The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law provides for several types of workplace injury benefits for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Injured workers are entitled to the payment of reasonable and necessary medical treatment including surgical and medical services, medicine, supplies, hospital treatment and services, orthopedic appliances, prostheses and rehabilitation. Wage-loss benefits are available if it is determined that an injured worker is totally disabled and unable to work at all, or partially disabled and working in a position earning less than the worker’s pre-injury pay. An injured employee may be entitled to Specific Loss Benefits if the worker has lost the permanent use of all or part of his arm, leg, foot, finger, hand, toe, has experienced sight or hearing loss, or has suffered a serious and permanent disfigurement on his head, face or neck. If the work injury results in death, surviving dependents may be entitled to death benefits.Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits
Once the injured employee gives the employer notice of his work injuries, the employer or its insurance carrier must agree that the job injury or illness is work-related before injured worker benefits are paid. If the employer or insurance carrier denies the work injury claim, the injured worker must file a Claim Petition to be heard before a Workers’ Compensation law judge who decides which party will prevail.
In a Workers’ Compensation matter, neither the injured worker nor the employer is determined to be at fault. The work injury benefits a worker receives is not decreased by the worker’s carelessness, nor increased by an employer’s negligence. However, an injured employer may lose the right to Workers’ Compensation benefits if the work related injury results from the worker’s intoxication from drugs or alcohol. Similarly, if the injured employee is hurt by his own actions or inactions intended to cause harm to himself or someone else, the employee may forfeit his right to recover under the Workers’ Compensation laws.