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Workers compensation benefits vary from state to state

Close to three million serious work related injuries and illnesses are reported annually in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with amputations among the most catastrophic logged injuries. However, the amount a worker receives in workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania for a lost pinkie may be quite different from what he or she is entitled to in Alabama, or even next door in New Jersey.

In the U.S., each state decides for itself how much it will pay out in workers’ compensation benefits. The online magazine Pro Publica states that since no federal minimums are set, workers who suffer the same sort of serious injuries from amputation on either side of a state line may receive vastly different payments. For example:

  •        In Philadelphia, a construction worker who loses a foot may collect a maximum benefit of up to $237,750.
  •        In New Jersey, the limit is $136,344.
  •        The national average is $91,779.

Pro Publica noted that in Pennsylvania, additional benefits may be available to facilitate healing and recovery for injured workers.

While getting back to work is a priority for many people who become injured, they cannot always expect to make the same pay as they did before the damaging incident. OSHA states that in some places, workers who collect workers compensation earn 15 percent less income, an average of $31,000, over the decade following a debilitating occupational injury. Income loss is even higher for workers who do not report injuries and do not collect workers’ compensation benefits, according to OSHA.

















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