You probably already know that getting injured on the job entitles you to workers’ compensation for wages and medical expenses. However, you may not realize that this does not mean your wages will be completely replaced by workers’ compensation. Rather, you’ll receive a percentage of your usually weekly or bi-weekly wages in a non-taxable form. These benefits come in six different forms in Pennsylvania:
1 Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
TTD benefits are payable to anyone who is unable to work due to a temporary total disability. For as long as you are out of work due to TTD, you will receive these payments. When you have been out of work for TTD for 104 weeks, you will probably be asked by the insurance carrier to get an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE), which will determine your level of whole body impairment. If you have less than 50% whole body impairment, then you will be identified as partially disabled, and your TTD benefits will be limited to a maximum of 500 weeks, but will not be raised or reduced during this time.
2 Partial Disability Benefits
Partial disability benefits are paid for a maximum of 500 weeks, after an IRE or insurance carrier approved doctor determines your partial disability status. Partial disability usually means that you are capable of performing light duty work, which will allow you to earn some of your wages until such time as you are entirely recovered. If your new light duty job pays less than your previous job, you will be paid 2/3 of the difference between the two up to the maximum rate that was set during the year of your workplace injury.
3 Specific Loss Benefits
If you suffer from the loss of use of certain body parts, loss of hearing/vision, permanent/serious disfigurement (of face, neck, or head), or an amputation, then you can receive specific loss benefits. These are the same as the TTD benefits for a particular amount of time and healing.
4 Medical Expenses
Your employer will be responsible for any and all reasonable, necessary, and related medical expenses for any injury that occurs during the course of employment. Any household or vehicle modifications that must be made to accommodate your injury will also be covered. You will not be bound by any time limit restrictions for medical expenses.
5 Travel Expenses
If you cannot seek treatment in your community because it is unavailable, and you must travel to receive the treatment that you need, then your travel expenses will be reimbursed by the insurance carrier. If you cannot get to where you need to be for these treatments on your own, the insurance carrier provides transportation to and from Independent Medical Examination.
6 Death Benefits
If someone dies as a result of an injury or illness that occurred during the course of employment, within 300 weeks of the date of injury/exposure, then death benefits will paid up to $3,000 in funeral expenses, and additional benefits paid to the children under 18 (or under 23 if enrolled as full time student) and to the spouse until he or she remarries.
Contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney in Philadelphia today.