Case Law Update | Stepp v. WCAB | PA Work Injury Attorneys

October 15, 2014

Stepp v. WCAB (Fairpoint Communications, Inc.) __ A.3d __ (Pa. Cmwlth., No. 2270 C.D. 2013, filed September 10, 2014). 


In Stepp, the claimant was injured while working for a company (“Company A”), which was later acquired by another entity (“Company B”). The claimant remained an employee of Company A, but was covered under Company B’s workers’ compensation policy. As a result, Company B assumed responsibility for the work injury on behalf of Company A, which remained the claimant’s employer.


The claimant began receiving workers’ compensation benefits and later notified Company B that he would be retiring.  After the claimant began receiving pension benefits, Company B filed a notice of workers’ compensation benefit offset, stating that an offset would be charged against claimant’s wage loss benefits, based upon the percentage of claimant’s pension benefits which were employer-funded. The claimant filed a Review Offset Petition, essentially arguing that only Company A was entitled to the offset. 


The Court affirmed the denial of the Review Offset Petition, holding that an employer can take an offset against the claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits under Section 204(a) of the Act, for pension benefits funded by its wholly-owned subsidiary.

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