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A guide to workers' compensation in Pennsylvania - Part 1

Workers in Pennsylvania or anywhere in the U.S. are entitled to compensation when they suffer an injury or an illness at the workplace. The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act ensures that an injured worker gets medical expense reimbursements and also compensation until such time the person is able to rejoin the workforce. Surviving family members of a worker who dies in a work-related accident also may be entitled to death benefits.

Most workers are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act. That includes both part-time and seasonal workers. All organizations need to follow the guidelines of the Workers' Compensation Act. Some employees are covered by other laws, as well. These workers include harbor or shipyard workers and railroad workers, among others. Workers who do not enjoy such coverage may include casual or temporary workers and agricultural laborers.

Any worker who suffers an injury on the job needs to report the matter immediately to authorities. The worker needs to inform the employer that he or she was injured and also report the date and location of the injury. If there is any delay in reporting the injury, the benefits may get delayed, as well. If an employer refuses to pay workers' compensation, then the worker may report the case.

There are several types of workers' compensation benefits. A worker is entitled to wage loss benefits if it can be proved that he or she is totally or partially disabled and, as a result of the injury, the worker's earnings are less than what he or she used to earn before the injury.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," Accessed on Aug. 5, 2014

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