Workers’ Compensation is a program designed to provide cash benefits and medical care to employees in Pennsylvania who suffer from a work-related injury or illness. In exchange for receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, employees are typically not permitted to bring a lawsuit up against their employer for damages of any kind.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry states that nearly every worker in the state is eligible to receive benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act if they become injured or incur an illness performing employment-related duties. These benefits include payments for lost wages, a specific loss, such as the loss of an arm or a leg, death benefits to surviving dependents if the accident or injury resulted in death and coverage for medical care relating to the injury.
However, according to the PDLI, a worker’s injury may not qualify them to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits if they intentionally self-inflicted the injury or incurred the injury as a result of disobeying the law. For instance, an injured employee may not receive benefits if they were illegally using alcohol or drugs at the job site.
In addition to workplace injuries that were incurred as a result of self-infliction or illegal behavior, there are certain circumstances where an injury may not qualify an employee to receive benefits. These include the following:
Injured employees who believe that they are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits should keep in mind that they only have 21 days to report their condition to their employer, states the PDLI. However, even when employees report their injury or illness promptly, their employer may deny their right to file a claim. If this occurs, injured workers should meet with an attorney who can fight for their right to receive fair and proper compensation.