Nearly every single worker in Pennsylvania is protected under the Act; seasonal workers, part-time workers, nonprofit workers, and even employers with just one employee are all covered under Workers’ Compensation laws. Furthermore, employees who may not be insured may be eligible for benefits under the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
Additionally, employees in certain industries may be eligible for compensation for laws outside of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. These include federal civilian employees, railroad workers, and stevedores.
How is a Worker Covered?
Workers’ Compensation covers employees who sustain an injury or illness while performing their assigned job duties. If the injury or death was self-inflicted, or if the employee was breaking state or federal law during their injury (e.g., being under the influence of illegal substances), then they may not qualify for benefits.
This is one of many reasons it is wise to enlist the help of a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation attorney when filing a claim to recover compensation. In some instances, insurance companies attempt to avoid paying claimants by suggesting that a workplace injury victim was not operating as an employee when their accident occurred. Or, they may suggest an employee was intoxicated at the time of their accident, or that they intentionally caused the accident because they were hoping for a major payout.
You may need assistance defending yourself from these accusations. A lawyer can conduct an investigation to gather evidence refuting the claims of the insurance company.
Timeframes for Work-Related Illnesses
The Act covers occupational diseases if they were caused or exacerbated by employment. The worker’s disability must occur within 300 weeks since their last exposure to any hazard.
Claims for respiratory diseases generally come from workers who were exposed to silica, coal, or asbestos. Individuals who suffer from respiratory diseases must have worked in the industry for at least two years in Pennsylvania. A disability claim must come within 10 years of a worker’s exposure.
Partial disability benefits are set for a maximum of 500 weeks. These benefits are reserved for workers who can continue working, albeit in a lower-paying job with work-related restrictions.
While on the partial disability status, if a medical professional finds that the worker’s condition has worsened beyond 50 percent, then the worker may be eligible for total disability benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Advocate for Injured Workers
If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, or have lost a family member in a work accident, then you are urged to contact the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Call our Philadelphia offices at 215-512-1500, or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation with our legal team.