Getting Paid for Your Work Injury
Were you hurt on the job? Are you wondering when you'll get your first workers' compensation check? Are you worried about your payments ending?
If you're trying to navigate the complex Pennsylvania workers' compensation system, you may be worried about these issues and more. We've provided answers to some common questions about workers' compensation and payment to get you started.
You probably have a lot more on your mind, and we can help. Call our law firm at 412-394-1000 or contact us online at the top right of this page. Our phones answer 24/7 and our legal consultations are free.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What types of Pennsylvania workers' compensation payments can I receive for a work injury?
- When will I receive my first workers' compensation check?
- How much will I get paid for lost wages?
- Should I accept a lump sum settlement?
- How will taking a light-duty job affect my workers' compensation payments?
- How do I pay my bills while I'm waiting for my workers' compensation payments to start?
In Pennsylvania, you may be able to receive workers' compensation payments if a doctor places you on medical leave from work for more than 7 days. To be paid for your first 7 days of missed work, you need to be off of work and under a doctor's care for at least 14 consecutive work days.
If your workers' compensation claim is approved, you may be able to receive the following payments:
- Medical Benefits
- Total Disability Benefits (lost wages)
- Partial Disability Benefits (lost wages)
- Specific Loss Benefits
- Hearing Loss
- Death Benefits
You should receive your first check sometime after 21 days following the date you told your employer about your injury.
In Pennsylvania, payments for lost wages are approximately 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a pre-set maximum. In 2014, the weekly maximum is $932.
Keep in mind, wage loss benefits can be reduced if you are receiving other payments such as a pension.
The petition you received is called a "Petition to Terminate Compensation Benefits." Your employer filed the petition because they believe that you have recovered from your injury and can now return to work.
A workers' compensation judge will decide if your payments will stop. Until those hearings take place, you should still receive your workers' compensation benefits and payments. If you've received one of these petitions, we highly recommend you contact an attorney if you believe you're still too injured to work, or if your personal doctor hasn't released you to work.
First and foremost, never accept a lump sum settlement without contacting an attorney. You may actually be losing out on the workers' compensation benefits and payments you deserve by taking a lump sum settlement before exploring all your options.
You might be eligible to settle for a lump sum, also known as a "Compromise and Release," if you've been off work for over four months due to your work injury, and you've been receiving workers' compensation benefits. It's important to remember that once you accept a lump sum settlement, you can't request further benefits even if you still remain unable to work.
Visit our lump sum page to learn more about this type of settlement and whether it's the right option for you.
If you return to work and you make:
- The same amount of money or more money than what you made before you were hurt, your payment for lost wages will be suspended.
- Less money than you made before you were hurt, you will receive lost wage payments in the form of partial disability benefits.
Partial disability payments equal approximately 2/3 of the difference between what you make now and what you made before you were hurt.
Example: You make $300 per week at your light duty job. Before you were injured, you made $450 per week. The difference between the two pay rates is $150 per week. Your partial disability payment would be 2/3 of $150, or approximately $100.
Your payment can not go over the maximum weekly payment rate that was set for the year you were injured. If you were injured in 2014, your weekly maximum in Pennsylvania is $932.
While you wait for a decision on your PA workers' compensation claim, you could:
- Check to see if your employer has a disability policy or sick and accident policy as part of your work benefits package
- Use any vacation or sick time you have available
- Seek public assistance
If you do receive Pennsylvania workers' compensation payments, your payments may be reduced based on the amount of money you are receiving from a sickness and accident policy, public assistance, unemployment compensation, Social Security disability benefits, pension, etc.