If you are injured while on the job, there are several forms of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Before you can take the steps necessary to file a claim, you must understand the different types of workers’ compensation benefits.
Lost Wage Payments
Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that you are totally disabled and unable to work or partially disabled and receiving wages less than your pre-injury earnings.
Total disability benefits
Total disability benefits are payable for as long as you are unable to work. There are no specific time limits imposed by law to collect these benefits.
Partial disability benefits
Any benefits less than total is partial. Partial disability benefits are usually received in a situation in which the injured worker has returned to work at wages that are less than the pre-injury wages.
Partial disability benefits also come into play in situations where a judge finds that you are capable of performing light-duty work at wages less than the pre-injury wages. This means that you have the ability to earn some wages, but you have not completely recovered from your work injury.
If you are back to work but the new job pays less than the pre-injury job, you are entitled to be paid two-thirds of the difference between average weekly wage of your old job and your new job up to the maximum rate for the year of your injury.
Medical Care Payments
If you’ve been injured at work or diagnosed with a work-related illness, you are entitled to receive medical treatment that is “reasonable and necessary” to treat your work injury. These medical costs are the responsibility of your employer and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Once a claim is accepted, you should never have to make a co-payment or pay any other fee for medical care associated with a work-related injury or illness.
Even if you have lost no time from work, your employer should still be responsible for health care costs for a work-related injury or illness.
Even though it is the duty of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to pay for medical treatment related to a work injury, these carriers frequently try to get out of paying by challenging the relatedness of the treatment to the work injury. A workers’ compensation insurance carrier may narrowly describe an injured worker’s injury to avoid paying for treatments down the road. It is very important that an injured worker be aware of what injuries have been accepted by the insurance carrier and what injuries have not been accepted, even though the injuries all occurred in the same accident.
If the injury results in death, surviving dependents may be entitled to benefits.
Specific Loss Benefits
If you have lost the permanent use of all or part of your thumb, finger, hand, arm, leg, foot, toe, sight, hearing or have a serious and permanent disfigurement on your head, face or neck, you may be entitled to a specific loss award.
Free Consultation – No Fees Unless We Win – Contact an Erie Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
To speak with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney about your workers’ compensation claim, call McCormick and Vilushis at (814) 455-5362. There are no consultation fees.