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When an Approved WC case is appealed & Supersedeas to not pay is denied; what does "pending a final decision on the merit" mean?

Philadelphia, PA |

I got hurt on 10/03/11 at work in PA, 30 days later my ex-employers ins comp denied me, I've spent the last, almost 2 years fighting my company trough hearings & was finally approved by the Judge on 07/31/13. My ex-employer than filed an appeal on 08/20/13 & with it, filed a Supersedeas to NOT pay me til after the Appeals hearing (Scheduled for 10/02/13). The Supersedeas was denied on 09/18/13. I'm wondering what the sentence in the letter means "Pending a final decision on the merits compensation benefits shall be payable based on an average weekly wage of (my average weekly wage)"? I tried finding it online, but can't find anythng that explains what those specific merits are. I received my debit card from the PA Dept of Labor & Industry on 09/23/13. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

when the Workers Compensation Carrier, by and through their Attorney filed a Request for Supersedeas with the WCAB they are seeking to avoid payment of whatever monies and/or medical bills were Awarded by the Workers Compensation Judge while there Appeal is pending before the WCAB. This is merely a "preliminary" ruling and may be altered once Oral Argument has been heard, briefs submitted and the WCAB issues its final Opinion and Order.

The phrase that is referenced in your question above means that although the WCAB has Denied the Defendants Request for Supersedeas which essentially Orders the Workers Compensation Carrier to make payments pursuant to the Judges Order, this is merely a preliminary decision and may be altered and/or overruled when the Board issues its final Opinion and Order.

I am assuming from your question that you already have a Attorney to represent your interest in this matter and this question would best be posed of your Attorney. If, however, you are currently unrepresented, it is my recommendation that you contact an Attorney who has been Certified as a Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law for an initial consultation. The Initial Consultation will more than likely be free and any Attorney will accept your case on the 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

Asker

Posted

Thank you! Yes I have an Atty, but I posted this while waiting to hear back from him. I received my Debit card today, & just got off the phone with him... he said that the weekly payments will start once I get the FINA decision after my Appeals hearing on 10/02/13, but because the Supersedeas was denied, he said they have to pay my back pay my back pay immediately before that hearing, plus my medical. I just filled out all the paperwork necessary for a cash advance, which I'll be getting on Wednesday, whichll help so much, since I've had $0 income since 10/03/2011. Thanks again for your help! :-)

Asker

Posted

Oops I meant final, not FINA. Sorry!

Posted

It means that the WC insurance carrier is to pay you based on what is in the WCJ's Order. The Board will decide your claim when they circulate a final Order in approximately 1 year. At that time, they will decide the issue of your average weekly wage, but for now you are winning ...

If you have a lawyer, talk to them about this as they can fill you in on the details that are specific to your claim. If you don't, you should consider getting one.

Best of luck to you!

Asker

Posted

Thank you! Yes I have an Atty, but posted this while I was waiting for his call back. He just told me that the have to pay my back pay before my Appeals hearing on 10/02/2013, since the Supersedeas was denied. But I also just filled it cash advance paperwork, which I'll be getting that check on Wednesday, thank God, because I've had $0 income since I got hurt on 10/03/2011. But thanks again! I appreciate your time & expertise! :-)