Developing an occupational injury or illness can be devastating, both health-wise and financially. While there may be help for the latter, it means facing the intimidating aspects of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. Understanding the law can be confusing and you may even face pushback from your employer.
Thankfully, understanding how a workers’ compensation claim works in Pennsylvania can make the task more manageable. Here is a general overview of the claims process.
Employer notice of workers’ compensation information
Your employer must follow the law in posting form LIBC-500. This document tells you about the contact information of the workers’ compensation insurance provider, internal contact person or third-party administrator.
Reporting your injury
When you get an injury, you should tell your employer within 21 days if you wish to receive full compensation. The ultimate deadline is within 120 days of getting injured or gaining knowledge of an occupational disease.
As soon as your employer receives your report, it must notify its insurer or the person in charge of managing a self-insured compensation program. Your employer must also notify the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation about any injuries that result in disability lasting more than a shift or workday within seven days.
Notice of denial or payment
After your employer notifies the appropriate parties about your injury, there are a few things that can happen within the following 21 days. Your employer can either issue a notice of denial, payment of temporary compensation to extend the investigation or payment of compensation without further investigation.
Returning to work
When you return to your previous position, the insurance provider may send you a notice of modification or suspension. This document outlines any changes to your workers’ compensation benefits, such as a different amount or timeframe.
The last step is when the insurer files an agreement to stop payments with you. You have three years of your last received payment to file a petition to challenge the termination of compensation.