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Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation Benefits

Important Notice: The following overview of Pennsylvania's worker's compensation (workmans comp) benefits is presented on an as-is basis. This information is believed accurate as of the date of authorship, but is not intended to provide a complete analysis of available benefits and may not reflect subsequent changes in the law. For a full review of Pennsylvania's worker's compensation law, or for a determination of how the law applies to a specific worker, please consult a worker's compensation attorney licensed to practice in the state of Pennsylvania.

Contents

Introduction

Pennsylvania's system of worker's compensation (workman's comp) is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. Worker's compensation insurance may be provided through a competitive state fund, a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are not permitted.

Special Employment Situations

With narrow exceptions, agricultural employers must provide worker's compensation coverage. Employers may provide voluntary worker's compensation coverage for domestic servants.

Medical Benefits & Choice of Physician

Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. The employer selects the initial physician who will provide care, with the employee obtaining free choice of provider after a period defined by law.

Disability Benefits Provided

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments continue for the duration of the disability. Benefits are subject to Social Security benefit offsets, as well as offsets for benefits received under an employer-funded pension plan and for severance pay.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability. Benefits are subject to offsets for Social Security benefits, benefits received through employer-funded pensions, and for severance pay.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments for PPD may continue for up to 500 weeks.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Benefits may be available for serious and permanent disfigurement of the head, face, or neck.

Physical rehabilitation benefits are covered under medical services. There is no provision for vocational rehabilitation in the worker's compensation law.

With certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death Benefits Provided

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A burial allowance is available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for claimants are limited to 20% by statute. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.