Written by attorney Francis Joseph Lafferty IV

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation 101: A Summary of the Benefits an Injured Worker may receive

Below is a summary of the benefits an injured worker may be eligible to receive under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act

Medical Benefits: All reasonable, necessary and related medical expenses are payable when you sustain a work injury. This includes things such as doctor appointments, hospital visits, surgery, prescription drugs and other medications and medical devices;

Total Disability Wage Loss Benefits: Total disability is paid when the injured worker is totally disabled from working or when the employer cannot accommodate the restrictions placed on the worker by their doctor. The amount you receive is based on the amount you make per week (your average weekly wage);

Partial Disability Wage Loss Benefits: Partial disability is paid when the injured worker has returned to work but is earning less than they were before you were injured. In Pennsylvania, you can receive two-thirds of the difference the two salaries, up to a maximum of 500 weeks;

Specific Loss Benefits: A workers’ compensation payment for a Specific Loss is paid on one lump sum. Specific Loss may include amputation, dismemberment, or permanent loss of use of a finger, thumb, hand, arm, toe, foot, leg, eye, or ear. The amount of the Specific Loss payment depends on the body part affected and the extent of the amputation or permanent loss of use, as well as the number of weeks you missed work due to the injury;

Scarring and Disfigurement: You can receive compensation for a scar or disfigurement that is located on your neck, head or face even if you do not miss time from work and collect wage loss benefits. The amount of your award will be dependent on factors such as the location, size, and color of the scar; however, the scar payment cannot exceed a maximum payment equal to 275 weeks of pay;

Death Benefits: If a work injury or illness results in death, the surviving family members who were dependent on the deceased worker’s income may be eligible to receive a death benefit payment from Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. The amount of the death benefit payment will depend upon the relationship to the deceased worker. The insurance company may also give a funeral benefit directly to the funeral director to help pay for the cost of the funeral.

It is important that you speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you may be entitled to because of a work injury.

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