Subject to Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art.3, § 301; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art.1; Benefits: Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art. 3; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation Act, 77 P.S. Art. 4.

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