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Pennsylvania workers compensation system slows to a halt

A new computer system recently implemented by the state of Pennsylvania to process workers compensation claims has been fraught with problems since its launch last month. In this particular situation, technological glitches aren’t just causing inconveniences for users, but actually preventing injured workers from having access to the compensation they are entitled to under state laws.

From lost paperwork to delayed judge assignments, these glitches are causing serious problems for Pennsylvania workers who have been injured on the job. Workers compensation helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with an injury. It is available for injuries that result from a specific accident on the job or for repetitive stress or other long-term injuries that come from years at a physically demanding job.

Delays in case processing and errors in the system have very real consequences for families who are relying on these services, and advocates work injured workers say that a process that used to take a few weeks has now slowed to a standstill. Even those who have had their cases assigned to a judge and have a hearing set up may face ongoing delays as paperwork gets mysteriously lost in the system.

Some of the blame for the problems with the new site has fallen to the consulting company that implemented the plan, although sources with the state says that the consultants are still working on the site under a warranty plan and that the problems will be resolved relatively soon without additional costs to taxpayers.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Computer woes plague Pa. worker comp system," Angela Couloumbis, Oct. 22, 2013

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