Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process in Pennsylvania
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, Pennsylvania employees are required to report their workplace injuries to their employers within 120 days from the date the injury occurred. However, it is in workers’ best interest to notify their employers in writing as soon as possible so the workers’ compensation claim can get started. Upon receiving notification, employers must file a First Report of Injury with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and can choose whether to accept or deny the claim. Employers or their insurance companies may deny workers’ compensation claims for various reasons, such as improper reporting or disagreement as to the severity of the worker’s injury.
If a workers’ compensation judge does not overturn the original decision, employees have the option to appeal their denied claims. It is important to file the appropriate forms and meet all applicable deadlines to have the best possible chance of winning an appeal. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. help injured workers prevail in their appeals, so they can get the necessary compensation for their workplace injuries and illnesses.
Process of Appealing a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim in Pennsylvania
Each state has different procedures and requirements for appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim, therefore it is advisable that employees seek the counsel of a qualified attorney in their geographical area. In Pennsylvania, the following specific appeal process must be adhered to:
- File the appeal – An Appeal Form must be completed and postmarked within 20 calendar days from the Circulation Date listed on the front page of the Judge’s decision. The original appeal plus two copies must be mailed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) and the envelope must include: a copy of the Judge’s decision and a completed proof of service page as well as a statement of the alleged findings and the specific grounds upon which the appeal is based.
- Appear before the WCAB – The employer and the employee’s insurance company will each be allowed to submit a written brief and present oral arguments before the WCAB. After considering all evidence and arguments, the WCAB will issue a written decision.
- Appeal to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court – If the WCAB upholds the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Judge, the employee may then file an appeal with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court within 30 days of the written decision. The Court will determine whether an error was made or whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence and issue a written decision.
- Make a final appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court – If the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court does not issue a decision in the employee’s favor, he or she has one final appeal left to file with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, although most cases do not reach this stage. A Petition for Allowance of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Commonwealth Court’s decision. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court then decides whether to hear the case. If it decides not to hear the case, then the decision of the Commonwealth Court is final; if it decides to hear the case and issues a written decision, then that decision is prevailing and final.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Know What it Takes to File a Successful Appeal
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, you may still have a right to compensation. A skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can help you file the appropriate documents and present a persuasive case upon appeal, so you can get the benefits you need for your workplace injury or illness. Our experienced attorneys have been proudly representing injured workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania for over 40 years. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
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.