The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry notes that in 2013, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation received 110,300 reports of a workplace injury or illness. When an on-the-job injury occurs, it is imperative for both the employer and the employee to know what to do.
One of the most important parts of obtaining Workers’ Compensation is to file the claim as quickly as possible. Failing to follow the state’s time limits could result in missing out on much-needed benefits.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act states that anyone injured at work who wishes to receive benefits must report the incident to his or her employer within 120 days. However, despite the lengthy timeframe, it is advisable to alert an employer as soon as possible. The law suggests reporting the issue within 21 days of the injury.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry notes that the insurance carrier may take up to 21 days from the notice of the injury to either accept or deny a claim. If approved, the payments must still be processed. Delaying the report of an injury will often mean delaying compensation for medical treatment and associated costs.
As the state’s labor and industry department points out, prompt reporting of any workplace injury or illness is key. The injured must give the employer the following information:
It is also advisable to document the circumstances surrounding how the injury occurred. For example, someone who falls off a ladder should describe the environment and provide information regarding witnesses. As soon as the injured employee misses either a shift or a day of work, the company must report the incident to the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
If the claim for Workers’ Compensation is denied, the injured party is permitted to file a petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This petition is intended to secure a hearing before a judge during which the employee can make his or her case.
The state encourages workers who believe they were shortchanged on benefits to contact his or her employer or insurance carrier. If the issue cannot be resolved, the employee can file a petition with the Office of Adjudication.
Workers who are eligible for benefits may receive compensation for items including medical expenses, physical therapy and missed wages. Unfortunately, failing to file a claim within the Pennsylvania’s specified time frame will typically result in forfeiting these benefits.
Anyone with questions about this matter should consult with an attorney.