Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers who are injured on the job are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are essential for employees who may not be able to work due to their injury or illness and are governed by state and federal law. Depending on the nature of the workplace injury, there may be some slight variations in the types of benefits for which workers are eligible.
Workers’ compensation provides a portion of the employee’s salary, based on their average weekly wages. The type of lost wage benefit depends on the severity of the injury and whether the employee can continue working in some capacity:
- Temporary total disability – If an employee cannot work at all during their recovery, they may be entitled to approximately two-thirds of their average weekly pay up to a maximum as set by the state.
- Permanent partial disability – If an employee can work in a limited capacity but is earning less than they would have had they not been injured, workers’ compensation may provide around two-thirds of the difference between their previous salary and their current salary for a period of no more than 500 weeks or until the employee is able to work at full capacity, whichever is sooner.
Workers who suffer from a job-related illness or injury also have their medical treatment covered by workers’ compensation. In Pennsylvania, workers must receive treatment from a company-recommended practitioner, out of a list of at least six provided by the company, for the first 90 days of their treatment, after which they can choose their own practitioner. Doctors and other specialists submit their claims directly to the company’s insurance provider, and workers should never be charged a co-pay. Covered treatments must be reasonable and necessary to address the worker’s injury.
Specific Loss Benefits
Some workplace injuries can result in permanent loss or disfigurement. In these cases, workers may be entitled to additional compensation, paid out in a lump sum. Specific loss covers any injury that results in loss of a body part or use of a body part, such as:
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Partial or total loss of hearing or sight
The payout for a specific loss is calculated based on the employee’s average weekly earnings and the value of the lost function as determined by the state. For example, if a worker loses the use of one of their arms, they will receive an amount equivalent to two-thirds of their weekly salary for 410 weeks.
If a worker dies from their work-related injury or illness, their family may be eligible for compensation. Spouses, children, and other dependents may receive benefits based on the employee’s weekly wages. The length of the benefits depends on the relationship to the worker: the worker’s spouse will receive weekly payments until they remarry, while children will receive benefits until they turn 18 (or 23 if they are a full-time student). Other dependents can include parents or siblings, who are each entitled to a portion of the deceased worker’s wages. The family of the deceased worker can also claim up to $3,000 to cover funeral costs.
In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Insurance companies often try to minimize the amount of benefits that they pay out or deny workers’ claims altogether by refusing to authorize treatments or claiming that the injury is not eligible for benefits. If you have suffered from a workplace injury or illness, it is important to speak to an experienced lawyer who understands the workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Comprehensive Representation to Injured Workers
The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of workers’ compensation cases. We are committed to getting you the maximum benefits to which you are entitled and will be with you through every step of the process to ensure your rights are protected. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, and Pinehurst, we represent injured workers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online for a free consultation with a Philadelphia work injury lawyer.