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Workers Comp Reinstatement Hearing Question?

Norristown, PA |

My benefits were stopped by my employer in violation of the WC Act (without a judges order or notice) even with medical documentation of my inability to work. A petition for reinstatement/penalties has been filed. Will a WCJ decide to reinstate during the hearing?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. I am not sure why your benefits were stopped. If you had returned to work and then went back out due to your injuries it is unlikely that there will be a determination at the first hearing. Often that litigation can last 6-9 months or longer. If the benefits were unilaterally stopped without a basis it is possible there could be an interlocutory order to reinstate but that is fairly rare. Hopefully you are represented by a lawyer. If not you should get one immediatley. Good luck.


  2. If they Petition for Reinstatement a Position for Penalties Has been filed on your behalf, workers compensation judge will typically not render decisions in one hearing. Even if you present all of your evidence at the first hearing, the Defendants will have an opportunity to present evidence in rebuttal to your Petition.

    Typically Workers compensation Cases take 6 to 9 months to litigate. If there is no medical testimony being taken in your case, that time-limited shortened to 90-120 days.

    Assuming you are represented by an attorney, it is best that you discuss these issues with your attorney prior to the first hearing. If you are not represented by counsel, it is highly recommended that you immediately contact an attorney experienced in handling Worker's Compensation cases as you should not be litigating such petition one your own.

    Most attorneys will not charge for an initial consultation and will except your claim on a contingent fee basis.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated. If you have further questions regarding your issue, or my answer you may contact me to discuss this issue further by calling 215-496-9607 or sending an email to rjaffe@phillyworkinjury.com


  3. If you filed a petition I hope that you did that with a lawyer. These questions should be directed to that lawyer, of course, but it is unlikely that the judge will make any decision at the hearing itself. Both sides will be entitled to develop evidence and that takes time. If you do not have a lawyer, you should get one right away. Most workers' compensation lawyers will not charge for an initial consultation.


  4. If your employer unilaterally terminated your weight loss benefits without a judges order or proper notice of suspension, there is yet another remedy available to you beyond the penalty petition. Namely, after securing a certified copy of the Notice of Compensation Payable from the Bureau of Worker's Compensation in Harrisburg, a lien against your employer can be filed in the Court of Common Pleas. This is a very rarely used remedy, but it does tend to wake up your employer when the sheriff shows up and starts removing desks from your employer's office.

    The answer to this question is based on Pennsylvania Law only. Workers' Compensation statutes and case law vary from state to state.


  5. If there truly was no legal basis for stopping your checks, there is a good chance the defense attorney will recommend that the benefits be reinstated quickly to avoid or minimize penalties. Absent action from the defense, you may have to wait a while because a Judge will not usually issue an order at the first hearing. Your attorney should be talking to defense counsel in an effort to convince them to reinstate your benefits now to minimize their penalties. If you do not have counsel, you should retain one immediately. There are several reasons your checks might have been stopped and some of them involve paperwork that you might have overlooked or not realized was important.


  6. If you have an attorney that filed the reinstatement petition you should ask your attorney, however the request can be made to reinstate your benefits while the reinstatement petition is pending. It depends upon the Judge and the facts of your case whether he or she will issue an order. A penalty petition needs to be filed against the employer as well if they cut off benefits without an order or supplemental agreement or final receipt. They are in deep water if they voilated the Act and cut you off without a basis or right to do so under the Act.

    Answers are based upon facts given. Collection of further facts could change our answer.