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5 Things To Know About Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

You may be entitled to workers’ compensation – read these 5 facts

The maximum weekly compensation rate for injured workers in Pennsylvania has risen to $917 for 2013.

That rate – which applies to workplace injuries occurring on and after January 1, 2013 – represents an increase of 3.3 percent from 2012.

Under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who are hurt on the job are entitled to wage-loss benefits equal to two-thirds of their weekly pay. However, there are minimum and maximum limits. The exact amounts are based on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage.

Following are 5 Things You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania:

1. What injuries are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act? Generally speaking, if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to compensation.

2. What if I had an existing medical problem that got worse because of my job? You still might be eligible for compensation. Benefits are available when a job irritates a pre-existing condition. For example, if for years you have had a bad knee because of a high school football injury, and your job makes your knee problems worse, then you might be entitled to benefits.

3. What is a work-related disease or illness? Long-term exposure to chemicals, dust, fumes, solvents and various compounds may cause a serious disease or illness – or it might irritate an existing medical or physical condition.

4. If I suffer a work injury do I have to go see the company doctor? For the first 90 days of medical care, the law requires you to select from a list of doctors chosen by your employer. There must be at least six doctors for you to choose from. Your employer cannot make the choice for you. You are free to choose your own doctor if your employer does not have a list available. And you are free to select another doctor on the list if the first choice was unsatisfactory.

5. If I’m not working and have no money, what should I do? Contact a qualified Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation attorney immediately. The consultation is free and confidential. Usually, if your attorney files a claim on your behalf, you do not have to pay anything until you win your case. Your attorney’s fee will be deducted from the benefits that you recover.

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