Types of Benefits and Payments
Make Sure You Get All of the Benefits You Deserve
"What you don't know won't hurt you." When it comes to your workers' compensation benefits, this saying couldn't be further from the truth. What you don't know can have a major impact on your claim – it can affect how much and what type of work comp benefits you receive.
Pennsylvania workers' compensation pays a number of different benefit types. You're probably familiar with medical and lost wage payments, but depending on your situation, you might qualify for several others as well. The best way to find out is to contact us for a free legal consultation.
Our workers' compensation attorneys have been helping injured clients for years, and this experience means we give you advice you can trust. We cover all the bases and make sure you're not missing out on work comp benefits you deserve.
A scar on your head, face, or neck can change your life and drastically affect your emotional wellbeing. Whether you were burned at work, gashed from a stray piece of metal, or otherwise left disfigured as a result of your workplace accident, scars act as constant reminders of your injury. It can affect your confidence and quality of life.
We know that scars change peoples' lives. Adjusting to a severe alteration in appearance is difficult for most. That's why we're here for you. We'll help you file for workers' compensation benefits for the scarring you've suffered through your workplace accident.
We'll Get You Payment for Your Scar
When you contact us, we'll collect all the details from you. There are just a few things we'll need to know:
- What is the location of your scar?
- Was it the result of an accident at work?
- Was it the result of surgery that was necessary after an accident at work?
- What is the size and color of your scar?
- How much disfigurement does your scar cause?
- And other details
Your answers to these questions will provide vital support to your case. We'll take care of the details while filing your claim, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
Benefits For Lost Wages
Suffering an injury at work is frustrating, especially when it prevents you from collecting regular paychecks for you and your loved ones. You're sidelined with your injury, wondering, "What are we going to do if I can't work?" That's an important question to ask, and it's one that we can help you answer.
Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system is like a gigantic roadmap that's difficult to navigate. It seems like there are many alleys and avenues that can lead you to dead ends or turn you around in circles. That's why we're here. We guide you and help you get the money you deserve.
Types of Lost Wage Payments
We want to make sure you understand the workers' compensation system. Did you know there are two different types of compensation you can collect if you claim lost wages? They are largely dependent on the severity of your injury and your level of disability.
When you're collecting workers' compensation for lost wages, you're able to collect a portion of your job's gross weekly pay up to a maximum amount. In Pennsylvania, your compensation is based on the average amount of money you make per week at your current job.
The amounts for 2015 are as follows:
- If you make over $1,426.50 per week, your maximum compensation will be $995/week.
- If you make between $713.26 and $1,426.50, you will be given 66 percent of your average weekly wage.
- If your average weekly wages fall between $528.33 and $713.26, your weekly compensation amount will be $475.50.
- Your workers' compensation will be 90 percent of your gross weekly wages if you make $528.32 or less.
If you are able to return to a "light duty" assignment that pays less than your previous position, you can collect Partial Disability. Pennsylvania's workers' compensation program says that you can collect two-thirds of the difference of the two salaries for a maximum of 500 weeks (9.5 years).
- You made $500/week at your job before your injury.
- After feeling better, you were offered a "light duty" position that paid $400/week.
- Your workers' compensation would pay two-thirds (66%) of that difference between your original pay ($500) and your light duty pay ($400).
- In other words, workers' compensation would give you two-thirds of $100 ($66). That means you would end up making the sum of $466/week for your light duty assignment with Partial Disability for workers' compensation added.
More Information on Lost Wages
It's important to note that you will never receive a "cost of living adjustment," otherwise known as C.O.L.A., while you are enrolled in the workers' compensation program. Your payments will remain the same for as long as they continue.
Don't forget, if you're collecting Social Security Disability (or have other sources of income), it can impact the amount of money you receive through workers' compensation.
Hearing loss is one of the most common work-related injuries in the United States. Even though employers are required by law to regulate noise levels, millions of workers are exposed to hazardous noise environments every day. Hearing loss isn't just inconvenient, it can cause permanent damage that affects your quality of life and ability to earn a living.
If your hearing was affected by workplace noise, you probably have a lot on your mind, but legal problems shouldn't be one of your concerns. Our law firm has a department that focuses exclusively on Workers' Compensation, and we have decades of experience defending clients with work-related injuries. We know you have questions and we're here, 24/7, to address your concerns and help you take steps to move forward with your life.
Hearing Loss Facts and Figures
Noise in your workplace can cause irreversible damage and many American workers are exposed to noise levels that put their hearing at risk. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:
- Every day, 4 million workers hear damaging noise.
- The construction, mining, plumbing, and farming industries are among the most high-risk occupations for hearing loss.
- Almost half of all male miners will experience hearing impairment by age 50.
