Philadelphia Workers' Compensation FAQs
Understanding Workers' Compensation and Your Rights
Helping Injured and Disabled Workers throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area for Over 25 Years
What is workers' compensation?
Workers' Compensation provides injured workers with wage loss, medical and other benefits. Wage loss benefits pay a percentage of your wages while you are unable to work due to the work injury. Medical benefits cover medical expenses including treatment, testing, and prescription medications which are related to your work injury. Death Benefits pay a percentage of your wages to certain family members in the event of a fatal injury. Specific loss benefits are paid for the loss or loss of use of vision, hearing, or limbs, or disfigurement and scars to the head, face or neck.
Are you covered for Workers' Compensation benefits?
Most Pennsylvania workers are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. Employers must provide workers' compensation coverage for all of their employees, including seasonal and part-time workers. Non-profit corporations, unincorporated businesses, and even employers with only one employee, must comply with the requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act.
When are you covered?
Coverage for injury or disease suffered in the course of employment begins on the date you begin working. Medical benefits are payable from the first day of injury. You must be disabled more than seven calendar days (including weekends) before workers' compensation payments for disability are payable. Benefits for time lost from work are payable on the eighth day after injury. Once you have been off work for 14 days, you receive retroactive payment for the first seven days.
How much are the payments for lost wages?
In general, wage-loss benefits are equal to approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum. Depending on you pre-injury average weekly wage, there are exceptions to this and wage loss benefits can be as much as 90% of your average weekly wage. Contact Oxenburg and Franzel to discuss the amount of workers' compensation benefits you may be eligible for.
When are wage-loss payments made?
If you report the injury promptly, miss more than seven days of work and your claim is accepted by the insurance carrier, you should receive your first compensation check within 21 days of your absence from work. After that, you should receive a check on a regular basis. If there is any delay in the insurance company advising you that they will accept your claim, or if you are not receiving your compensation checks in a timely manner, call Oxenburg and Franzel.
Payments of temporary compensation may be made by your employer or the insurance carrier for up to 90 days, even if your claim is not accepted by your employer or its insurance carrier. If your employer or their insurance carrier advises you that it will not continue your temporary compensation checks past 90 days, you have the right to file a Claim Petition to ask a workers' compensation judge to order the payment of benefits.
Offer of Employment
If, after you begin to receive benefits, your employer has evidence to prove that employment is available to you within your medical restrictions and in your local area, you may receive an offer of employment. Your right to continue to receive benefits may be affected by how you respond to this offer. For a free consultation to discuss how to respond to the offer of employment, call Oxenburg and Franzel.
When Wage-Loss Payments Stop
Wage-loss benefits can be stopped if you have returned to work at wages equal to or greater than your earnings level prior to the injury. If the insurance company has issued a Notice of Compensation Payable, your benefits can not be stopped unless you sign an agreement that they be stopped or if a workers' compensation judge orders that benefits be stopped. There is no time limit to the receipt of total disability benefits. There is a limit of 500 weeks of partial disability.
Do you need an attorney?
If your claim for workers' compensation benefits was denied, if you think you haven't received benefits due you, if you are concerned about information you are getting from the insurance company or if you have and questions about your rights, you should contact Oxenburg and Franzel for a free consultation.
Workers' compensation litigation is complex, and your employer or your employer's insurance carrier will be represented by an experienced attorney. We can answer all of your workers' compensation questions and concerns and represent you in hearings before the workers' compensation judge. We understand the workers' compensation process and will protect your rights as an injured worker.
Can you receive both Workers' Compensation benefits and Social Security benefits?
If your injury will keep you from working for a year or more you may be entitled to receive both workers' compensation benefits and Security disability benefits. If you think you may be eligible, contact Oxenburg and Franzel for a free consultation.
This publication and the information included in it are not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals.