Have Your Workers' Compensation Questions Answered

  1. Do I qualify for Workers' Compensation?
  2. How long do I have to see the company doctor?
  3. What type of compensation am I eligible for?
  4. What if I don't have a lawyer?
  5. Can I collect Workers' Compensation and Social Security Benefits?
  6. How much time after my injury do I have to file a claim?

1. Do I qualify for Workers' Compensation?

In Pennsylvania, almost all employees are covered by workers' compensation from the first day of employment. An Employee injured at work is entitled to medical expenses from the first day of injury. However, there is a seven day waiting period until an Employee can receive lost wage benefits. If an Employee's disability last for more than fourteen (14) days, then the first seven (7) days become payable as well.

2. How long do I have to see the company doctor?

If your Employer has posted a list of at least six (6) doctors in your workplace, that meets the specific requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act, you will be required to treat with a doctor on that list for ninety (90) days. An Employer cannot direct you to one specific doctor. If the employer does not have a list or this list does not meet the requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act, then you may treat with a doctor of your own choosing. In addition, you may treat with your own doctor during the initial ninety (90) day period. However, the Employee and not the Insurance Carrier will be responsible for payment.

3. What type of compensation am I eligible for?

All injured workers are entitled to have medical expenses paid by the insurance carrier. Workers' injured for more than seven (7) days are also entitled to have their loss wages paid. In addition, facial scarring or the loss of use to a specific part of the body may also be compensable.

4. What if I don't have a lawyer?

If you are in litigation, you will almost certainly want to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Workers' compensation law is extremely complex and very difficult for a lay person to navigate. You should also know that your Employer/Insurance Company will almost always be represented by an experienced attorney.

Even if you are not in litigation, you may want to contact an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation of which you are not aware.

5. Can I collect Workers' Compensation and Social Security Benefits?

An injured Employee can collect workers' compensation and social security disability benefits at the same time. However, your social security disability benefits will generally be reduced by the amount of workers' compensation you are receiving.

An injured Employee can also collect workers' compensation and social security retirement benefits at the same time. However, your workers' compensation benefits can be reduced up to fifty (50%) percent when receiving both at the same time.

6. How much time after my injury do I have to file a claim?

Generally, a claim petition must be filed within three (3) years from the date of injury or your claim will be forever barred. However, under certain circumstances, the period may be extended if the Employer has paid for medical bills for the injury.

In addition, it is important to note that you must notify your Employer about the accident within twenty-one (21) days. If you do not notify your Employer within twenty-one (21) days, you will not be eligible for any benefits until such time as you provide the required notice. If you do not provide notice within 120 days, your claim will be forever barred.