Is your injury covered under workers’ compensation?

There are situations when an employee is injured at work where he or she may not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits

When employees in Pennsylvania are injured at work, they may eligible to receive benefits under their employer's workers' compensation plan. Although most injuries are covered, regardless of if the injury is the fault of the employer or the fault of the employee, there are certain situations where workers' compensation benefits cannot be applied.

When an injury is not covered

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are times where an employer is not required to record the injury, making the employee ineligible for benefits under the workers' compensation system. For example, employees cannot receive compensation for their injuries if:

  • At the time of the injury, they were present at their workplace not as an employee, but as a member of the general public
  • The signs and symptoms of the injury start at work, but they are unrelated to the duties they perform during the course of their workday
  • The injury is a result of voluntarily participating in an exercise class, work-related wellness program or any other type of recreational activity
  • The injury occurred because they were performing personal tasks in their work environment outside of business hours
  • The injury or illness is self-inflicted or the result of using illegal substances at their place of employment
  • The illness is the cold or the flu

Employees are also not eligible for workers' compensation benefits if their injury or illness was caused by preparing food or drink to personally consume. For example, if an employee chokes on his or her food while at work, this would not be considered a work-related injury.

Benefits available for work-related injuries

When employees do incur an injury or illness that is related to their employment duties, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry states that they are eligible to receive several different types of benefits. For example, after receiving medical care for their illness or injury, employees can have these costs covered by workers' compensation. Hospital treatment and services, prostheses, medicine and other medical supplies are also covered for as long as they are needed.

Reach out to an attorney

When employees in Pennsylvania are injured on the job, their employer may refuse to provide workers' compensation benefits because they believe the injury is not work-related. Employees who are dealing with a similar situation should contact an attorney in their area to ensure they are able to receive the benefits needed to make a full recovery.