Workers' Comp FAQ

Workers’ compensation is a system designed to help people who have been injured at work or developed a work-related illness pay their medical bills and other expenses while they are recovering. If you are wondering if you are covered or have questions about the specifics of the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania, please review our list of frequently asked questions below.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C. at (267) 419-6422. Services offered in English and Spanish.

Am I covered?

Nearly all Pennsylvania workers are covered by workers’ compensation because employers are required to provide coverage for all of their employees, including part-time and seasonal workers. All companies must comply with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, including unincorporated businesses, nonprofit corporations, and businesses with only one employee.

Some types of employees may be covered by other compensation laws, including railroad workers, federal civilian employees, shipyard and harbor workers, and longshoreman. Other types of workers who may not be covered include agricultural laborers, volunteer workers, domestics, casual employees, and those who have been granted personal religious exemption from the Act.

What does workers’ compensation cover? Is there anything that isn’t covered?

Workers’ compensation covers any work-related injury or illness. Injuries or illnesses that are intentional, caused by the illegal use of drugs or alcohol, or which arise from a violation of the law are ineligible for compensation.

What benefits are provided under workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Payment for lost wages (approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage)
  • Medical care (medicine, supplies, hospital treatment, etc.)
  • Specific loss benefits (for the permanent loss of eyesight, hearing, limb, or appendage, or for permanent disfigurement of the head, neck, or face)
  • Death benefits (paid to surviving dependents)

Can I continue to collect workers’ compensation benefits after I return to work?

It depends. If the worker is able to return to work and earn wages equal to or greater than those they were receiving prior to their injury, it is likely their benefits will be stopped. However, if the employee returns to work and still suffers a loss of wages, he or she may be able to continue earning benefits, but they will likely be for a lesser amount.

Can I collect benefits if my injury happened outside of my workplace?

Generally, workers’ compensation covers injuries that arise “within the scope of employment.” If, for example, you have traveled for work at the request of your employer, compensation may be paid if the employee is injured during the trip or errand. Compensation may also be payable if an employee is hurt during an employer-sponsored recreational outing or event.

When does my coverage start?

Workers’ compensation coverage begins on your date of hire.

How do I claim benefits?

If you have been hurt, you must report your injury promptly to your employer. Failure to do could result in a delay or a denial of benefits. After you inform your employer of the nature of the injury and the date and time the injury occurred, they will then report the injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as required by law. If your employer chooses to deny your claim, you have the right to file a petition to request a hearing before a Workers’ Compensation judge.

Need assistance with a workers’ compensation matter? Fill out an online form to request an initial consultation with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer.

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