There are generally three types of benefits payable for work injuries. First, you can be entitled to wage loss benefits. If you are unable to work at all, or if your employer is unable to accommodate whatever restrictions you may have, you are entitled to what is called total disability benefits, which are generally two-thirds of your gross weekly pay, but that figure can vary.
If you have returned to work with restrictions, but you are not making as much as you were before the injury, you can qualify for partial disability benefits. For instance, if you can only work part-time due to restrictions from your doctor, or if your modified job pays a lower hourly rate, you are entitled to generally two-thirds of your lost wages. In addition to wage loss benefits, the insurance company is required to pay for all of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the work injury or disease, even if you do not miss any time from work. In cases of severe injuries involving the loss of use of a limb or body part, or hearing or vision loss, you can also be entitled to specific loss benefits, which vary greatly depending on the body part involved.
Also, if your injury results in some type of disfigurement to your head, face, or neck, such as from a burn or a surgical scar, you are entitled to a separate disfigurement award which is based upon the severity of the disfigurement. Finally, in cases of work-related death, the surviving spouse and any minor children are entitled to wage loss benefits, along with the one-time funeral benefit. This has only been a very brief summary of the benefits available to you.
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When Will I Receive My Benefits?
After you give notice to the employer of your injury, the insurance company must either pay you within 21 days of the date you give notice or send you a Notice of Denial.
You must be off of work for more than 7 days to receive weekly benefits (although medical benefits are payable from the first day of injury). If you are off of work for more than 7 days, the insurance company must begin paying benefits from that day forward. If you are off work for more than 13 days, the insurance company must go back and pay you for the first 7 days as well.
The insurance company has the option to pay you “temporary compensation” for up to 90 days while they investigate your claim. If the insurance company tells you that they are stopping your temporary compensation checks, you should immediately consult with a worker compensation attorney to see if you could be entitled to a larger workers compensation settlement.
Am I Entitled to a Lump Sum Benefit?
If you are receiving benefits, you may be entitled to a lump sum settlement from the insurance company. Only experienced PA workers compensation lawyers can tell you how much your case is worth, and make sure that the insurance company pays you everything you are entitled to receive.
Signing Supplemental Agreements, Final Receipts or Compromise and Release Agreements may have the effect of signing away your right to future wage loss or medical benefits. Signing any of these documents may also affect your receipt of, or future entitlement to other benefits such as Unemployment Compensation, Social Security Disability and Medicare. ALWAYS consult with an experienced workers compensation lawyer before settling and/or signing any documents.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us for a free consultation.