What injuries, diseases and illnesses are covered by workers’ compensation?

Generally, injuries, illnesses and diseases caused by your work are covered from the first day of employment. Any employee injured at work in the state of Pennsylvania is covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. It doesn’t matter if your job is part-time or seasonal in nature. You may request workers’ compensation payments even if you are at fault for your work injury.

If you feel skeptical about your injury or illness, do not think twice. The Workers’ Compensation Act applies to ALL injuries or occupational diseases occurring during the course and scope of employment that are related to that employment.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

The Act applies even if you have a pre-existing condition, such as a heart condition or a bad back, which you aggravate, accelerate or make worse over the course of your employment. If you can prove that your job worsened a pre-existing condition, you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits from your present employer. This also applies to carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders caused by jobs requiring repetitive motions.

When must my employer start paying workers’ comp benefits?

Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer and its insurance company have 21 days after receiving notice of the injury to either agree the injury is work-related (and issue a Notice of Compensation Payable or Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable) or deny the claim (and issue a Notice of Compensation Denial). Before you can receive wage-loss compensation, there must be medical proof from a doctor confirming your injuries and determining you cannot return to work. Most insurance companies mail checks every other week to injured workers, although a few pay wage-loss benefits weekly.

What isn’t covered under workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?

Sometimes, limitations may apply to lung diseases. Self-inflicted injuries and those caused by intoxication or violation of the law, including the use of illegal drugs, are not covered by workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.