If you sustain an injury or contract an occupational disease while performing your regular work duties, workers’ compensation will cover your medical expenses and pay for partial wage replacement. Medical benefits are payable from the first day of injury, but you may not realize that workers’ compensation wage loss benefits do not start the day you are injured. Depending on how long your injury or illness keeps you from being able to work, you may not receive any wage replacement benefits. Workers often have questions about when workers’ compensation coverage begins and how retroactive payments work.
Workers’ compensation is a state program and rules and procedures will vary according to the specific laws in each state. In Pennsylvania, you must be ill or injured for at least seven days before partial wage replacement benefits become payable. The uncompensated waiting period serves as a deductible for the injured worker. Payment for your lost time at work is payable on the eighth day after your injury.
Pennsylvania’s retroactive period for workers’ compensation is 14 days. After you have lost 14 days of work, you may be eligible to receive a retroactive payment that includes those first seven days of missed work. You must be disabled at least seven days from your workplace illness or injury before workers’ compensation benefits become payable. However, you must report your injury to your supervisor within 21 days of the accident to receive retroactive benefits.
How Much Money Will I Receive for Lost Wages?
If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted by your employer’s insurance company, medical costs will be covered, provided you document your expenses.
You will also receive wage loss benefits equal to two-thirds of your weekly salary before you were injured, subject to minimum and maximum limits. These limits are subject to change annually.
In 2020, Pennsylvania wage loss benefits were capped at $1,081 per week for injuries occurring on or after January 2020. The effect of minimum and maximum limits on benefit payments is illustrated as follows:
- If you previously earned more than $1,620.50 per week, you will only receive the maximum of $1081 per week, even though that is less than two-thirds of your previous wages
- If your previous weekly wages fell between $810.76 and $1.620.50 per week, your weekly wage loss benefits will be two-thirds of your previous wages
- If you earned more than $600.50 per week but less than $810.76 per week, you would receive $540.50 per week in benefits
- If you earned less than $600.50 per week, your benefits will be 90 percent of your previous weekly wages
Note that the calculation of benefits is subject to change annually. Payments are typically issued in the form of a check mailed to the injured party’s home address. Payments may not be made payable to an attorney unless they are a court-appointed trustee or acting as the administrator of the claimant’s estate.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation Claims
The workers’ compensation program benefits employees hurt at work no matter what type of injury or illness they suffer. Examples of common workers’ compensation injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Eye injuries and damage to vision
- Overexertion injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Occupational illnesses, such as asthma, silicosis, and black lung disease are also covered by workers’ compensation if it can be proven that working conditions caused or aggravated the condition.
Workers’ Compensation Disputes
It is not uncommon for an employer’s insurance company to attempt to deny or minimize an injury claim. Employees have the right to legal representation to obtain the benefits. Workers who were seriously injured on the job and who are facing any kind of dispute with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer or the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Commission should consider enlisting the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for Injured Workers
If you are having trouble collecting the benefits you deserve or have questions about the waiting period, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. today. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you deserve. To get started, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.