Sounds measuring over 80 decibels (dB) result in intense vibrations that can cause harm to your inner ear. Here are some decibel measurements for work-related equipment that could damage your hearing:
- 90 dB: A large truck 5 yards away
- 100 dB:Woodshop noise, such as a power drill
- 120 dB:A jackhammer about 3 feet away
- 130 dB:A jet engine from 100 feet away
Just like a back, knee, or other type of workplace injury, hearing impairment can seriously impact your health and ability to work. If you're a victim of work-related hearing loss, you deserve to be compensated for an injury that changes your life forever.
Benefits for Permanent Loss or Amputated Limbs?
Losing the use of a body part, or losing that body part altogether, is a traumatic, life-altering experience. If you've been injured on the job, causing permanent damage or total amputation of a body part, we can help you receive a specific loss payment with your workers' compensation.
We can only imagine the pain and uncertainty that comes with such a loss. We're committed to helping you deal with the hassle and strain navigating the of workers' compensation system. We'll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What is Specific Loss? Do I Qualify?
Specific Loss is a particular benefit of workers' compensation that you can claim if you've lost, or lost the use of, a body part. You may qualify for Specific Loss payments if you've lost the use of:
Specific Loss is a lump sum payment, as opposed to money added to your workers' compensation checks. We will help you understand what kind of payment is fair for your loss, and we'll consider the future for you and your loved ones. We want to make sure you have future medical costs covered, so you don't have to worry and can get back to what's most important – enjoying your life.
Medical Bill Benefits
Over the years, we've helped thousands of people with their Pennsylvania workers' compensation claims. That's why we know that if you've been hurt on the job, the list of things you worry about is long: your injuries, your finances, whether or not you can keep doing the same job, and providing for your family. Then the medical bills start coming in the mail.
Many of the people we've talked to are confused about what exactly workers' compensation benefits pay for and which medical expenses are covered. When you hire our law firm, it's our goal to make sure you understand everything about your claim and how the workers' compensation system affects you and your family. We want you to feel comfortable asking any question you may have – that's the only way you'll feel confident you're getting the best legal representation possible.
Which Medical Expenses are Covered?
Here is some basic information about medical expenses covered under Pennsylvania workers' compensation:
- Doctor visits: If your employer has posted a list of company physicians at your workplace, you must see one of them for the first 90 days to receive payment for your medical expenses. If no list is posted, you may choose your own doctor. If one is posted and you go to a different doctor, you will most likely have to pay for your own expenses.
- Hospital expenses:
- Emergency room trips
- Overnight stays
- And more
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription drugs and other medications
- Orthopedic devices
- Medical supplies
- Physical therapy
A few more things you should know:
- You don't have to miss any work to receive Pennsylvania workers' compensation payments for your medical expenses – they are considered separate from lost wages payments and other workers' compensation benefits.
- On the other hand, receiving payments for your medical expenses doesn't mean that you've been approved for other types of workers' compensation payments.
While this seems straightforward, people are often denied benefits they're entitled to receive – including payment for medical expenses. Claims are often wrongfully delayed or denied because insurance companies do everything they can to pay as little as possible. We've seen it time and time again.
There's no reason for you to fight the insurance company on your own. The work comp system is confusing and complex, and we know that hiring an attorney can seem just as overwhelming. We make it simple for you. Just contact us for a free legal consultation, and then you can decide what you want to do from there.
My Boss Doesn't Have Work Comp Insurance... Is There Anything I Do?
We've handled so many Pennsylvania workers' compensation claims that there isn't much that surprises us. We know that for you, however, the process can seem like one roadblock after another. The system is complex and really is stacked against the injured worker.
One of those roadblocks might be particularly shocking to you – an uninsured employer.
Under Pennsylvania law, most employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance. But just like uninsured drivers, some employers don't meet their legal obligations. You can check to see if your employer has insurance by going to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry website.
So what can you do if you were injured on the job, but your employer or boss doesn't have workers' compensation insurance?
We recommend that you consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney right away to learn your options and protect your legal rights.
After helping over 8,000 clients with their workers' compensation claims, not only do we know our state's laws, we know what you want and need out of an attorney. We keep you updated every step of the way, we explain what's happening with your claim, and we make sure you understand what can happen down the road.
The Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund
If you consult an attorney and learn that there are no other options, you can apply for benefits from the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
The most important thing is to act quickly. You only have 45 days after you learn your employer is uninsured to file your benefits claim with the Guaranty Fund. As with any other workers' compensation claim, you must also file an accident report with your employer within the first 120 days following your accident at work.
You must file a claim with the Department of Labor & Industry to petition payment from the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund. You are also obligated to file a "notice of claim" against your uninsured employer.