An injury on the job can cause more than just pain, especially if you are the only income provider in a household. A serious workplace injury can cause you to be unable to work and, if you are paid an hourly rate and have no vacation or sick time, your family could suffer severe financial difficulties.
In Pennsylvania, the law requires that every employer provide protection for their employees known as Workers’ Compensation. Although many people are aware that the coverage will pay for medical expenses incurred while treating a workplace injury, you may not be aware that the coverage also pays lost wages while you are recovering from the injury.
Wage loss benefits provide you with income when you are injured on the job or suffer an illness related to your employment. Normally, you will receive two-thirds of your salary while you are considered disabled, although low income earners may be eligible for a higher percentage.
Temporary total disability occurs when you are injured at work and are unable to perform your job duties on a temporary basis.
For example, if your job requires computer entry, if you trip and break your hand, you may be temporarily unable to type or enter any type of data. Once your hand heals, however, your disability ends and you should be able to return to work. During the time you are temporarily disabled, wage loss benefits will pay your salary, or at least a portion of your salary.
If you are injured at work, but are able to perform some of your job duties, just not all of them, you are eligible for the wage loss benefit of your company’s workers’ compensation.
For example, if you injure your knee at work and are unable to drive, which is a normal part of your job duties, you may be able to do other work until your injury heals. However, you may be doing a job that pays less than your regular job. TPD pays you the difference between what you would make at your regular job and what you would make in the new position while your injury heals.
A catastrophic injury may cause you to become permanently disabled and unable to work in any capacity. This could include the loss of a limb, severe head trauma or a spinal injury that leaves you wheelchair bound. It could also include illnesses, such as cancer or lung diseases, that can be attributable to your job duties and make it impossible for you to perform your duties any longer.
In order to qualify for PTD, you must be at least 50 percent impaired based on American Medical Association Standards. If you are not at least 50 percent impaired, your employer can change your status to partial disability.
Anyone who is injured on the job or who is diagnosed with an illness that can be linked to their job duties is eligible for wage benefits in Pennsylvania. You do not have to be unemployed to receive the benefits, but you must be earning less than you were before you were injured or were diagnosed with the illness.
In Pennsylvania, in order to claim workers’ compensation for certain lung diseases, your job duties must have brought you in contact with silica, coal or asbestos for at least two years in the state during the ten years prior to your disability.
You are eligible for reimbursement of lost wages when you have been disabled more than seven days, and those seven days may include the weekend. The benefit begins on the eighth day of your disability. However, if you are disabled more than 14 days, you will receive payment for the first seven days as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job or diagnosed with an illness linked to your job duties, contact our Pennsylvania Workers Comp Attorneys today to learn what rights you may have.
Although your employer is required to provide you with coverage, it is not unusual for a company to attempt to avoid payment of lost wages, medical bills and other damages related to that injury. An attorney can work with the Workers’ Compensation company, or with your employer if they are self-insured, to be sure you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule your initial consultation with Lundy Law by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or fill out the simple form online today.