Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation claim process is now managed all electronically. Get the basics on how to receive a claim approval.

People in the Pittsburgh area can be injured or suffer an illness due to job-related situations all too easily. Exposure to dangerous substances, unsafe work practices, ill-maintained equipment and more are just some of the common causes of jobsite accidents or illnesses. When workers experience these types of situations, serious injury can result and the need for help with medical expenses and loss of job income can arise.

What types of workers' compensation is available in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website provides information on four main types of benefits available to workers in the state via the workers' compensation program.

Payments are classified according to one of the following four types of situations:

  • Benefits for medical treatment including any equipment or prescriptions.
  • Benefits for wages lost from work due to the injury or illness.
  • Benefits for the loss of use of select body parts as well as some disfigurement.
  • Benefits to compensation for the death of a family member.

Any compensation for lost wages are paid for select instances only and include those situations which result in some type of permanent disability or condition which prevents the ability to work. People who sustain partial disabilities and can still perform some job functions may be eligible for assistance if the amount they can earn is less than what they were able to earn before their disabilities.

Obtaining medical care

All employees in Pennsylvania have the right to seek medical care for their on-the-job injuries or illnesses. Employees can select any provider if the claim is to be paid directly from the state's workers' compensation program. If, however, the claim will be paid by the employer's insurance provider, the medical providers should be selected from the employer's pre-approved list, at least for the first 90 days. Recommendations for invasive treatments can be delayed pending second opinions at the choice of the patient.

Claim processing for approvals, denials and appeals

The filing of a claim for workers' compensation benefits does not guarantee the payment of benefits. Claims can be denied for many different reasons including inaccurate claim forms. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board does accept appeals for denied claims as does the Commonwealth Court if need be.

What should injured persons do?

Securing proper medical care is always the most important thing when an accident happens. Once that has been provided, contacting an attorney is recommended to help facilitate the workers' compensation process.

Keywords: workers' compensation, claim, appeal