Workers' Compensation Appeals
Can I Appeal a Pennsylvania Work Comp Decision?
Going through the workers' compensation appeals process is like climbing a rope up the side of a steep hill. You have to do it carefully, because one misstep can bring everything crashing down. You have to start from the bottom and work your way up – hand over hand and foot over foot. There are no shortcuts in the appeals process, and you must go through one level of appeal before you reach the next.
And, most importantly, the climb is much safer if you have someone who's done it before steadying the rope and telling you what to look out for.
We've helped injured workers with the appeals process time and time again. It's an important system that helps injured employees fight for the benefits they deserve. However, filing an appeal is most effective if it's done by an attorney who knows exactly what to expect at every step along the way.
If you want to appeal the decision made in your workers' compensation claim, contact us at 412-394-1000, or fill out the form on the right. We'll tell you if we think you have a case and you can ask us any questions you have.
Below is an outline of the Pennsylvania workers' compensation appeals process, from the Appeal Board to the Supreme Court. Keep in mind that all of these steps are dependent upon strict deadlines, so it's best to contact us as soon as you realize you need to file an appeal.
Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board
If the workers' compensation judge issues a decision that isn't in your favor, the first step is filing an appeal with the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. You have 20 days from the day your written decision is issued to file an appeal with the Appeal Board.
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board will review your case and decide if they agree or disagree with the original decision. The Appeal Board will then issue a written decision.
If you disagree with the Appeal Board's decision, you can appeal to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
You have 30 days from the day the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board issues its written decision to file a further appeal with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court will review your case record to determine if an error was made along the way and whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court then will issue its written decision.
Most workers' compensation appeals end with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. However, there is one final appeal level – the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
If the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court didn't issue a decision in your favor, you can appeal once more to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. You have 30 days from the day your written decision is issued by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to file a "Petition for Allowance of Appeal" with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court can decide to hear or not to hear the case. If the Court decides not to hear the case, you can't file any more appeals. The decision of the Commonwealth Court is final.
If the Supreme Court decides to hear your case, your lawyer and your employer's lawyer will submit briefs and may be required to argue your case in front of the Supreme Court. The Court will then issue a written decision. At this point, the process is over and the decision is final.