How Much Can I Collect in Temporary Workers’ Compensation Benefits
While most Pennsylvania employers take great care to ensure that their employees receive workers’ compensation coverage when injured on the job, a surprising number fail to do so, which can leave injured workers on the hook for medical bills, lost wages, and disability. Fortunately, employees who have been wronged in this way have legal recourse, so if you were recently denied workers’ compensation benefits, or were offered a settlement by your employer, it is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help explain your legal options.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage that provides for their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Although this coverage provides immunity from lawsuits filed by injured employees, it also ensures that employees are compensated fairly for on-the-job injuries, regardless of who was at fault. Qualifying employees could be eligible for coverage of their medical bills, as well as compensation for temporary or permanent disability. The amount that an injured employee receives in benefits, however, will depend in large part on how disabling their injury is rated on a scale of zero to 100 percent disabling.
Calculating Benefits for a Temporary Disability
Employees who are unable to work for more than seven days due to an on-the-job injury are often eligible to receive indemnity benefits, which partially replace the wages that the employee lost as a result of his or her injury. How much an injured employee receives depends on a number of different factors, including:
- The current maximum and minimum indemnity payment schedule, which is calculated on a yearly basis;
- The injured employee’s average weekly wages; and
- Whether the employee’s injury resulted in temporary, permanent partial, or permanent total disability, or death.
After taking all of these factors into account, an injured employee who could not work for more than a week following an injury could expect to receive temporary total disability payments equalling approximately two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage. The first week itself would only be compensable if the injured party was absent for more than 14 days. Generally, injured employees who are deemed temporarily disabled can receive payments until a doctor deems them healthy enough to return to work. If, after 104 or more weeks of receiving benefits, however, an employer can require an employee to undergo an evaluation where his or her injury is reassessed.
Finally, injured employees who have been found to have less than 50 percent total body impairment, but have been given the go-ahead by a doctor to return to work with some restrictions, could begin collecting temporary partial disability benefits, which are payable for up to 500 weeks. Employees who earn less when working with these restrictions, will receive payments totaling approximately two-thirds of the difference between their current and pre-injury earnings.
An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney