Understanding workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania allows people to file for and manage their workers’ compensation claims electronically. Get the facts about these benefits.

Anyone who works and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can become ill or injured due to a situation related to their place of employment. Whether it is an illness that developed because of exposure to hazardous materials, a work-related accident that was caused by negligent operation of machinery or something else, employees and their families deserve help during these times. Understanding what help is available is important for all employed persons in Pennsylvania.

What form of help is available?

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry manages the state's system of workers' compensation. This system is designed to offer financial assistance to people who become ill or injured in some manner related to their employment.

There are different types of benefits available under the workers' compensation system. Among these are the following:

  • Wage benefits are paid to compensate employees for the income that they lose as a result of their injury or illness when an injury or illness prevents them from working.
  • Medical costs benefits are paid to cover the expenses associated with filling prescriptions or obtaining necessary medical equipment associated with the workplace injury or illness.
  • Other benefits are paid to compensate employees who lose the use of certain body parts. Disfigurement or amputations are examples of these situations.
  • Benefits can be paid to surviving family members if an employee dies as a result of a job-related illness or accident.

In order to qualify for wage benefits, employees must meet certain criteria. Among these are permanent disabilities or some other situation which prevents the employee from working. For persons who are unable to continue their original employment but can work in different capacities, some wage benefits may be payable if the new employment income is less than what was previously earned.

How to get help for illness or injury

Medical care in the face of an on-the-job illness or injury is every worker's right. Choosing a medical provider should be done with a few considerations in mind. When the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system is to pay for care, employees can see the provider of their choice. When the employer's insurance company is to pay for care, providers must be selected from the employer's list at least for a period of 90 days.

Basics of filing and appealing claims

Filing a claim for benefits for workers' compensation is the first step of the process. Filing a claim, however, does not guarantee receipt of those benefits. If a claim is denied, it can be appealed via the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or sometimes the Commonwealth Court.

Important steps for workers

Anytime an injury or illness results from a job situation, workers should contact an attorney for help. Filing for workers' compensation can be complex as well as time-consuming and getting help from the beginning is important to maximize your chances of recovery .

Keywords: workers' compensation, benefits, job, injury