Sustaining a workplace injury can be disorienting and confusing. An occupational accident can send you into a whirlwind of financial and emotional difficulties. The aftermath of a work injury may be hard for you to navigate.
It is important to understand as much as possible about the workers' compensation process in Pennsylvania. Here is some general information about how to pursue compensation for a workplace injury in the Keystone State.
Does the law cover you?
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act covers nearly every worker. Employers with even just one worker must comply with the law. The law even covers part-time and seasonal employees. Other laws may cover you if you are a railroad worker, federal employee, harbor and shipyard worker or longshoreman. Even if your employer does not have coverage, you may be able to get benefits through the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
What does the law cover?
If your job causes you to sustain an injury, disease or illness, you may be able to seek compensation. The law does not cover self-inflicted conditions or conditions that are a result of violating the law or intoxication.
How do I receive benefits?
The most important thing is to promptly report your injury. Tell your employer about any injury as soon as possible. If you fail to notify your employer, your benefits may be delayed or denied.
What benefits can I receive?
Pennsylvania allows workers to receive the following types of compensation:
- Lost wages
- Medical care
- Specific loss benefits
- Death benefits
If you become disabled, you may also be able to pursue partial or total disability benefits.
What if my employer denies my claim?
Once you file a claim, your employer may decide to either accept or deny it. In the case of a denial, the law gives you the right to file a petition with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, which sets up a hearing before a judge.